John Fennelly, Lead Writer
LB Jon Beason has started just two games for the Giants since coming over via a trade from Carolina in early October. He is already eighth on the club in tackles with 21 (16 solo) and at this rate, he’ll be the team leader in no time. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before Beason becomes the official leader of the defense both on and off the field.
Head coach Tom Coughlin was asked if he was surprised at the immediate impact Beason has made on the Giants considering he had no training camp:
“Not with the quality of linebacker that we have. The quality of the player that came in, no, I’m not surprised.”
“He’s got a nice voice and when I say voice, he has good command,” said DC Perry Fewell. “He’s a very smart football player too. He can visualize plays. When you talk to him he understands concepts and so I think that’s a nice addition to have on your football team.”
Beason, a two-time All-Pro, was an afterthought with the Panthers, having been replaced by Luke Kuechly after missing two seasons with a knee injury. He’s healthy, now, but Carolina had no place for him and his lofty cap number. They had no choice but to part ways with him. The Giants, in need of any type of playmaker, came calling.
Fewell didn’t see a problem bringing Beason in. Anything was better than the status quo…
“When I evaluated him when he was coming out of college, we thought he was a good quality player then and then, to me, he got better as a pro. So when we had that opportunity, we welcomed it. No skepticism at all.”
Beason also welcomed the move. There was no way the Panthers were moving Kuechly, the league’s top tackler since coming into the league last year.
“No,” said Beason when asked if he took being traded personally. “Coach said, ‘Hey, I don’t know how to say this.’ I guess it was new for him as well. ‘We’re going to trade you and it might not be a bad thing. A fresh start.’ One of the first things out of his mouth was, ‘Maybe you’ll get an opportunity to play MIKE linebacker.’ There were no contingencies on that when I came in or wherever I was going, it was just to go play football. Getting a chance to get back to my roots, so to speak, was exciting for me.”
It’s exciting for Giant fans, too. According to Tom Rock of Newsday, Beason wants to stay tangled up in blue for a long time.