Derrick Mason: Joe Flacco is our Michael Jordan


Responding to Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodely saying the Ravens will never get to the Super Bowl with Joe Flacco at quarterback, Baltimore receiver Derrick Mason made a strong statement in Flacco’s defense.

On ESPN First Take, Mason said that the Ravens and Steelers are like the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons of the 1980s and 1990s, with the Bulls at first struggling to beat the Pistons but eventually surpassing the Pistons and winning six NBA championships.

“They’ve had our number for the last couple years,” Mason said of the Steelers. “I equate it to the Chicago Bulls, they couldn’t beat the Pistons, and then they finally beat the Pistons.”

With that, Mason was asked who would play the role on the Ravens that Michael Jordan played on the Bulls.

“Flacco is our Jordan,” Mason said. “He’s our Michael Jordan.”

That’s a bold statement, but Mason seemed to be in the mood to make bold statements in response to Woodley and other players on the Steelers, whom Mason seems to genuinely dislike. And Mason says he’s eager to see the Steelers on the field, rather than trade barbs with them in the media.

“You can talk all you want during the offseason,” Mason said. “No one plays the game, no one hits, during the offseason.”

60 responses to “Derrick Mason: Joe Flacco is our Michael Jordan

  1. How bout Flacco gets a ring first there Derrick… let alone 6… or just start beating the steelers consistently in the playoffs

  2. I don’t think Flacco is a dog, but i also don’t think he should be compared to a man, who was the greatest player his sport has ever seen…It almost seems to stupid to comprehend, and makes one wonder why anyone in their right mind would offer up such an idiotic comparison……

  3. Don’t make too much of this–he’s just saying that Flacco can’t hit a curve ball, run a NBA franchise, or act–like Michael Jordan.

  4. Eventually Jordan was able to beat the Pistons in the playoffs. Other than that last minute TD pass last year, Flacco hasn’t beaten the Steelers. It’s most important to win in the playoffs and that hasn’t happened…….YET! A whole lot still remains to be proven.

  5. Mason and Woodley need to STFU cuz Aaron Rodgers is the only one who finished the season with THE belt.

  6. He chokes under pressure and that isn’t something you fix or coach up, that is internal.

  7. If Flacco is the Ravens’ Jordan, their franchise is in worse shape than I thought.

  8. I guess that is possible, although a little early to be prognosticating that.
    From the time he is 28, he will have to win 6 rings, retire to play baseball, comeback and retire again, then come back to play in a failed attempt to recapture his youth.
    Anything is possible though!

  9. Michael Jordan’s points in Finals games: 36,33,29,28,30,39,39,26,32,46,33,31,42,44,55,41,33 ,28,29,36, 23,26,22,31,38,26,22,38,38,33,37,24,34,28,45
    I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin

  10. Before everyone gets up in arms over this (which some are already), know this… this article left out a major part of the quote. I watched ESPN’s First Take yesterday when Mason said this. He said Flacco is our Jordan in reference to Jordan being an up and coming player at the time of the Bulls and Pistons playing. He was not saying Flacco is or is going to be as good as Jordan was to basketball, he was simply saying Flacco is up and coming. I’m disgusted that this was omitted from this article. The person to write this obviously is trying to get a rise out of everyone.

  11. Flacco isn’t even Scottie Pippen, much less Jordan. I agree with the Toni Kukoc comparison. If anyone is the Jordan of that team it would be Ray Lewis, except the Ravens have already won a title with him.

  12. Mason’s point is that Joe is as important to the Ravens success as Jordan was to the Bulls success. Having said that, Flacco needs to step up his game. Ray Rice is the true catalyst for the Ravens offensive success over the past few season. But in the NFL it is a QB’s play that elevates a team to a championship level, especially in the playoffs. Flacco has the weapons around him to succeed. The question as his career continues is weather he has the mental and physical prowess to get the job done.

  13. Michael Jordan was one of the three or four best players ever to play at the highest level in his sport, and great at the collegiate level as well. Flacco has never shown to be even capable of approaching either of those accomplishments.

  14. I don’t understand all the press Woodley is getting over this…Suggs makes his comments all the time, wears his shirts about the Steelers. John Harbaugh makes his comments about how the Steelers played in “their” superbowl, how they gave games away rather than giving the Steelers credit and the press is all over Woodley about this? Flacco is a good QB and every team has a shot at the Superbowl, but for everyone to get all over Woodley is ridiculous. I watched the interview and he was saying to reach the superbowl, they have to go through the Steelers…being confident in his own team. Honestly, I wish both sides would just keep quiet and get back to football!!!!

