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Marcus Mason says Skins are Yankees of NFL

Forever prospect Marcus Mason, cut for the third time by the Redskins, went on The Junkies Wednesday morning to discuss his former team. He was clearly unhappy to be out of a job, but while he was honest about his experience, he had lots of good things to say about the locker room.

For example, he never caved from the party line that the Redskins have way too much talent to be a struggling 2-4, which increasingly seems implausible to the fanbase and media. Here's Mason's take:

"It cannot be the lack of talent, because on paper, these guys are the Yankees of football," Mason said. "They have so many nicknamed players. It's just the little things. Coach Sherman Smith, he told everybody that the minor things are major in the NFL. So yeah, you missed a block, but that missed block can turn into a sack, that sack can turn into a fumble, that fumble can turn into a touchdown. Little things like that, it just piles up. It's just executing the plays, that's the only problem right now."

Well, when the starting running back says the team has the most talent in football, it's only natural that his backup would describe the team as the Yankees. On his next answer, though, Mason finally strayed from the party line. He was asked whether he thought things would get better or worse for this team, this season.

"Just looking at the caliber of teams that they already played and then their upcoming next five weeks, you know, I don't know," he said. "I hope it goes well for them."

More interesting things from Mason, who said he got the call telling him he was cut not from Jim Zorn, Daniel Snyder or Vinny Cerrato, but from director of pro personnel Morocco Brown:

On Sellers and Portis fighting: "Really, it wasn't even like that. It was not like that at all. The team chemistry, it REALLY is the best. It's just not clicking right now, not putting all the pieces together."

On being cut again: "I mean, I've been with the team three times, and I've been cut three times by them. So at some point, it's like, you know what people say in domestic violence. You're in a violent relationship, why does the woman always go back?"

On the reasoning: "Pretty much it's just not understanding fully with the plays. You know, they change up plays so often, like all the time. They're changing the route, so when you get in the game, you get all this going and you're thinking, and then you wind up running the wrong way or something. They pretty much told me that they have to bring in a guy that can be trusted on special teams as well, and obviously they have to bring in an offensive lineman."

On the season: It was like a rollercoaster ride. I was told that if Clinton Portis went down that I'd be the starting running back, and then at times I was told that it's the NFL and that stands for not for long, so I was being told a lot of different things. It's a difficult playbook, as a young guy, I'm getting my first carries, anxiety's going and everything, so things didn't really go right. But I'm pretty sure that the way they're looking at it I was the reason for them being 2-4."

He was joking with that last bit.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 21, 2009; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Zorn shares your concern about the playclock
Next: Sherm Smith discusses the distractions


What?? I thought it was the Media's fault, or Barno's fault, not Marcus Mason

Posted by: ocskins | October 21, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mason. The Redskins are like the Yankees... of the late 1980s. We can only hope that, like Steinbrenner, Napoleon gets banned from the league for having mob ties.

Posted by: mgonter | October 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

check out the latest coverage

Posted by: nattylite88 | October 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Yankees of the NFL - without the success!

Posted by: eedchic | October 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Sheinin is calling the Yankees the team of the decade over at Baseball Insider.

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

great post - but I'm going to nitpick a little... it's not that interesting that Mason didn't get called from Zorn, Cerrato, or Snyder. The personnel guy always does this. It's his job.

Posted by: mountjacksonmudcats | October 21, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

...Except the Yankees win games.

Posted by: jrchris | October 21, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

For example, he never caved from the party line that the Redskins have way too much talent to be a struggling 2-4, which increasingly seems implausible to the fanbase and media. Here's Mason's take:

"It cannot be the lack of talent, because on paper, these guys are the Yankees of football," Mason said. "They have so many nicknamed players

Hey, Marcus Baby, on paper the Titanic was unsinkable, but look what happened. I'm so tired of hearing this SJKing bullSJK from the Redskins' players. Snyder and Cerrato appear to have convinced them that they're in the FFL (Fantasy Football League). ENOUGH ALREADY! Shut up with the pathetic "on paper" talk, get angry and motivated, and go out and walk the walk.

Posted by: SkinsKen | October 21, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"that team I'm no longer on has SOOO much talent"

the only reason they are talking to this guy is to get dirt on the lockerroom inner workings during this complete trainwreck.

Posted by: greatteamdan | October 21, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

As much as I don't like the Yankees, I have to admit that they do a lot of things with class and professionalism. They have a "no beard" rule (remember Johnny Damon?). They do a lot of good things (going to Blacksburg a year after the shootings). Snyder has an unprofessional locker room (Portis) and does things with arrogance and pompousness.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | October 21, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

A couple of things. First, the Redskins are not the Yankees of football. That is insulting to the Yankees. The Redskins are not even remotely in the same realm with the Yankees. The Yankees are one step from the big show because their big money guys are WINNING and management is letting the GM and manager do their job. But for their defense, the Redskins are one step from the doormat of the NFL.

Second, Mason's explanation of why he was cut says it all. He did not understand the plays! He is a professional football player -- THAT IS WHAT YOU DO! There are some complex factors that can make or break a career in the NFL - all of which are largely out of a player's control. However, there are a handful of things a player can actually control to ensure success and one of them is KNOWING THE PLAYS AND HIS POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES. The others include: (1) showing upon at camp injury-free and in great shape; (2) practicing hard and hustling at all times; and (3) ensuring that he is fully committed in terms of time, attention and effort (a) to the team generally and (b) playing his position to the best of his ability more specifically.

Yes Marcus, you are supposed to do these things WITHOUT BEING ASKED OR CHIDED. That is why one gets to be called a P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L football player.

Third, among others, prior Post articles about the three "choice" draft picks in 2008 (Kelly, Davis and Thomas) made it so painfully transparent that Redskins management/front office team have no concept of how to evaluate character, professionalism, and heart in young players. Mason's comments reinforce this point. Although the players who perform at a respectable or high level for the Redskins (Cooley, Moss, Dougherty, Fletcher, Orakpo, etc.) are self-motivated and always will be, the toxic environment at Redskins Park no doubt makes it hard.

Finally, love him or hate him, you have to respect Jim Zorn trying to stick it out. In addition to any financial reasons for doing so, the guy does not quit.

One cannot discount the difficult position the man is in. He complies with Cerrato's commands and he looks emasculated. He does not and he is fired for being insubordinate. In his own way, Zorn is fighting back.

Probably more than anything else, Zorn knows that he has been and continues to be under a media microscope. How he handles himself, particularly from here to his ultimate dismissal (whether that is Monday night or later in the season), will be watched closely by future employers. Hopefully, he will find a job with at better organization (that is easy) and coaching staff that appreciates his talent whether it is as a QB coach or in a larger role.

By the way, what time are the Ravens playing this weekend?

Posted by: sluftbl | October 22, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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