Carolina Panthers: Is the Luke Kuechly Era About to Start?

Disappointment is part and parcel of the NFL. Sometimes athletes live up to the hype. Sometimes they do not. Luke Kuechly falls into the former category, yet he is not affecting the sports lines for the 2017 NFL season quite like people expected.

There was good reason to get excited about Kuechly, but the NFL has changed. Linebackers no longer exist to bang heads with running backs. They need to run and cover when the opportunity arises. They must be fast and highly versatile, and that is what Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers seemed to promise when he first showed up. He had the speed and coverage skills to be a superstar. 

The Panthers’ NFC South schedule is a tough one, and it will be Kuechly’s objective to prove his mettle against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Jameis Winston. When he was questioned about the task awaiting him, Kuechly suggested that he was actually looking forward to running around a lot more.

He realized that he would be expected to cover and he was ready to take on the challenge. One wouldn’t have expected Panthers coach Ron Rivera to be a perfect fit for Kuechly. Rivera comes from an era in the NFL when the game was very physical. Though, Rivera seems to have adapted to the cerebral approach in the game of football. 

He has certainly availed Kuechly the room to adapt and to find his footing. Rivera, like everyone else, seemed to agree that Kuechly came into the game at the perfect time, when the transformation to more cerebral play was happening.

Kuechly, seemed to have the perfect blend of physical strength, speed, and intelligence. However, Kuechly hasn’t enjoyed the best run of late, as the previous season saw the athlete get sidelined by a concussion in Week 11.

Kuechly hasn’t been able to live down his 2016 season, not after the tough linebacker was reduced to tears as he was carted off the field, his football future taking on a gloomy cast. 

Kuechly’s sobbing painted him in such a vulnerable color that his situation left many of his fans heartbroken. Since coming back to the NFL for the 2017 season, people have been wondering whether Kuechly’s 2016 season has changed his game.

Rivera doesn’t think people have anything to worry about and Kuechly came out to assure Panthers’ fans that the current concussion scare would not make him hesitant on the field. 

Anyone that has spoken to Kuechly will agree that he is eager to play football. He has been working hard to return to form and he has commended the Panthers’ personnel that have helped him recover.

The Panthers have shown some hesitation with regards to deploying Kuechly and it seems like he is ready to trust them with his future. He appreciates the fact that the team isn’t taking chances with his health. 

Rivera has admitted that he’s still a little cautious about Kuechly, but he is ready to make effective use of the athlete once he is convinced of his physical and mental well-being. 

Everyone is still hyping Luke Kuechly as that one athlete that came into the game at the perfect time. They want to believe that this is his era. Luke needs to use the 2017 season to prove his supporters right.