Jon Beason promised good health, talked Super Bowls, and most
interestingly, put himself at a different position than assumed.
Regarding health, Beason suggests himself to be ahead of schedule and
that the shoulder surgery was insignificant (Beason was sidelined with a
shoulder and knee injury 5 games into 2012). He suggested that the knee
was progressing well.
No talk about his Achilles injury, which seemed to be fine early in the
2012 season and wasn't an indicator toward him being placed on IR.
Detractors had suggested that Beason would never return to form, and
used the additional injuries - at this point still suggested as
unrelated - as proof.
Worth a small amount of concern was that the knee surgery included
microfracture (essentially, drilling into the knee to cause otherwise
unplanned cartilage growth). That's still a dirty word in the NFL -
most notably because of the Chuck Smith (2000) issue and other former
Panthers that had significant cartilage degeneration. However, it seems
that it's stopped being as critical an issue over the last number of
years, and in younger players, continues to be successful. That the
surgery was in October, giving Beason a requisite amount of downtime
compared to offseason microfracture, can't hurt either.
After raving about working with MLB Luke Kuechly, Beason suggested
himself to be on the weakside in this defense, which has OLBs flowing
downhill at the ball (and blockers). Prior speculation had Beason
This, of course, would push Thomas Davis to the strong side. He played
there 2006-2007, moving in 2008 to the weakside. Davis played well on
both sides - he really came into his own in 2009 upon the change to the
Tampa-2, in which he became the contain player. In this defense, strong
or weak, both Davis and Beason would have to take on blocks.
I like Davis' potential on the strong side again, because of the split
TE matchups that this division gets - often out of base personnel. I
don't know how well Beason will work on the weakside, or Davis will work
strongside, against the run, but both are old pros at this game. They
may not always beat a lead block, but they'll at the least absorb it,
giving Kuechly the ability to chase it down.
All this, of course, bears the nature of whether Beason's speaking from
knowledge of the team's intentions, and not just his preference.