Giant nation has been quick to accept Jon Beason as one of their own. In less than three months with the franchise, the seven-year vet has made the full monumental leap from unknown commodity to defensive hero. Yes, the run defense has been stout with him as a fixture. Yes, he actually looks the part and displays flashes of athleticism/burst rarely seen from “generic Giants linebacker”. And yes, he has a track record of elite performance. However, name value and gaudy tackle accumulations aside – just how good is Beason at age 28? It seems he’s been granted a free pass…
Leadership is valuable of course, but not measurable; so let’s focus on his impact during the course of play. Beason has produced a pair of huge efforts since donning the blue: 11 solo tackles and seven stops in his starting debut at Chicago, and 13 solo tackles and nine stops at Washington. In the other nine weeks he’s earned PFF grades between -2.7 and +1.0, with tackle totals between one and six. Beason plays with a high motor and diagnoses plays meticulously, but he struggles to disengage from blocks and has clearly lost a good bit of explosion.
Beason reads the play perfectly and has what appears to be a clean shot on Murray in the backfield. A nudge of a block from guard Mackenzy Bernadeau knocks him off balance and sends him reeling out of the play
His greatest attribute is playmaking against the run, not out in coverage. Opposing signal callers have a 116.6 QB Rating when targeting Beason, completing 35 of 44 passes (80%) for 467 yards (13.3) and 285 yards after the catch.
On this 3rd and 13 play Beason is matched up with a tough cover in Antonio Gates. Getting beat is one thing, but Beason appears to get carried away by a current into a different time zone altogether. He’s ten yards away from the point of reception
This is the final year on Beason’s restructured contract, but he’s already expressed a keen interest in returning: “I don’t plan on going anywhere, ever. Ever.” If the price is right – and it certainly appears that it will be – Beason will be back in the equation in 2014. Should we expect a refreshed performer with a hefty snap count under his belt, or is the body deterioration once again looming around the corner? One thing is for certain: while Beason is a fine piece of the defensive puzzle, his presence is very far from sufficient. The Jints need more talent on the second level. I expect Giant nation will become less tolerant of his shortcomings in year number two.