After getting drafted 9th overall by the Carolina Panthers in 2012 Luke Keuchly quickly cemented himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL. His wikipedia page is a joke.
What's an even bigger joke is that in 2012 I though he was going to be a bust. I don't even remember why I just know I'm incredibly wrong and glad I was. His accolades are outrageous. Eight years in the NFL; seven All-Pro selections. He easily could've been all eight years as he led the NFL in tackles and was ROY in 2012.
Although Kuechly was DPOY in his second year; I am drawn to 2015. I think of the three pick-6s; two of which came in the playoffs. The 2015 Panthers are probably the best team to not win the Super Bowl in the 2010s. They just ran into an all-time defense and corpse of a HOF QB. Kuechly was the face of the defense with Josh Norman that year. He is not why they lost. His name isn't Mike Tolbert. (which kills me to say because I loved him; he was built to play in the dozo-system)
This retirement doesn't come as too much of a surprise to me given the information on head injuries and Kuechley's history with them. The culture has changed in the NFL as it feels like every off season since Megatron retired at least one future Hall of Famer has called it quits sooner than fans would've hoped. Luke's a Boston College grad who's my fucking age which means he has entire life in front of him.
âThere's parallels to Gronk, although even I'll admit that statistically Gronk was not in the same ballpark as Kuechley in his swan song.
â I think 87 will take it.
Unfortunately, football is a violent game. While strides have been made to make football safer; it's game where if you fuck around with its DNA too much you get something entirely different. There is only so much you can do. Football can also fuck with your DNA. As linebacker there are more risks than most positions with the number of hits they're involved in per game. Things have definitely changed for the 1980's neck-roll MLB, but 59 was making 130+ tackles a year. The dude was everywhere.
âSadly, Luke battled concussions his entire career. I just ctrl-f'd "concu" on his wiki and there were 11 entries (including sources). When you watch the video it's clear as day he doesn't want to retire, but feels like he has to. He's a smart guy. He's made his money. Gotta take care of his mentals.
Luke Kuechly was everything you could ask for in a middle linebacker. In only eight years he did more than you do to make Canton in the eyes of ole dozie. He will have a Gold Jacket someday. I too am sad to see him go, but when you know it's time; it's time. The only bad thing I'll say about Luke is that 59 is a hideous number, but when Thomas Davis has 58 what can you do?
Congrats on a great career, Luke. You can say Cam's a cow for not diving on the ball now, it's okay.
Luke has already gotten a ton of love from guys around the league past and present. Gronk's tweet is actually funny!
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