  15. No way ottoman. MJ was 20% of the offense and defense on paper alone. Much more than that in reality. You can’t compare football and basketball players. Its a dopey analogy.

  16. Mason was saying that Jordan was up and coming and that’s what Flacco is now. The quote was out of context, you had to watch the whole convorsation. I watched First Take yesterday

  17. Joe Flacco might be the baseball version of Michael Jordan. Either way the Ravens are in trouble with the unibrow.

  18. As a Steeler fan I still just do not get why the Ravens were passing at the end of their second regular season game against the Steelers – the play where Polamalu made Flacco fumble.

    Roethlisberger had done NOTHING offensively all game – and even the score after the fumble was just incredibly lucky – and the Ravens should have just run, run, run, then run some more and then call another couple of running plays and then IF THEY HAD TO …. punt.

    If the Ravens had won that game they would have been set up for the playoff bye week not the Steelers.

    I live and die with the Steelers but their games with the Ravens are always very close and seemingly always come down to the final play of the game.


  19. touchdownsyndrome June 22, 2011, 10:28 AM EDT

    but I’m pretty sure Jordan had 2 eyebrows
    I almost ran the car into the guard rail!

    Mason I think was referring to the fact that the Bulls rallied around Jordan. Mason would not compare players on a performance level. Besides, what would he say? He’s not going to hurt the hand that feeds him…the ball.

  20. Washington Wizards era Michael Jordan I assume. In Flacco’s defense though, HE didn’t drop perfectly thrown passes to TJ Houshmanzadeh and Anquan Boldin though.

    I’d say he can’t thrown and catch the passes, but Brad Johnson did it for a TD against the Buccaneers.

  21. packattack1967 says:
    Jun 22, 2011 10:37 AM
    No way ottoman. MJ was 20% of the offense and defense on paper alone. Much more than that in reality. You can’t compare football and basketball players. Its a dopey analogy.


    Well by your math, on paper a QB is only 11% of the offense. When in reality the QB touches the ball on 99.9% of the offensive plays.

    I agree it is a dopey analogy by Mason. The statement is simply a comparison of how much Joe Flacco’s success on the field means to the Ravens winning championship – not weather the game of basketball translates to the game of football or if he is as talented as MJ, which he obviously is not.

  22. this lockout is causing a lot of drama in the already strong rivalries.

    we have the giants and eagles coming out public with trash talk , now the steelers and ravens.

    this is gonna through some gas on the fire for the season.
    i like it.

    even though they ALL sound foolish in the statements.

  23. Granted it was quite a stretch for Mason to use Jordan’s name in any comparison to Flacco, but it’s hard to criticize a guy too much for talking up the importance of a teammate no matter how over the top it may be.
    That said, I’m more interested in his assertion that he would tell Goodell to his face the same smack he talked about him on tv. THAT would be worth watching!

  24. I don’t think Flacco is good enough for anyone to be sticking up for him. The hype on this guy needs to end. He is a mediocre QB at best and he’ll NEVER be elite. Can’t read D’s, can’t get through his progressions…he’s just not that good people!

  25. He was asked the question he had to say Flacco or Ray Lewis. Smart to give Flacco s ego alittle boost.

  26. I guess that would make sense if Jordan wasn’t any good. Flacco is not even better than Banks at this point. Ravens are still about playing great D, and that’s why they have some success.

  27. I can understand what he means but don’t see why he would have said it. I will just assume that he is talking about Flaco’s importance to the Ravens but it is a poor comparison at best. To even put a guy like Flaco in the same breath/sentence as the greatest athlete of the past century is absolutely incredulous. Flaco isn’t even as talented as MJ’s left foot.

    Dear NFL please end the lockout. I along with other folks are getting miffed because Flaco is being compared to Jordan by old as dirt Derrick Mason. Seriously, we need to get back to football and stop having the story of the day be what some washed up has been receiver in a run heavy system has to say about his QB.


    Give us our football back!!!!

  28. Mason’s statement isn’t any more bold than Woodley’s. but yeah Flacco isn’t Jordan.

  29. Flacco’s done more winning than almost any quarterback his age over the past 40 years. You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating. He’s just the third starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to reach the playoffs in his first three seasons. The two others are Bernie Kosar and Dan Marino.

