Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason walked slowly out of the training room after the Chicago Bears defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-6 on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.
As the face of the franchise, Beason knows the success, or lack of success, has more to do with him than any other player. He knows the “C” on his uniform means to sharing the good with other teammates and being the first to take the blame when you are 0-5.
A stern and energetic, Beason looked motionless and tired after probably the most frustrating loss of the season. He admitted the loss was painful and that he has to do more to make big plays.
“It starts with me, and if you are going to where that “C” on your jersey you have to be able to accept when things are going bad and put the pressure on your shoulders, and it starts with yourself first,” he said.
After forcing four interceptions and holding the Bears to 17 points until 3:41 left in the game, Beason couldn’t shake the defenses poor start.
No matter how bad the offense looked, he knows if the Panthers could have a couple of plays back on the Bears’ first two processions then Carolina would have had an opportunity to win. He said football is a team sport, and the Panthers have to play well in all three phases to win.
“It was a fast paced first series, and plays four (18-yard touchdown run) and five (68-yard touchdown run) the defense wished we could have had back,” he said. “But other than that I think we were pretty solid and were able to get some turnovers. Coach Fox said, ‘Coming in, it is going to be nine on seven,’ which is a run drill for us.”
Beason said it is hard to beat a team when a defense gives up 146 yards and two touchdowns on four carries by Bears tailback Matt Forte. Beason said the defense has to get better.
The Bears’ first two series were just as disappointing as the Panthers defense dropping four potential interceptions in a 20-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals three weeks ago. Unfortunately due to the lack of not making enough plays or giving up big plays, the Panthers are winless.
Beason also admitted that at times he has tried to do much because he wants to win. The University of Miami product said sometimes making gambles has worked and sometimes it hasn’t. Beason is hoping that some time away during the bye week can help the unit.
“Hopefully, we can step away from it a little bit and regroup,” he said. “And think about some of the things we have to do better. I really felt good going into this game, regardless of the quarterback situation. I really thought we were going to get this one.”
The Panthers didn’t get this one like Beason expected, but the Panthers did get boos throughout the game. Like the stand up guy he is, Beason said he it hurts to hear the jeers from fans.
But Beason understands the negative reaction from the crowd because the Panthers have performed terribly, and the fans pay a lot of money for tickets. He even admitted the Panthers regressed due to the Chicago loss.
Beason said Carolina came close to defeating the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, which had a lot of positive moments. It is important for the Panthers to be more consistent to have a chance to win, Beason added.
“We are at the bottom of the barrel right now,” he said. “Can it get worse? Absolutely, but our backs are against the wall and it is up to us to come out punching.”