Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Panthers' Beason: "Point the finger at me"

I caught up with Panther linebacker Jon Beason Tuesday afternoon for an exclusive interview after Beason spoke to an appreciative crowd of several hundred folks at the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Beason, as usual, was great in front of that crowd – he’s among the most personable and genuine players the Panther have ever had.

But right now, Beason is also very upset about the way the Panthers’ season is going. With Carolina at 0-2, Beason is ready to blame somebody.


Beason told me he played a “horrible” game against Atlanta and that he’s doing some personal “soul-searching” to figure out what he needs to do better against Dallas this Monday night. Always a stand-up guy, Beason said fans need to stop blaming Jake Delhomme or Julius Peppers for Carolina’s first two defeats.

“You can make this your headline,” Beason told me. “With Pep, it’s just because he’s Pep. People are like, ‘Ok, we’re 0-2. Who we are going to point the finger at?’ Last week, Jake played bad. This week he was a lot better – good enough to win. So who are we going to point the finger at? Pep.
“You tell ‘em if they want to point the finger at somebody, they can point the finger at me. You tell ‘em I said I am not playing as good as I should be and I need to get better.”

Beason further said of his own performance: “I haven’t played well. I haven’t played comfortable. I haven’t played free yet. I’m out there, I’m doing my thing, but I need to step up and really be that dominant force that I know that I am.”

Beason made no excuses for his play, but it is true he missed much of the preseason due to a left knee injury and that he hasn’t had a lot of help up front, either. Still, linebacker Thomas Davis has been in on far more tackles and been more active than Beason, who made the Pro Bowl in 2008 in only his second year in the NFL.

Beason also said he still does not feel “fluent” in the defensive system of new defensive coordinator Ron Meeks.

As for the Panthers, Beason said: “We’re still a good team. We’ve dealt with a lot so far. We’re still there. We’re still getting better. The stage is set. What better game – against the Cowboys, new stadium, Monday night game, for the world to see and to silence all the critics. Go out and not just play well but to beat the Dallas Cowboys.”

That sounded almost like a guarantee. I asked Beason if it was.

“It’d be great for you,” Beason laughed. “Foxy [coach John Fox] wouldn’t like it very much.”

So while Beason wouldn’t guarantee a win over Dallas Monday night, he did say this: “I’ll be better. That’s my guarantee.”

I’ll have a lot more from my interview with Beason in my column that will be published in Wednesday’s Charlotte Observer and will also be posted online.

Follow Scott at Twitter.com/scott_fowler


Anonymous said...

Not having a DT is killing Beason. Blocks are eating him up. I love his fire though!

Anonymous said...

Beason is a good player and just wants to get better no matter how good he is, thats obvious from his comment. When the panthers lose, its easy to pick out 1 player to blame, but we all know its a team thing not just 1 player. That being said, Peppers needs to step up his game, i dont blame him for the loss but he still needs to step up and earn the mil a game. If he really wanted out last year all he had to do was sign the contract so the Panthers could trade him, he tied their hands so they couldnt trade until it was too late to trade him. The Panthers probably franchised him in hopes of a good trade, not expecting him to hold out for the money. Had he been traded, and played like this on a new team, how would his career have gone?

Anonymous said...

It's hard not to love Beason - dude is a flat-out stud and now he's taking the bullet? The LBs on this squad are in a tough spot, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Beason is just `spreading and `taking some of the Heat which he can do...cause he knows he is still respected...The team will love him more also...Hopefully we can destroy the Cowgirls Monday Night.

Anonymous said...

Does Beason even understand that he's making an indictment against Meeks? Is this his way to save John Fox's and Marty Hurney's behind? We know Pep is gone after this year, and if the media wants to blame the person who won't be here next year, fine! Who cares? Pep doesn't, and neither do I. That won't change the fact that we have a QB EXPOSURE and a defense exposure. What we don't have exposed is John Fox and Marty Hurney. They both need to be outed and held accountable.

Anonymous said...

We just need a good head coach who disciplines his players

Anonymous said...

What this team needs is some fans that will support this team and not jump ship and think the season is over! So what if no one played well agaisnt the Eagles...Jake and the offense looked much better against the Falcons...The D will get better.

All the players are hearing is negative comments from the fans!

I'll stick with the team no matter what happens this season.

