Examining the aftermath of Luke Kuechly’s retirement 1 year on

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Kuechly
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Luke Kuechly /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) Tahir Whitehead /

How the Panthers defense performed in 2020

It was always going to be hard for the Carolina Panthers without their best defensive player. Luke Kuechly’s influence on and off the field cannot truly be measured and things did not look good without him early in the campaign.

Free-agent signing Tahir Whitehead was given the daunting task of filling the void, something he just wasn’t able to do. His lackluster production in Kuechly’s absence just made Carolina’s fanbase pine for the former Boston College standout even more and things didn’t start improving for Phil Snow’s unit until he was finally removed from the rotation.

All things considered, the Panthers can be encouraged with the way they performed defensively in 2020. They made great strides as the campaign wore on and with a couple more positive additions during the offseason, this could be a special group in 2021.

Their run defense improved significantly and the front seven managed to generate pressure down the stretch after struggling in this area during the first half of the season.

Kuechly was missed beyond measure.

But he is doing his bit to ensure the next generation reach their potential.

The pro scout has been credited for playing a leading role in Jeremy Chinn’s meteoric rise to superstardom by going above and beyond the call of duty to study film with the second-round pick to further aid his initial development.

A further testament to his love for the game and his passion for the Panthers to succeed.