Dan Connor Receives Support from Defensive Leader

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 05: Jon Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers enters the field during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Bank of America on October 5, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 09: Dan Connor #57 of the Carolina Panthers moves on the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium on August, 9, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I still don’t know what to make of the nuances of the repositioned linebacking core. Jon Beason playing on the weakside, and Dan Connor in the middle. It seems silly when you first think about it, especially when the title Pro Bowler is placed before Beason’s name. But what’s a title? And a Pro Bowler, should have very little problem adjusting from middle to weakside.

Connor says that he feels best-suited for the middle linebacker job, as that’s where he feels comfortable and excelled while at Penn State, where he received All-American honors on the field.

I guess the funny part in all of this, is Beason is still calling the plays in the huddle, while Connor directs traffic and calls for adjustments at the line of scrimmage. I do wonder how long it will be until Connor is comfortable enough to be charged with the playcalling duties as well.

In the meantime, Beason has made himself available to Connor with an “anytime, anyplace” sort of understanding between the two, to answer any questions Connor might have along the way.

I talk to him (Beason) multiple times each day. Doesn’t matter where, and he doesn’t care. He’s great. He’s always been there for me. That’s what a great leader does. He’s been priceless, just unbelievable. –Panthers MLB, Dan Connor

Originally, I thought this was an interesting – bordering questionable decision being made, but with the confidence that Beason is showing in Connor and with the transition that he’s making to the weakside (like I knew he’d be able to do), I feel a little more at ease with each passing day.

It’s a little weird because I do have that comfort level of making the checks out there. But coach wants to put a little bit more of a load on Dan, because he’s a quiet guy and wants him to show a little more personality, and I think it’s going to be good for him. –Panthers LB Jon Beason

John Fox’s thoughts on the switch were fairly comforting to those who may have had any doubts.

It’s really not as big a deal as people make it out to be. They’re both smart guys and they both communicate in the defense, no matter which linebacker it is. –Panthers head coach, John Fox

Which in the end, leaves us to ponder whether or not Jamar Williams will see any playing time during the regular season? Barring an injury, probably not. And considering the weakside is where Williams was most suited in Chicago, let’s just hope there’s not an injury there as long as Beason occupies the position.

Coming up later this evening, I’ll ask a similar question as I asked the other night, in regard to which defensive player are you watching the closest?

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Tags: Carolina Panthers Dan Connor Jamar Williams John Fox Jon Beason Linebackers Middle Linebacker NFL Penn State Weakside Linebacker