Anonymous said...

fox isnt an issue...hes a good coach and im sure during the super bowl year you thought he was perhaps the best in the business. the problem is the front office dealing away linemen (kris jenkins) and not supplying a QB that makes them the most competitive

Anonymous said...

he doesn't feel fluent in the easiest/simplest/least complex defense in the league?!?! i see what beason is trying to do in deflected some of the "heat", but this line was pretty amazing.

they don't make a defense that's any easier to "become fluent" in than the tampa 2

Anonymous said...

I discovered a long time ago that people take on the characteristics,
demeanor and attitude of their
leaders or those in authority over them. A fiery preacher tends to have a fiery congregation, a laid back leader usually has laid back followers. So it is with professional sports, a easy going
type coach has a easy going team, very little fire (and it's temporary), very little swagger, very little smash mouth attitude. So it is with the Panthers. Like anyone else I would love to see them doing better but I am not going to attempt to tell the team or fans what they should do. They will eventually figure it out. In
the meantime bring on those Larry Brown Bobcats. The upcoming season will probably be the most exciting they have had since entering the league. They brought in the right players and a very good coach. The same can not be said for the Panthers. When I saw the Panthers schedule earlier in the year, compared with with last year's schedule, I knew this could be a long season, wrought with difficulty for them if they didn't play up to their full potential. So far they have done what I thought they would not, have not played up to their full potential.

Anonymous said...

Just take some chances Panthers, this way is not working playing 8 yards off the receiver with no pass rush will absolutely kill you all year long.. its cover 2 jam the reciever at the line of scrimmage, I know this whole chat board saw Gamble playing 7 yards off the wide out at the 7 yard line, he was standing at the goal line! Can you actually get beat deep there?

Anonymous said...

Beason is a real class act. Glad we have him to step into the leadership role that everyone thought Peppers would fill.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason why I bought a #52 jersey with the little college funds I have 3 weeks into his rookie season. Mike Minter was the only jersey I had ever worn and that day I made a change for the better...

Brandon said...

Beason should be making what Peppers is making and Peppers should be making less than what Beason makes.

Anonymous said...

He's just a victim of circumstances.Fox and Hurney caused this disaster and should take full responsibility for their non-actions.

Anonymous said...

My finger is pointing at teh Entire Charlotte Panthers Franchise. From the top down. I point my finger at "Pep" andJake because this summer both of them received some very lucrative salaries. So, yes. I expect the most from them. The coaching gets complicated, because John Fox needs to prove the defensive coaches didn't leave for good reason. Hence, making sure this defensive coaching staff is on point. My uncle used to tell me something that I'm gonna tell you (Panthers Franchise)... If I want any ish outta you... I'll kick it out of you! And right now, I don't want no ish. The entire team, coaching staff, and managers need to step up and act like this was a Superbowl caliper team just a few years ago. Stop being so cheap, and stupid with the money, and go after players in areas we need them. This isn't just your franchise, because all of us fans could very well stay home. Remember the days of the blackouts? Do we want that again? Well, stay stuck on stupid and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Beason I can appreciate your taking one for the team, very admirable - but there is plenty of blame to go around and it starts at the top of the ladder.

This team is in a boat load of trouble and management and coaching have gotten them to this point.

Poor decisions with Peppers and Delhomme in the off-season with money, a gameday atmosphere that is as sterile an environment as a hospital room, a coach whose own players refer to him as "Foxy". Geezus, come on, are you kidding me? Do you think Parcells players called him "Tuna"? He has lost this team. He wants to be a buddy.

The pathetic excuse for special teams get worse each year. It amazes me that this team continues to employ Danny Crossman as special teams coach year after year. The excuse for special teams this year is that financially we could not keep veteran players that were essential to special teams. Well, find some new players that will play because the ones on special teams now ain't getting it done.

This problem can be traced back directly to management (Marty Hurney)and to John Fox, for the Peppers and Delhomme money. This organization rewards the players whether they produce or not, that is why the majority of the team walks through the season just collecting a check. Kind of makes you sick.

Rob said...

Wow! It's refreshing to hear an athlete of today say "It's on me". Jon Beason is a REAL MAN. We need more players like him and I don't mind departing with some of my dollars to see a guy like this play(Even if they lose).

widewater said...

It has been said in some form or another, but Beason is the best player the Panthers have ever had. It is clear Jon Beason is a far better player and competitor then Peppers will ever be. Have you ever heard Peppers stand up and be accountable like this before? Peppers is 1/2 the man Beason is...Next off season the team should just cut bait and let Peppers walk. 14.5 sacks is hard to replace but Peppers does not have that kind of production year in and year out, he did that in a contract year.