Brandon Meriweather reunites with Jon Beason

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jon Beason and Brandon Meriweather enjoyed the NFL’s version of a family reunion today at Giants’ training camp.

The linebacker and safety were teammates for four seasons at the University of Miami (2003-06). They share a birthday, Jan. 14. The two players were selected 24th (Meriweather) and 25th in the 2007 NFL Draft.

And now they’ve reunited. The Giants today signed Meriweather, a nine-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, to shore up the back of their defense, which has been depleted by injuries.

“Once a Cane (Miami Hurricane), always a Cane,” Beason said after practice. “So to me, it’s about putting the band back together. We played all four years together, he was All-American, he was the quarterback of our defense and got everybody lined up. Extremely intelligent player, could be coaching one day. Understands fronts, run fits, coverage, entry angles, how to break on the ball. That’s how you get big hits, taking the proper steps and anticipation. He’s going to help us tremendously, a veteran, another voice back there, and I think it’s going to make our secondary a lot better.”

“That’s my brother,” Meriweather said. “It’s like going to a family reunion. It’s like getting back with your brother. In his and my case, getting back with my little brother.”

Meriweather was the New England Patriots’ first-round draft choice in 2007. Beason was chosen moments later by the Carolina Panthers.

“We had an ongoing bet who was going to go first, and he one-upped me,” Beason said. “It was all good.”

“I beat him, he knows that,” Meriweather said. “I actually thought he was going to go first, but yeah, I beat him.”

Meriweather spent four seasons with the Patriots and has also played for Chicago and Washington. He was a Pro Bowler in 2009-10. So was Beason, who was traded here on Oct. 4, 2013.

Of course, the Giants are far less interested in their friendship than they are in how well Meriweather can play. With Nat Berhe (calf), Landon Collins (knee) and Mykkele Thompson (Achilles tendon, out for the season) sidelined, they need help at safety.

“I’m excited, man,” Meriweather said. “Anytime you can come to a great organization, you’ve always got to be excited and ready to help.

“I’m going to go in and I’m going to put my all into it. I’m going to get with coach every day until I get it the way I knew every other defense.”

Asked if he is still the player who was selected to two Pro Bowls, Meriweather said, “I know I am.”

Meriweather was thrown into the fire in the full-pads practice, taking far more reps than he anticipated.

“They actually threw me in and I didn’t know I was going to get that many reps at all,” he said. “I thought I was going to do some running around, but not that.

“It’s always good to learn on the fly. It’s always good just to learn, just throw them in and let them sink or swim. That’s the way you learn.”

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