    Granted, more goes into winning than just a quarterback and Flacco has been helped by a great defense. But don’t forget that the man under center holds the most important position on the field. And no quarterback does it on his own. Peyton Manning has had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Ben Roethlisberger’s been helped by a great defense too.

    The defense isn’t constantly padding Flacco’s resume. Remember last year’s home game against Cleveland when Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards? Who was it that threw that perfectly lofted pass against a full-on blitz to Anquan Boldin for the win? That was Flacco’s third touchdown pass that day.

    As the Bengals’ Jones accurately remembers, Flacco had a bad game in Cincinnati last year, throwing a career-high four picks. What Jones apparently doesn’t recall is that after Week 2, Flacco posted the NFL’s second-best quarterback rating (103.4), second only to Tom Brady and ahead of Super Bowl-winning Aaron Rogers.

    Flacco finished the year with the NFL’s seventh-best quarterback rating (93.6), ahead of Manning, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees to name a few. But it’s not fair to compare Flacco against veterans like Manning, Brady or Brees now. They’ve got many more years of experience. So let’s see what they all did in their first three years as starting quarterbacks.

    Flacco threw for just 21 fewer passing yards than Brady and tossed four fewer interceptions. Flacco threw for 1,655 more yards than Brees, two more touchdowns and four fewer picks. Manning, who averaged 88 more passes per season, threw for way more yards and touchdowns than Flacco, but also tossed 24 more interceptions.

    Lastly, if you’re comparing Flacco to the greats such as Brady, Manning and Brees, that should tell you something.
    There’s no arguing that Flacco hasn’t had his best outings against Pittsburgh. He’s 2-6 versus the Steelers in his career. But let’s put them in perspective.

    Flacco had a couple tough games in 2008, particularly in the AFC Championship. Chalk that up to a rookie facing a top-flight defense on a huge stage.

    In 2009 things changed. Flacco threw for 289 yards and a touchdown (100.8 QB rating) against the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. In Pittsburgh, he threw two touchdowns (would have had three had Derrick Mason not dropped one) and posted a 83.1 QB rating.

    Last year he went into Pittsburgh and delivered a game-winning strike in the final minutes. He threw for 256 yards that day – not too shabby.

    A blindside sack/fumble in the regular season and one bad quarter in the playoffs last year have tainted his performances against the Steelers. He sailed a pass too long to Todd Heap and a fumbled snap after that.

    But do you remember how Flacco marched the Ravens down Pittsburgh’s boisterous field in the fourth quarter and delivered a spot-on pass to Boldin in the end zone, which would have given Baltimore a late lead had it not been dropped?

    Also, the argument that Flacco hasn’t beaten Roethlisberger is irrelevant. It’s the Ravens who haven’t beaten Big Ben since 2006, not Flacco.

    There’s no denying that the next step for Flacco is to raise his game in the playoffs.

    But he’s certainly not the first young quarterback to have a tough time in the postseason.

    San Diego’s Philip Rivers is 3-4 in the playoffs and has 10 postseason interceptions. Dallas’ Tony Romo is 1-3, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick is 2-3 and Atlanta’s Ryan is 0-2.

    You can even look at some of the greats. It took John Elway 15 years and four Super Bowl losses before winning a ring. It took Manning nine years to claim a Super Bowl.

    Flacco did start to show some progress in the playoffs last year. He torched the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium to the tune of a 73.5 completion rate for 265 yards and two touchdowns. Flacco actually had a solid 90.0 playoff quarterback rating last season, better than Brady and Roethlisberger.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Flacco hasn’t played a single one of these playoff games at home. Winning on the road in the playoffs is incredibly difficult, especially for a young quarterback.

    It’s easy to forget, considering all of Flacco’s early success, that he’s just a 26-year-old quarterback out of Delaware.

    Flacco’s career was put on the fast track when injuries made him the starter as a rookie. His success, going to the AFC Championship, put him (and expectations) far ahead of the usual track.

    Learning how to play quarterback in the NFL takes time. Learning how to win takes time. Flacco has done both of those very quickly. Learning how to win a championship is another matter, and one that Flacco and the Ravens are working toward now.

    But Flacco has taken steps forward every season. The Bengals’ Jones claimed Flacco makes bad decisions under pressure, but surely other teams mirrored the Bengals’ game plan following that four-interception performance. Yet Flacco cut down on the interceptions. He adjusted.

