Shaq Mason excited to be a Texan, help C.J. Stroud and run game

Dec 25, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Shaq Mason (69) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shaq Mason excited to be a Texan, help C.J. Stroud and run game

The former Patriots and Buccaneers guard has fully embraced his new home and new teammates.

Following last season, Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio knew he had to address a significant issue with his offensive line. His tackle tandem was among the best in the league, but the interior line was underperforming.

Taking advantage of the reconstruction of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the post-Tom Brady era, Caserio traded a sixth-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for two-time Super Bowl champion guard Shaq Mason and a seventh-round pick. The Texans needed a strong interior line presence, and the Bucs needed to dump his salary as they begin retooling their roster.

Thursday, Mason met with the media and expressed his excitement about being a part of the Texans this season, starting with the day he found out he was being traded to Houston:

“I was happy when I found out it was here. It was a happy feeling knowing that I would be here. I knew the system they were going to be running. New coach with a lot of energy. I think it was a perfect fit for me.”

The Texans new right guard also shared his excitement to play for Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans, and explained how playing for a former player is an advantage:

“Absolutely, I think so. The fact that a guy has played the game and been through that, that means a lot to the players in the locker room. I definitely think it means something to us.”

Mason is optimistic about the impact of quarterback C.J. Stroud on the offense:

“I think we can do great things. Like I said, it’s new to everybody. We just got to buy in and put our best foot forward. Everybody is building right now, not just us, every other team. All 32 (teams), we’re building. It’s a mountain top, we’re just climbing.”

What is the biggest thing Mason thinks he can do to help Stroud?

“Protect him. That’s the biggest thing I can do, protect him. Rookie quarterbacks, there’s always a learning curve. I think he’ll be fine. Us five up front, we’re going to do our job and try to make his job as easy as possible.”

Mason played with Mac Jones in New England during Jones’ rookie season. When asked what he could share with Stroud about preparing for his rookie season that he experienced with Jones, Mason stated:

“One thing I can take from that and pass along to C.J. (Stroud), is that rookie Q’s (quarterbacks) have to put in a little more than everybody else on the team. That’s just kind of how that worked out. Mac (Jones) had a good amount of success his rookie year. I think C.J. will have a good amount of success and I know he’s willing to put the time and effort in.”

Mason has a positive early impression of running backs Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary:

“Great guys. I’m lucky to block for them, honestly. I’ve seen what both of them can do with the ball in their hands. They’re both special players and I’m looking forward to blocking for them.”

Mason shared that he has had a few conversations with Pierce, the Texans’ second-year running back:

“I’ve had a few conversations with him. It’s going to be fun. Honestly, I watched the Chargers game and I saw him and said, who is this kid? As the season progressed, he had better games and he took off. It’s a blessing to block for him. He runs hard and he’s going to make every defense feel him as he opposes his will. That’s all you can ask for as an offensive lineman.”

It makes sense for Mason to be excited about coming to Houston. After all, he has a name made for the city, Shaquille Olajuwon Mason:

“As soon as I landed here, there was a Texans fan saying, ‘your middle name is Olajuwon and now you’re in Houston.’ It didn’t really dawn on me until somebody said it to me. It’s pretty cool.”

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