Newly acquired linebacker Jon Beason will help improve the New York Giants defense as the team attempts to salvage their season after an abysmal 0-4 start.
Beason, acquired from the Carolina Panthers for a 2014 late-round draft pick, will help shore up the middle linebacker situation and brings a Pro Bowl pedigree to a New York defense that has struggled early in the season.
Beason, a three-time Pro Bowler, was one of the league's best linebackers until injuring his Achilles in 2011, via ESPN.com.
In his prime, Beason was one of the best in the league. He led the Panthers in tackles with 140 as a rookie in 2007 and was runner-up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. He made his first Pro Bowl in his second season, recording 138 tackles and three interceptions. He continued at that pace until 2011, when his season ended early with the torn left Achilles tendon.
While Beason has only played in seven games since his injury, he still brings valuable experience and leadership to a New York defense that lacks those qualities at the linebacker position.
Beason’s leadership can already be seen, as he is doing everything he can to get on the field and help the team on Sunday, via ProFootballTalk.com’s Michael David Smith.
I know I’ll come in tomorrow early and meet the coaches and I’ll get my linebacker coach [Jim Herrmann] and we’re going to cram, Beason said. If they ask me to, I’ll dress [Sunday] and I’ll give everything I have. . . . It’s just going to be terminology. I’m a smart player. I learn fast. Being a mike linebacker, a lot is on your plate. I think I actually thrive in that position. I’m going to get with coach as long as it takes and as fast as I can get it as soon as I want to play.
New York safety Antrel Rolle is excited about the leadership and other positive qualities Beason will bring to the team, which he expressed via Twitter:
Beason needs to prove that he can stay healthy if he plans on making an impact, and he took a step in the right direction after passing his physical, writes Michael David Smith.
He may not ever be the same physically as he was early in his career, but he’s at least healthy enough to pass the Giants’ physical. And even if he’s not the same player he once was, the Giants think he can help their defense. Considering how the Giants’ defense has played so far this season, it’s easy to see why they believe Beason can be an upgrade.
While Beason has had a rough start to the 2013-14 season, he has been extremely consistent throughout his career. He has recorded over 120 tackles four times in his career and has eclipsed the 140 mark twice. Via ESPN.com.
His 584 career tackles indicate that he is fully capable of defending the run, which will certainly help New York. The Giants are currently ranked 27th in the league in total rushing defense, as they have yielded 490 rushing yards (122.5 yards per game).
The former Miami Hurricane is also an accomplished pass defender as well, which is evidenced by his nine career interceptions, a strong number for a middle linebacker. His coverage skills can be seen when he picked off Drew Brees to secure a Panthers victory against the New Orleans Saints in 2012.
Beason’s biggest hurdle to success will be his health. Despite battling injuries for the past two seasons, the former Panther was the model of consistency early in his career, via David Monroe of panthers.com.
Beason started the first 65 games of his career but has battled injuries since 2011 when he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in the season opener. He was then limited to just four games in 2012 before being placed on injured reserve with left shoulder and right knee injuries.
If Beason can stay on the field, he will bring leadership, solid run defense and strong coverage skills to New York. Beason has the ability to help turn New York's season around. Will he? Let's find out.