Thursday, October 31, 2013
Beason addition boosts Giants linebackers
By Kieran Darcy
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jon Beason has already received lots of praise for the impact he's made since joining the New York Giants, but linebackers coach Jim Herrmann got to join the chorus this week.
The Giants made their position coaches available to the media Tuesday, during the team's bye week, meaning Herrmann had a chance to share his thoughts on his new starting middle linebacker.
"Obviously he's a Pro Bowl-caliber type guy and I think our guys like that in the room," Herrmann said. "It's different and new. He has a gregarious personality. He's very easy to get along with. You can tell why he's been a good leader."
Jon Beason has quickly come in and established himself as a leader on the Giants' defense.
The Carolina Panthers, after benching Beason in favor of former Giant Chase Blackburn, elected to trade Beason to the Giants back on Oct. 4 for a late-round draft pick. He's quickly made a big impact with Big Blue, leading the team in tackles in two of the past three games.
But Beason's leadership at middle linebacker, said Herrmann, has been even more important.
"I've always been a firm believer that there has to be one voice on the field," Herrmann said. "Coaches are on the sideline, somebody has to be the voice on the field. When you have a guy like that, that one voice resonates to everyone on the field, and the results are you have 11 guys on the same page, which is good."
The Giants' linebacker corps had been heavily criticized this season, prior to Beason's arrival. It was a young, relatively inexperienced group. Mark Herzlich had failed to distinguish himself in the middle, and Keith Rivers hasn't done anything particularly noteworthy, either.
Herrmann said he has been impressed by Spencer Paysinger, however, the third-year pro in his first season as a full-time starter. Paysinger is fourth on the team with 39 tackles.
"I think Spencer has done a great job this year," Herrmann said. "He has developed into a good football player."
"I think he's learning the nuances of the game, the nuances of coverage and covering people in man-to-man. That comes with experience," Herrmann said. "You need to learn how to cover a guy and different nuances of routes and where he needs to be. The more he does it, the better he is going to be."
Herrmann is well aware of the criticism directed at his unit, but thinks they've been better than people think.
"As a group, I think those guys have done a good job," Herrmann said. "In today's world, it's about wins and losses. You don't win and you lose, somebody’s going to take the criticism. It's just part of the business.
"The biggest thing I tell them is, 'Look, at the end of the day, can you walk off the field, look in the mirror, and say I played my best today?' If you do that, then you can keep doing that and get better each and every week. You'll eventually be successful."