D. Mason: 'It was a cluster-you-know-what'

Benched first and then discarded by the New York Jets in October via a trade to the Houston Texans, veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason feels he got a raw deal and was unfairly used as a scapegoat. Mason, 37, denied a published report stating that he along with wide receivers Plaxico Burresss and Santonio Holmes complained to coach Rex Ryan about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Mason said he spoke to Schottenheimer personally after the report surfaced to assure him that he had no issues with him or his play-calling.

"I never complained to Rex or Mike Tannenbaum, and I hope that one day it come out who actually did it, but I doubt it," Mason told Scout in a telephone interview. "I never went to Rex or Mike to complain about Brian's play-calling. I went to Brian and told him I'm sorry about all this stuff that's going on, but I'm not a part of it. We had a great conversation, Brian and I. We can talk as men. I respect coach Schottenheimer as a coach. Whenever I've had a problem, I go to the individual and we talk as men."

So, what did Mason make of the Jets' serious locker room chemistry issues that bubbled over in the regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins when Holmes was benched by Schottenheimer after an altercation with a teammate in the huddle?

Mason said the problems only got worse after he left the organization.

"They were a mess," Mason said. "It was a cluster you-know-what."

Mason acknowledged that traditionally issues like the Jets' set of problems get ironed out behind closed doors and don't become this public in the NFL.

"You don't see stuff like this, it's not the norm," Mason said. "Before I left, you could see it materializing. Things heated up. If I was the problem, it would have stopped. If I was the guy complaining, it would have stopped. I wasn't the cancer in the locker room.

"I'm a competitor. If you don't want a guy who speaks the truth and talks out of love, then I don't need to be on your team. I was never the problem. if that been the case, they wouldn't be where they are at this point. And I'm not talking about their record."

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