Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kuechly should start over Beason in the middle for Panthers

Jon Beason or Luke Kuechly in the middle?

For now, I choose Kuechly. (Joe Person has a nice story describing the choice the Panthers must make here).

Choosing Kuechly is not an indictment of Beason. When healthy this year -- and he has had both shoulder and knee injuries -- Beason has been good (although not great, he has missed some tackles you would expect him to make and had a key possible interception go right through his hands). And Beason has done excellent work in the past in the middle, enough so that he has played in three Pro Bowls.

The primary reason I choose Kuechly in the middle right now, in fact, is because I think Beason plays the weakside linebacker spot better than Kuechly does. When Kuechly plays weakside (or "Will," in football terminology), you can sometimes go whole drives without noticing him. Beason has started in the position before -- once for half a season -- and seems to get to the ball better when he's on the weakside than Kuechly does.

At middle, however, Kuechly shines. He was very good Sunday in the Panthers' 16-12 loss to Seattle. He was involved in enough big plays (including an interception and a career-high 16 tackles) that fans started chanting "L-u-u-u-u-ke" when he made a tackle, and they chanted it numerous times. It seems like that's the place he fits best (even though it's also the spot Beason prefers).

Beason and Kuechly both need to be on the field, for they are two of the Panthers' best players. But that's how I'd line them up for the Oct.21 home game against Dallas -- James Anderson at his normal strongside position, Kuechly in the middle and Beason on the weakside.


Anonymous said...

Can't argue with you on that Scott. I know Beason wants to be in the middle, but you have to go with the lineup that gives you the most production and it looks like Beason at the will and Luke in the middle is what it will take. They have to try something because a loss to Dallas will put the final nail in the season's coffin.

Anonymous said...

As usual Fowler a day late and dollar short after the poll on the ft page showed Skywalker running away with it.

Wheres the poll on Newton?

Anonymous said...

Play four linebackers with both players in the middle. The middle of the line is where we can't seem to make consistent tackles with either player manning the position solo. And get another defensive coordinator while you're at it, one that can coaching tackling.

2peenysworth said...

Yeaah...I agree with you, or maybe
switch up on accasion to keep fresh legs on the field...they both are good...Kuechly in body, Beason in experiance and drive.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:08:

The Panthers cannot play a 3-4 because they don't have enough defensive tackles. To play a 3-4, you need three legit DT's and enough DT's to back them up. Since they play a 4-3, they only have so many tackles along with defensive ends. If you put DE's (Johnson, Hardy) up front in a 3-4, they don't have enought bulk and will get knocked over everytime. And you can't take advantage of their pass rushing abilities.

Godwin said...

.........................................................................put the kid in the middle.

C. Bax said...

Luke at the "Mike",Beason or T.Davis at the "Will" and J. Anderson at the "Sam" is the most productive scenerio, and gives us the best chance to consistently stop the run.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:31

The Panthers could run a "poor-man's" 3-4. DE Johnson is big enough and strong enough to play DE in a 3-4, and Ron Edwards has played 3-4 NT and Dwan Edwards has played 3-4 DE. The only problem we would have in a 3-4 is we don't exactly have a hybrid OLB/DE that could drop into coverage. That being said, I think for the time being, Carolina should only play 3-4 defense on 3rd downs.

Anonymous said...

This another spot where Rivera fails as a head coach. He should see this without having a reporter point it out. Beason plays better outside and Kuechly plays better in the middle. Rivera has already said Beason is going back to the middle. Why not even try running them both in the middle with a 3-4 scheme? You've got the linebackers for it. I really wish Rivera was a better coach, but he just isn't. I use to call him John Fox Jr., but that's too big a knock to John Fox, he reminds me more of Seifert than of Fox.