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Wednesday, November 25: Things Look The Same To Marcus Mason

Posted by Matt Terl on November 25, 2009 – 3:39 pm

Head coach Jim Zorn said today that newly re-signed RB Marcus Mason “will definitely play this week,” albeit probably as part of a committee. “He’s been working out and trying to get ready so that if he had an opportunity he would be ready. That’s what you love about a player like Marcus and other players like him who stay ready. Now he has every opportunity to participate in his first game back.”

And Mason knows that his chances are likely running out. “I feel like this is the best opportunity I’ll have,” he said, “so I got to make a name of myself. I got to do something this weekend and this is it. I feel like I’ve had nine lives and I’m on my eighth one.”

It’s been a little over a month since Mason was released — “October 20th,” he says, without hesitating; the memory is clearly still fresh — and it’s been a pretty dramatic four-plus weeks.

Here’s the offensive starting lineup from each week since Mason was released, plus the projected starting lineup for this weekend’s Eagles game. It’s kind of a terrifying grid to look at. Read more »

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Mike Sellers Contemplates Blocking For A Chipmunk

Posted by Matt Terl on October 2, 2009 – 4:34 pm

When head coach Jim Zorn today announced that Clinton Portis was going to be a gametime decision this week, he mentioned that Ladell Betts and Marcus Mason had largely been splitting work with the first team in practice.

Given that Mike Sellers is currently expected to play despite a thigh contusion, I figured I’d ask the 2009 Pro Bowler to see how his blocking style would change if Portis didn’t play.

His initial reply was not particularly promising. “It doesn’t,” he said. “Clinton and Ladell are two different backs. Ladell’s more of a power back; Clinton’s more elusive, more of a scatback.”

I pointed out that Clinton was frankly enormous to be considered a scatback, and Sellers agreed. “He is one, though, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s just two different running styles. I’ve played with those two guys for a number of years, so to me it doesn’t really matter.”

But, I said, what if Mason got into the game? Sellers apparently hadn’t given that too much thought, and he paused for a second to consider. Read more »

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Marcus Mason Tries Again

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 6:16 pm

I refer to running back Marcus Mason as a fan-favorite a lot, but calling him that does him something of a disservice. The local-guy-made-good didn’t just impress the fans last preseason; he led the league in preseason rush yards and stood out to his teammates, too.

Especially the Redskins other preseason star and fan-favorite: when you ask Colt Brennan about Marcus Mason, the superlatives just start flowing. “He’s a natural football player,” Brennan tells me, “a natural baller . I can’t tell you how many times in the preseason last year it was so nice to have him, because he would make good plays, make good runs. You only get so many chances when you’re young, and you’ve got a running back like that, gaining extra yards, picking up first downs for you, doing the little things.

“My second touchdown pass was to him,” Brennan continues, barely pausing for breath. “He got me a ton of extra live reps, because he was able to extend our drives. We really had a great combination of run and pass with him in the games. He played unbelievable last year in the preseason, and he’s done just as well this year, and I think everybody knows that he’s a great football player.”

Asking Mason about Mason earns a slightly less effusive answer, although almost any answer would’ve been less effusive than Brennan’s.

“I’m doing pretty well,” he says when asked about this latest chance. “I’ve picked up on the offense pretty fast. Last year I was out trying to learn it and I was worried about whether I’m going the right way or if I’m not, now I’m comfortable and ready to have fun.” Read more »

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The Return (Again) Of Marcus Mason

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2009 – 5:28 pm

So let’s see:

  • 90 degree heat? Check.
  • An expected onslaught of media? Check.
  • Fans becoming infatuated with players who will probably never contribute in the regular season? Check.
  • Running back Marcus Mason in a Redskins uniform? As of today, check.

Yep, it’s beginning to feel a lot like training camp around Redskins Park.

The Redskins were awarded Mason off waivers today, providing some depth at the running back position as we head into this weekend’s minicamp.

Mason, a local product from Potomac, Maryland, has always been a fan-favorite story and was something of a preseason star last year, toting the ball 66 times for an NFL-leading 317 yards. Not quite enough to inspire Colt Brennan levels of fan devotion, but certainly respectable, and I still field at least one question every week about why he’s not here.

For the moment, at least, those questions can be put to bed.

And as Mason returns (again), it seems an appropriate time to look back at an excellent 2007 profile of him in — of all places — the Potomac Almanac, the free newspaper that gave me my first job (delivery boy!) twenty years ago. Fittingly entitled “The Return of a King”, it recounts Mason’s rise from Montgomery County superstar to college star, and eventually to an undrafted role as a Washington Redskin. An excerpt: Read more »

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