New York Giants: Jon Beason a Big Reason for Recent Defensive Transformation
Entering the 2013 season, the situation at linebacker wasn’t exactly ideal for the New York Giants. The team was counting on young players like Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams to take major steps forward as well as Keith Rivers to stay healthy and live up to the potential that made him a first round pick in 2008. On October 4th, GM Jerry Reese traded a late-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for linebacker Jon Beason and the Giants’ defense has steadily improved with Beason in the lineup.
Beason has stepped into the middle linebacker position and has led the Giants defense in tackles two of the last three games. His sideline to sideline range was sorely needed by the Giants and Beason is emerging as a leader on the field.
The Giants needed Beason’s ability to run sideline to sideline. They needed someone with his ability to step in and impact the unit and that is exactly what he has done since coming to the team. The Giants haven’t had a linebacker with Beason’s ability since Antonio Pierce retired and Beason has the talent to be the best middle linebacker in a Giants’ uniform since Carl Banks.
With Beason in the lineup Paysinger and Williams have looked better and the Giants have not allowed a touchdown on defense in over two games, not bad for a team that hadn’t allowed less than 27 points a in a game prior to that.
Beason was made expendable by the Panthers after injuries slowed him earlier this season and former Giant Chase Blackburn surpassed Beason on the depth chart. The 28-year-old linebacker has found new life with Big Blue and has already expressed an interest in retiring a Giant.
If Beason can get back to the player he was from 2007 to 2010 when he averaged just over 135 tackles per year, the Giants could see a unit that was considered a weakness into one of their biggest strengths. Of course, Beason has to stay healthy as well in order to make that happen. One thing is certain, so far, Beason is giving Reese a lot of reasons to make Beason’s desire to retire a Giant a reality.