Veteran Panthers linebacker Jon Beason said today on NFL Network's NFL AM that he knows he has the ability to play outside linebacker after spending nearly his career in Carolina at middle.
Beason has spent almost the entire past two seasons on injured reserve, and last year, he lost his spot at middle linebacker to Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly.
But the three-time Pro Bowler said it's less about pride and more about what the team can do as he enters the latter half of his career.
"Going into my seventh year, you think about things like legacy and all of that stuff becomes important to you," Beason said. "But its really about winning a ring. When my career is over, I want to win a ring. Ive done great things, big things but I also know I have the ability to play outside. Watching Luke, watching him mature and make plays and seeing how dynamic he is, I just want to get out there and do the same thing.
"We can be scary good with that front we have, Thomas Davis. We could be the best in the league and thats the goal, so I want to be a part of the best defense and win championships, starting with one first obviously.
He said he's "probably ahead of schedule" for his return to the field. He's almost to the point where he can train again, and he believes he'll be ready for training camp come late July.
Beason started at middle linebacker for the first four games of the season but became less effective as the weeks went on. Nagging shoudler and knee injuries forced him to have scopes on both areas during the year and he was placed on injured reserve for a second consecutive season.
"What I learned was to be in the moment," Beason said of the injuries. "If you can appreciate the grind, the training camps, the moments that you do have, the tough times, you can do big things. So for me, everything is just being near-sighted and winning the day.
Beason also discussed quarterback Cam Newton's body language as he enters his third year as the offensive leader of the team, the decision to keep coach Ron Rivera for a third year and what it's like to play for owner Jerry Richardson.
He said the team must have a higher sense of urgency in training camp if the Panthers want to come out of the gate hot rather than struggle for the first half of the season and win late like they have the past two seasons.
Guys cant miss reps in training camp; I havent taken a rep in training camp in two years," Beason said. "It cant take [until] mid-season to hit your stride; you have to have that mentality right away. Well do that this year but you have to appreciate training camp for what it is. Go in with a mentality to work every day, get better and hit it running Week One.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less