OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason predicts a high-scoring offense this fall to work in tandem with a dominating defense.
One year removed from ranking ninth in the league in scoring offense with a 24.4 average, Mason told the Sporting News, "We have a good shot to score 25-35 points a game."
Even with the addition of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Ravens are going to throw the football significantly more this season since offensive coordinator Cam Cameron emphasizes handing off to Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.
"We’ll still be a run-first team and pass the ball off our success there," Mason said. "That’s the kind of offense that wins in December and January."
The Ravens do have more weapons now for quarterback Joe Flacco to work with.
"It’s creating a good buzz," Mason said. "With Quan, there’s a reason for him going to three Pro Bowls. He’s the tough guy who is willing to go over the middle, sacrifice his body to make the tough catch. Then you also have Donte’ Stallworth, who brings the speed to make that 60- or 80-yard play out the slot."
Mason was asked how those additions affect his role.
"I don’t think it will change that much," he said. "I’ll still be running a lot of the same routes. The one thing that’ll be different is that with Quan we have someone who can draw that double-team attention.
"We have so many weapons who can beat single coverage. So maybe I go from seeing 10 balls a game to making the most of the seven or eight I do get."
Mason said one reason he’s still playing at age 35 is a quest for a Super Bowl ring, which has eluded him during his stints with the Tennessee Titans and Ravens.
"I am optimistic about our chances after how successful we’ve been the past two years," Mason said. "It’s just a good feeling from how this team is put together on the field and with the coaching staff. We believe in our leaders and the ability to get by any challenger. We just have to sustain that all season."