After eight years of dominant agility, speed, and leadership, the Carolina Panthers LB announced his retirement on Tuesday. Kuechly ends his career as a seven time Pro Bowler, five time All Pro, and the 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Because his retirement came as a shock, there has been an outpouring of respect and well wishes from fans, teammates, and other personalities around the league. There are a few things in football that can be predicted and this was not one of them.
Luke Kuechly has had a number of concussions since entering the league in 2012. One could attribute Luke’s early retirement to the unhealthy number of concussions that he has sustained over the years. There could always be other underlying factors that prompted him to make this decision, but the concussions seem to be the only way to make sense of this abrupt ending to a future Hall of Famer’s career.
Looking over his monstrous career statistics, it is hard to imagine the Carolina Panthers without their star Inside Linebacker. With 690 solo tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 18 interceptions, one could say that Luke Kuechly will be missed without a doubt. Luke’s passion and love for football could never go unnoticed by anyone, whether it be one of his coaches, an opposing coach, or an opposing Quarterback who’s plays continue to be read and interrupted by Kuechly.
Luke Kuechly is the heart of the Panthers’ defense. He is the defensive quarterback of the team. He will always be the kind and compassionate leader that can return an interception for a touchdown if need be. Although he has decided to end his football career after just 8 years, there are countless game day memories that will last forever. One will probably always be able to hear Luke chants coming from Bank of America Stadium.