Mason: Critics are ‘very, very scared’ of Flacco

Ravens QB Joe Flacco has drawn some heavy criticism during the locked-out NFL offseason. Much of it has originated from inside the walls of NFL Network studios.

Bengals LB Dhani Jones didn’t hold back when saying Flacco makes bad decisions under pressure. Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley predicted the Ravens won’t win a Super Bowl in the quarterback’s lifetime. Analyst Jamie Dukes has questioned Flacco’s work ethic, and Bucky Brooks wrote on that the jury is still out on the quarterback until he proves he’s a clutch player.

While we first heard Ravens LB Terrell Suggs defend Flacco, we also know Derrick Mason has been watching. And the receiver has a theory as to why opponents target Flacco, who has taken the Ravens to the playoffs in all three of his seasons.

“When you’re good, people are scared of you,” Mason told the Carroll County Times about the shots at his teammate. “Honestly, that’s what I’ve seen. When people realize the potential that you have, they get very, very scared and then you see them scrambling to say bad things about the guy.

“Joe doesn’t care. He really doesn’t. For the Woodleys and the Dhani Jones and the rest of them, you see there aren’t no head coaches or general manager and no smart players saying Joe can’t play. The last thing you want to do is wake up a sleeping giant. Whether he says it or not, they’ve given him added fuel.”

It’s doubtful Flacco needs added fuel, though. The Ravens have opted not to extend his rookie contract (which ends after the 2012 season), leaving Flacco a bit perplexed.

— Frank Tadych

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