Panthers linebacker Jon Beason took a break from training Thursday to speak at the basketball camp hosted by Bobcats president Fred Whitfield.
Meanwhile, back in Miami, Beason’s teammate and workout partner indicated Beason and his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon look to be in good working order.
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen posted on Twitter that he had worked out with Beason for the past week.
“Trust me he will be fine,” tweeted Olsen, who played with Beason at Miami. “He looks like he did in college at 21 (years) old.”
Beason ruptured his left Achilles in Week 1 last year and missed the rest of the season. He participated in organized team activities and minicamp on a limited basis, but expects to be fully ready when training camp begins in two weeks.
“I’ll be out there. I’ll take the reps with the ones (first-teamers),” Beason said. “Camp is a grind. I expect it to be sore. You’re going to have good days and bad days. It’s just camp, even if you are healthy. Getting in football shape is always a tough task. I’ll do as much as I can and be smart about it.”
Beason told the basketball campers he spent part of his summer watching Wimbledon and the Euro Cup soccer tournament.
“I love to watch championships. It doesn’t matter what sport it is because I just want to be in that moment,” Beason said. “It’s going to be special to me when we get a championship.”
Running back Jonathan Stewart said getting Beason back is a big key to a successful season.
“He’s a monster,” Stewart said. “And we didn’t have our monster last year.”
Judge and jury: Beason empathized with New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma – another University of Miami product – and Vilma’s attempts to overturn a season-long suspension stemming from his role in the Saints’ bounty program.
Vilma has a federal lawsuit pending against the league that alleges Commissioner Roger Goodell failed to make a timely ruling on his appeal. Goodell denied the appeals of Vilma and three other suspended players last week.
“It’s tough in our league because Goodell’s rule is law. There’s no one to really challenge him or go against him,” Beason said. “Obviously, he’s probably bouncing stuff off people.
“But it’s tough because when you do file an appeal, the appeal goes through him. Well, he issued it. So it’s like, what is the point or the purpose for having an appeal process?”
Beason hopes Goodell will allow Vilma to play this year while investigating the matter further.
“Vilma’s always been an upstanding guy, class act, very smart guy. Great player, leader, give you everything he has,” Beason said. “He loves the sport and he’s good for the sport.”
Extra Points: The Panthers will hold a three-day rookie camp in Charlotte before the full team reports to Wofford. The camp, which begins July 23, will include rookies and selected veterans, including the team’s three quarterbacks. … Roger Allen, a third-year offensive lineman, underwent sports hernia surgery recently but should be ready for training camp.