The Carolina Panthers superstar just wants to play football….
Following an offseason shoulder surgery, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is ready to roll.
That is the impression he gave off when speaking to the media Tuesday. Brian Strickland of Panthers.com wrote a piece detailing Kuechly’s session with the media following the conclusion of minicamp practices on Tuesday.
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During the session, he made one thing abundantly clear: He wants to be playing football. He is out on the field during team drills, but he cannot participate in them.
"“I honestly don’t say a whole lot. I just want to be out there, man,” Kuechly said. “It feels like I’m out there without being out there.”"
The Boston College product had a tremendous season in 2017. He appeared in 15 games, starting all of them, recording 74 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three interceptions and a forced fumble. For his efforts, he was named to his fifth Pro Bowl (which he did not play in due to having shoulder surgery) and earned his fourth First-Team All-Pro honor.
Kuechly also offered his feelings about new defensive coordinator Eric Washington and he had nothing but good things to say.
"“He’s got great energy. He has things going the way he wants them to. … He’s commanded the room. I don’t think there was much of a transition period of guys getting to know him because everybody’s that’s been here respects him and knows how hard he works and that the guys in the D-line room that he coached the last few years have been excellent,” Kuechly said."
These quotes should be encouraging news to Carolina Panthers fans. For one, he sounds like he is focused and ready to go when the opportunity to play becomes available.
Secondly, I like the fact that he seems to be on board with Eric Washington. Some of you may be thinking “Well, he’s not going to say he is terrible.” Even still, an endorsement from the nucleus of your defense is always a very good thing. The Carolina Panthers need him to be firing on all cylinders this season, and being on the same page with the defensive coordinator is a very good start.
The expectations for Luke Kuechly and the Carolina Panthers defense have never been higher. Much like teammate Julius Peppers on Monday, it sounds as if Kuechly is itching to get back to work and help bring the franchise its first-ever Super Bowl trophy.