Jon Beason beaten up but not beaten by losses

Jon Beason walked into the media room at Bank of America Stadium on Monday wearing dark sweats with a matching mood.

"I hope it's not repetitive," Beason said to two reporters waiting to interview him.

It's the repetitive losing that's worn on the Carolina Panthers' Pro Bowl linebacker.
Like everyone else in the Panthers organization, this has been a difficult season for Beason. He switched positions at midseason, has battled a knee injury much of the year and has seen his productivity dip below his standards.

While he's on track to lead the Panthers (1-11) in tackles for the fourth consecutive year, Beason will take little from the 2010 season other than perspective.

"It's going to be a tough one, man. It's going to be a tough pill to swallow," he said. "But we're men. I think when you go through the bad, it definitely makes the good all the more sweeter."

Beason has been good since the Panthers drafted him in the first round in 2007. As a rookie he set a team record with 160 tackles, a mark he broke last season when he finished with 169 stops and made the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year.

Beason agreed to move from middle linebacker to the weakside before this season when Thomas Davis was injured. Just when he was getting comfortable at the new spot, Beason returned to the middle when Dan Connor broke his hip in Week9.

Though Beason is on pace to finish with 168 tackles, one off last season's record total, he didn't record a sack until Sunday at Seattle and admits his production is off a bit.

"I look at the numbers, and they're pretty comparable to everybody else in the league. So I don't think I fell off or anything like that," Beason said. "But personally, I know I'm capable of a lot more. That's a tribute to the guys around me. The guys around me are playing well, too."

In his first season as a starter, strongside linebacker James Anderson has a career-high 120 tackles and has filled up the stat sheet with four sacks, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and an interception.

Jason Williams, claimed in November after Dallas waived him, also has played well.

Beason said at times he has tried to do too much - perhaps a product of switching positions and a tendency that has plagued the defense as a whole. The Panthers have fallen from fourth to 17th in total defense in five weeks.

"I think there's trust issues because, like we've been saying all year, different guys make different mistakes at different times. We can't all be on the same page at the same time," Beason said. "You're guessing. Should you go do your job or should you do someone else's job?"

"When you try to do someone else's job, you end up not doing your job.

"So it's a reoccurring event. Over and over again, just not executing."

Panthers coach John Fox understands Beason's frustrations.

"I think it's been a tough season on everybody, I think him included," Fox said. "He had some teammates (leave) that I know he was close to. But he's responded well. It's gone for him probably like it's gone for all of us.

"Not a reflection on his play, but just our results."

Beason has stayed off the injury report, but he has been bothered by swelling in his knee. He receives treatment during the week so he can practice and be on the field on Sundays.

"On Monday, it kind of starts all over," he said of treating the knee.

But there's no starting over for the Panthers - at least not until the offseason.

"When you go down in the dumps and you feel like it can't get any worse, you remember those times and how it felt. I think moving forward just in preparation and the offseason, the things that you do on a day-to-day basis are going to determine what happens in September," Beason said.

"The beauty about this league is no one really remembers what you did yesterday. It's all about tomorrow."

Click here to order Jon Beason’s proCane Rookie Card.

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