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Giants getting heads around complex D

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The Sports Xchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Middle linebacker Jon Beason has been in multiple systems during his nine-year career.

However, the current system being installed by new New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is probably one of the most complex Beason has ever encountered.

“This year we’re dealing with a new defensive coordinator, so you’re like a rookie all over again,” Beason told Ross Tucker and David Diehl of SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“It’s the most complex system I’ve been in.”

What makes the system more complex, according to Beason, is that it is more of a proactive system designed to have an answer to just about anything the offense might throw the Giants’ way.

“Offenses create problems by formations, moving people around, shifting motions, and it’s all built into every call where we can make a change,” Beason said. “Obviously, it’s a lot more pressure on the Mike linebacker, but the onus is also on the SAM linebacker, the WILL, the safeties — everyone has a call.

“Even the defensive linemen are expected to know a lot more as opposed to relying on the check or the Mike,” Beason added.

In addition to the new system, the Giants have quite a number of new players on the defensive side of the ball.

They include veterans such as defensive end George Selvie, defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis, and linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas, and inexperienced players such as rookie safety Landon Collins and defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, and young veterans like safeties Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, the latter two the primary competitors for one of the starting safety spots opposite Collins.

“We’re going to be young, and that’s not something I’m accustomed to,” Beason said, adding, “I’m all for young guys playing who come in, work and prepare, and want to get after it.”

Then there is the matter of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the franchise player who remains unsigned.

“Obviously, he’s dealing with the tag so it’s tough,” Beason said of his teammate. “I know one thing: He’s working extremely hard, he’s getting the information and he’ll be ready to roll, no doubt about it.”

Beason, who is coming off season-ending foot surgery, is also hoping that he will be ready to go when the curtain rises on the 2015 NFL campaign.

Last year, the 30-year-old linebacker suffered a freak toe injury during a non-contact OTA drill that took its toll on his performance and limited him to just four games.

While Beason hasn’t had any limitations regarding what he can do this spring, the team is being extra cautious in ensuring that they increase the chances of having Beason play in his first 16-game season since 2010.

“For me it’s also staying healthy,” Beason said. “I only know how to practice hard, so what the Giants have been doing is taking reps off me at practice so it’s frustrating, but I get the method to their madness.”


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