Beason happy to be a Panther

Jon Beason got his wish coming to the Carolina Panthers. He loves their defensive scheme. He loves their uniforms. He even said he went on and on about the real estate market in Charlotte. But more than anything he loves the fact the man ahead of him on the depth chart at middle linebacker is Dan Morgan, another former University of Miami star linebacker.

Jon Beason got his wish coming to the Carolina Panthers.

He loves their defensive scheme. He loves their uniforms. He even said he went on and on about the real estate market in Charlotte.

But more than anything he loves the fact the man ahead of him on the depth chart at middle linebacker is Dan Morgan, another former University of Miami star linebacker.

"He's a guy that I trust," said Beason, who has talked with Morgan a number of times in the past. "He's a Hurricane so I know he's going to look out for me."

Of course, the irony is that the Panthers went back to Miami to find the eventual successor to Morgan. Morgan has outstanding talent, but he's had least five concussions during his NFL career and there are real concerns about how long he'll be able to play before suffering a sixth, and perhaps final, concussion.

If that happens then Beason will become the next Morgan, the next Panthers starting middle linebacker.

That's something Beason hopes he never sees.

He plans on Morgan being his mentor, a guy who he can turn to when he gets overwhelmed by the playbook as most rookies do. So when someone asked Beason if he views Morgan as competition, he could only laugh at that notion.

"Hey, as a young guy I'm going to go in and say, 'Dan, what do I need to do?'" Beason said. "If he wants me to run through a brick wall, then I'm going to do it. I'm sure he's going to put me on his schedule and show me how he got it done and how he's been successful. And I'm going to follow him.

"Is he my competition? No, I look up to him and I'm going to work extremely hard and obviously try to earn a starting job. But he's a guy that I know Carolina has a lot of respect for and I have a lot of respect for."

The Panthers traded down from No. 14 to No. 25 in the draft with the Jets and picked up a second and fifth round pick, as well. Carolina used the 25th pick on Beason and the 59th overall on USC center Ryan Kalil.

Carolina turned down an offer from Cleveland that included the Browns first-round pick in next year's NFL draft. That could turn out to haunt them as the Browns have drafted sixth or better in five of the last nine years.

It's unclear where Beason will line up this year.

The Panthers plan on Morgan starting at middle linebacker and Beason has played quite of a bit at outside linebacker while at the 'U.' So there's a chance he could line up next to Morgan, instead of behind him.

No matter where he ends up, he's simply happy to be a Panther.

"It's funny. I was just talking to my agent about it and I told him ever since I declared I was coming out (for the draft) I wanted to be a Carolina Panther," Beason said.

As with any draft pick, there are questions about Beason's ability.

Most notable is the alarming 4.77 he ran in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combines. But Beason claims that came after he tweaked the MCL in knee while working out for scouts in a different drill earlier that day. However, he felt committed to run and it may have been a mistake, possibly causing him to drop a few spots on some draft boards.

But the Panthers timed him in the 4.6's in a different workout and don't believe speed is a negative factor.

"Sometimes you get caught up in underwear timed speed versus how they carry their pads and playing speed," coach John Fox said. "Jon played very fast and that's the key."

Panthers director of scouting Don Gregory called Beason an explosive player.

"When he hits you, you feel his hits, so he's very explosive," Gregory said. "And he's got outstanding quickness. You talk about his speed.

"He does play faster than his timed speed but his quickness is outstanding. He has great feet as a linebacker so he gets in and out of traffic very well."

It will help Beason that the Panthers play a similar defense to one run in Miami, although there will certainly be more nuances. And it will also help that he has someone in his corner he trusts to help him learn them.

And that has him happy about coming to Carolina.


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