Jon Beason is back (check out the video), and apparently better than ever. After missing this past season with a torn Achilles tendon, he has been rehabbing his tail off, and obviously working out...just a little.
Looking at his lateral agility—which is absolutely ridiculous when considering that the man is 6'0", 237 pounds—it's clear his Achilles tendon is doing well. (Having personally experienced an Achilles injury, be assured that changing direction and pushing off the injured foot to accelerate are two of the hardest things to do if the tendon is an issue.) For those doubting his ability to come back from the injury, remember this: on top of his intense work ethic, he is only 27 years old. Furthermore, his injury happened in the very first game of the season. He has had ample time to recover, and the rest of his body was in absolute peak physical condition at the time of the injury.
Obviously, Carolina is Cam Newton's town, but let's not forget what the Panthers were just a few years ago. Carolina was a moderately successful team with an overly conservative offense backed by a very strong defense. The key cog of that defense was none other than Jon Beason. He was third in the NFL in tackles in 2008, and ranked second in 2009. Those were just his second and third seasons in the NFL. He was widely considered a top three middle linebacker in the league, and will likely resume that position within a year or two.
He was on ESPN last week discussing the future of the Panthers and his injury. He said, "(I'm) feeling great...I expect to be 100% by the time the season rolls around." Just listening to him talk Panthers has to get any Carolina fan excited. He has a great football mind, and it's incredibly apparent that Jon Beason is ready to get back on the field and make a difference. Between his, Ron Edwards' and Thomas Davis' returns, the continued growth of the offense and players added through the draft, the sky is the limit for the Panthers in 2012.