According to The Charlotte Observer, Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason expects to stay at the Mike and man the middle in Week 7 when the Panthers take on the Dallas Cowboys after being off this week. Beason was unable to play in Sunday’s 16-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks due to various injuries, and Luke Kuechly started in his place at the middle linebacker position with 11 tackles and a pick.
Kuechly is likely a better MLB due to his past production in college for Boston College, but he told the Observer when asked if he preferred the inside or outside, ““We’ll see what happens in the bye week. It doesn’t really matter too much to me.”
Beason has, in my eyes, underperformed this season due to injuries which has been one of the disappointments on defense early on. Hopefully he can be rejuvenated after the bye week and help take full advantage of a poor Cowboys interior that has failed to adequately pave the way for young, talented RB DeMarco Murray. Only left guard Nate Livings has been at least average on the inside, so that’s a matchup the Panthers should be able to win easily.
The Panthers coaching staff is still evaluating whether or not they will keep Kuechly at the Will, and I don’t anticipate a change happening this early in the season. This is especially true given that Beason will have two weeks to rest by the time Carolina faces Dallas, so he should be fresh and ready to finally make the tackles that he has missed this year due to some nagging and frustrating injuries.
From what I saw against Seattle, Kuechly is clearly better off on the inside than outside, while the difference between Beason’s play at both positions is negligibly different. I expect the Panthers to switch things up at some point later in the year, because it seems like the rookie LB is more of a natural fit at MLB.
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