Perhaps one of the shining lights of the Giants defense has been the play of their linebackers, and specifically, the play of linebacker Jon Beason. Beason, who was acquired from the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of October, has done a tremendous job at the middle linebacker position and he has gained a lot of attention from the media, fans and more importantly, the respect from his team.
"He walked in the door and like I said earlier, the guys gravitated to him and he has that type of personality, he’s that type of a leader," said linebackers coach Jim Herrmann. "He’s a very upbeat leader and it is. He has an infectious personality. Most great leaders are. You see that in him. To be able to walk into the door and play right away, that’s not easy."
Herrmann says that one critical aspect of Beason's game that he has excelled at, has been his ability to communicate on the field.
"I’ve always been a firm believer that there has to be one voice on the field. Coaches are on the sideline, somebody has to be the voice on the field," said Herrmann. "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."
Meanwhile, standing next to Beason is Spencer Paysinger, who is having a breakout season at the weakside linebacker position.
Each game, Paysinger is involved in big plays and has been a torpedo all over the field, from solo tackles to gang tackles. In the first matchup against the Eagles during week five, Paysinger had 9 solo tackles and even though the Giants lost their fifth straight game to start the season, he was commended for his play. Paysinger was granted the starting job at the weakside position, and has managed to keep it to the delight of coaches.
"I think Spencer has done a great job this year. We had to put him in that role and he took to that role very easily, in different packages," said Herrmann. "He has developed into a good football player and continues to play and get his ankle right. I think having Jon will help him, too, because Jon’s been in the league for seven or eight years and this is Spencer’s third or fourth year, I think. It will help him, just to see a different type of guy and personality."
Even though Paysinger was not on the field for any snaps this past week, the coaches blamed this on the schematic that they wanted to run against Philadelphia and their high octane offense.
One player that did come up big and finally looks healthy this year is linebacker Jacquian Williams, and he will be crucial for the Giants defense as they look to gain ground in their division.
"After looking at the film, I was like, okay, he’s back to form, back to where I was hoping he would be at this point. Hopefully he continues to get better and better," said Herrmann. "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. You need to touch the oven and feel that it’s hot to learn not to touch it anymore and the same thing is true. 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."
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