Linebacker Jon Beason has made his biggest impact anchoring the middle of the Carolina Panthers defense during his first six seasons in the NFL.
Beason has been named to the Pro Bowl three times and is a two-time All-Pro playing middle linebacker for the Panthers. However, Beason has played just five games over the last two seasons due to injury and Luke Kuechly thrived on his way to defensive rookie of the year honors after taking over for Beason at middle linebacker mid-season.
Kuechly led the league with 164 tackles in his rookie season.
Beason is still very fond of playing in the middle. He racked up a staggering 540 tackles over his first four seasons before injuries have kept him off the field the majority of the last two years.
“I was drafted as an outside linebacker. I can play the position. I am familiar with the position. Some people may think I’m built for the position,” Beason said, per the Panthers official website. “But what we did not know before moving to the (middle), was that my personality is geared toward being a (middle) linebacker.”
With Kuechly’s emergence, the Panthers will likely ask Beason to move outside next season. While he still feels that he’s best on the inside, Beason is willing to shift outside to help out the team.
“Playing on the outside is no biggie for me,” Beason said. “I’ll have the same approach to how I play the game. I think if anything, it’s going to make me more motivated, because now I have to fight a little harder to make more plays.”