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Panthers Set to Rebuild After Kuechly’s Move
Feb 4, 2020, 6:09:00 AM

Panthers Set to Rebuild After Kuechly’s Move

The closing weeks of the 2019 NFL season seemed to be too much for the Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. The Panthers LB has decided to hang his helmet and end his game for good at age 28.

For the first time in his career, he seemed to be less than perfect in the final weeks of the season - as he prided to be so. He seemed to be a step slow, missing tackles that seemed to be easy for him, losing gap controls that he would have never lost in his prime.

No one expected Kuechly to retire so early in his career. It was a bomb that suddenly blew up in the faces of every single Panthers player and staff. He said that he was no longer sure if he could play at the same level he did before with such speed and physicality.

That started the rumours of a rebuild for the team.

Quarterback Cam Newton took on the ‘Superman’ persona, and Kuechly was the ‘Man of Steel’.

‘Luke is like going to a famous steakhouse, hearing about Wagyu steak’, veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. ‘It’s been pampered all its life, played music, too, and wined and all this so it can be prime for you to enjoy. And then when you get to this famous steakhouse and you order the steak and bite into it, it’s like, wow, it is as advertised’.

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Kuechly wasn’t just one of the best linebackers in the modern game. He was a popular name and was said to be one of the best linebackers in the history of the game. His name was usually lined up with Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher.

A big question now lies before new Panthers coach Matt Rhule, what’s next for the team?

‘I look at the Panthers as an opportunity to say hey, what kind of culture is going to be built here? What is the identity going to be? What’s our plan?’, Rhule said. ‘We’re just going to build. In uncertain times when there’s transition, you just take your two hands and start to build. Each and every year, you build a new team. No matter what you do the year before, you start over from scratch and you build’.

‘We’re going to build a team. You know it’s going to be hard. You know it takes time. You know it takes energy. So now what’s next? What’s next?’, the coach added.

It seemed to be a big thing for the Panthers to consider now that they have lost one of their best players. The 28-year-old linebacker has been always an on-field coach by most of the players. Maybe he could find his way back into the team as part of the coaching staff alongside Rhule.

Who knows, maybe it could be a great rebuild season ahead for the Panthers once they shake off this retirement thing with Kuechly.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA