When your career is in need of resurrection, there is no better place to be than New York.
This is the situation Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Jon Beason currently finds himself in. His career began loaded with promise; for four consecutive seasons between 2007 and 2011 he started every regular season game as the 25th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In each of these four seasons Beason combined for over 100 tackles, claiming 100+ solo tackles in his first three seasons as a professional footballer.
It is this kind of regular production that the New York Giants need and that coach Tom Coughlin will be looking to recreate right now. The Giants have looked unrecognizable and increasingly susceptible at linebacker for a number of years now. It was Chase Blackburn who stepped up and restored some credibility to the position in their Super Bowl run of two seasons ago, though he was allowed to walk free in the summer ironically to the Panthers, something that still doesn’t sit well with the Big Blue faithful. This season their hands were forced to rely heavily on the inexperience of Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich, and as a result they have a below average 22nd total defense ranking.
Of course rejuvenating Beason to his previous levels of success will be much easier said than done. After locking down his position as a 100 percent starter in his first 72 games in the NFL he has since gone on to make just seven starts in the past three seasons, a worrying contrast to say the least.
Recent post-surgery signs are encouraging for Beason and a new beginning in the Big Apple could be the ideal situation for both parties. There is just something about New York as a city. There is also a sporting prowess (although you wouldn’t know it at the moment) that should instill a pride in its athletes for the chance to represent the ‘greatest city in the world’ brimful of sporting history and tradition. Beason also joins a Giants D that up until recent years was revered for its hard-hitting philosophy and proud of that fact. In addition to all of that there is the expectancy and rigorous demands of coach Coughlin, and if that’s not enough to bring out the best in Beason then he may as well call it a day now.
It’s a second chance for Beason, something that in the cut and thrust of the NFL he is lucky to score. It’s also a final chance for the 2013 G-Men. Although the NFC East has been a far from prosperous division this year, a home defeat against their bitter Philadelphia Eagles rivals on Sunday would be all she wrote. The fat lady is mindfully warming up.
Whether he will be ready or not for the crunch-clash with the Eagles on Sunday is now all a matter of timing; Beason hasn’t suited up since Week 2 of the regular season, sitting out the Panthers’ 38-0 humbling of the Giants before Carolina hit their bye in Week 4. The Giants have a short week following this Sunday’s game as they hit the road to face the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football in Week 6, and this is seemingly a more likely setting for a Beason debut. Nevertheless, the Giants coaching staff will be hoping that Beason’s impending presence serves as a warning to the likes of Spencer Paysinger and Keith Rivers whose starting positions are now under immediate threat.
With the hunger for sporting success in New York always rife you have two options: You can either embrace the challenges of the ‘city that never sleeps’ and be heralded for your efforts or you fade into the obscurity to long be forgotten. Here’s to hoping when Jon Beason steps off that plane and stares across the horizon to fall into the universal awe of the Manhattan skyline, he can rekindle the appetite and the hunger for the game of pro football that he first experienced back in 2007 and the second coming can commence.