On Friday, it will be a year.

June 12, 2014, was the day Jon Beason was running across a grass field at a Giants OTA workout and felt a pinch in the bottom of his foot. He had to be carted away from practice, tried to rehab the injury without surgery (which included a lengthy immobilization and missing all of training camp), and played only four regular-season games before he was forced to have a corrective procedure.

The injury weakened the Giants' defense, undermined his role as a leader and was one of the medical issues that contributed to a miserable season.

Which is why when Beason was asked on Monday if he believes the unit is better than its abysmal ranking in 2014, he responded in the affirmative.

"We're a lot healthier, too," he said. "That's everything. That's the most important part."

For Beason, throughout his career, it has been. When he's able to be on the field, he's a dynamic player. But too often injuries have kept him away.

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So far this spring, he's been feeling good.

"I'm able to run around and it feels great," the middle linebacker said. "Change of direction feels good. It is literally a non-issue. We are just being smart. I'm still limited just based on the time of year."

He said if the season were to start this week, he'd be ready to play -- at least physically. Mentally, he still has some learning to do when it comes to Steve Spagnuolo's new schemes.

"You're sitting there in meetings and you obviously have to pay attention and go home every day and get ready for the next install," Beason said. "Not even just watching myself, but watching everybody. Every rep that I can get, mentally, on the iPad, has been clutch so far. Just trying to go through it and get familiar with it so you know it like the back of your hand.

"It makes you feel young again," the 30-year-old Beason noted.

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If it makes his play young again, the Giants will be all for that, too.