    Flacco has thrown for more yards and more touchdowns each year. He also took on more of a leadership role last season and continues to step into that position. There’s no reason to believe his progress won’t continue.

  30. The way it takes a team to rebuild…. unless Flacco gets traded, Woodley may be right.

    Ravens had their chance…. it was last year, and it was winning by 4 touchdowns at halftime…

    Ahhh… now I know why they hate Big Ben….

    Maybe MJ on the Wizards… with no support.

  31. Funny how people say that Joe is the reason why the Ravens lost to Pittsburgh in the Playoffs last season.

    I guess Joe was the reason why Anquan Boldin dropped that touchdown pass that hit him in the numbers that would have given Baltimore the lead.

    I guess It was Joes fault that Houshmanzadeh dropped that 4th and 17 pass that would have continued the game.

    I guess Joe was the reason that the ravens defense had a total meltdown in the 2nd half.

    I guess Joe was the reason Ray Rice fumbled.

  32. So we can expect Sloppy Joe to take a brief suspens–uh, retirement for a couple years to ‘spend time with the family’? Or maybe he’ll take up baseball in the meantime? (I mean….surely the local 9 could use all the help they can get.)

  33. ravensfan4life52 says:

    Flacco’s done more winning than almost any quarterback his age over the past 40 years. You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating. He’s just the third starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to reach the playoffs in his first three seasons. The two are etc etc yawda yawda yawda!

    I could here the violens playin reading that!

  34. My compliments to the click masters on their usual wizardry, but I missed the show and would like to see an article on this …

    CKL says:

    I’m more interested in his assertion that he would tell Goodell to his face the same smack he talked about him on tv. THAT would be worth watching!

  35. @udontknowjaq

    If you want to hate on Flacco for no reason then be my guest. I just saw an article on the Ravens website and since PFT wouldn’t let me post the link to the article, then I figured I would just copy and paste the whole article. I thought it made some solid arguments. But like I said, if you want to hate on Flacco for no reason then be my guest.

  36. and considering Flacco joined the Ravens as a developmental QB who wasn’t supposed to start for a couple of years, he’s done pretty well.

  37. Joe Flacco? Are we serious? This guy has Anquan Boldin, TJ Housmanzadeh, Derrick Mason and TE Heap. Ray Rice, McClain, McGahee, Very solid O-line and a dominant defense and he can’t even be in the discussion for a top-10 QB, Can’t take them anywhere, and hasn’t. This guy is a vanilla game manager, with a nice arm. He has NOTHING spectacular to offer, and Mason drops a MJ on him? When you have your own gatorade flavor, become transcendant in your sport and the media, have your own shoes/clothing line, 6 rings, MVP’s and countless clutch plays at the end of games … you can;t even talk after that. first try to crack the top 10 in the league at your position before your teamates let out shameful stuff like this. Give Kurt Warner this team reins and they win it all. Flacco is your average Joe (pun intended). Deleware.

  38. Sounds like Raven fan, has plenty of excuses for Flacco… I guess I am wrong…

    Flacco is not the problem, it is the rest of the team dropping the ball…

  39. I love hearing how the Steelers took it to the Ravens in the playoffs. You could hear a pin drop in that stadium by halftime. Fans were genuinely scared by the thumping the ‘ol home team was getting. I was surprised to see so many people on the edge of their seats, biting their fingernails. And I wasn’t surprised to see the Ravens basically say “here ya go – here’s the ball, have at it” three times in the third quarter and finish with a typical Ravens implosion. Consider yourself lucky – because if the Jets don’t pull off a monumental upset at Gillete Stadium the Pats would have thumped you both halves – just like they did earlier in the season.

  40. Scottslefteye…

    Reality is the Steelers own the Ravens. So your call is that, we are lucky another team didnt beat another team, cuz we would have had to play a different team?!?!

    How about we played you… Guess you were not good enough to finish the job.

  41. Mason’s just sticking up for his QB, although I don’t think Woodley singled out Flacco. He originally called ALL of the Ravens a bunch of scrubs, in not so many words.

  42. He can’t be Michael Jordan.

    His Airness would scrap the Cam Cameron play and call a touchdown play of his own.

  43. @ravensfan4life52 …

    You’re jumping on someone for hating on Flacco for no reason? Was he celebrating seeing Flacco knocked unconscious on the field and hoping it would happen again like you were just doing about Roethlisberger on the Bart Scott thread? Got a little hypocrisy thing going there, huh?

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