Bart Scott was teammates with Derrick Mason for four seasons in Baltimore, watching the veteran wided receiver do his thing on a daily basis.
So Scott knows precisely how good Mason is, and the linebacker couldn't stop singing the praises of the Jets' latest free agent acquisition, who participated in this morning's walkthrough and is expected to be on the field for this afternoon's padded practice.
"I love him," Scott said. "He’s one of the most competitive guys that I’ve ever been around. I always thought that when we were in Baltimore that he had the mentality of the defense. He was a guy that he’s going to compete. He’s very crafty. When I first met Jerricho [Cotchery], I told Jerricho he reminded me of Derrick Mason, that he was in a similar mold of Derrick Mason."
Scott pointed to the Ravens' conservative style on offense, explaining that makes Mason's career numbers in Baltimore -- 5,777 yards and 29 touchdowns on 471 receptions in six seasons -- essentially speak for themselves.
"Sixty one catches in that Baltimore offense, they don’t throw the ball a whole lot," Scott said. "The fact that he’s been so consistent for so many years, and to have 800 receiving yards last year, second on the team and not even being the No. 1, and that’s not even his natural position ... His natural position is in that slot, where you are telling the third best corner on the field to cover Derrick Mason.
"I think he has well over 10,000 yards receiving and his career and his stats speak for themselves. He was the guy in Baltimore for a long time by himself."
Mason will move all over the field with the Jets, seeing time at all the different wide receiver positions. But as Scott noted, Mason might wind up being more effective in the slot, helping the Jets improve on last year's 39.6 third-down conversion percentage.
"It’s kind of like fighting Bernard Hopkins," Scott said. "He knows all the tricks. He’s so crafty. He understands how to get open, he understands body leverage, he understands positioning, he understands where to catch the ball, he understands how to catch the ball and continue upfield and when to move upfield. He’s clutch and he’s tough as nails with his Detroit upbringing.
"He’s going to compete at all costs. He’s going to let you know about it too. He’s a talker."
Translation with that last comment: He'll fit right in perfectly.