Watch: Carolina Panthers legend tackles insane military obstacle course
By Dean Jones
Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly got out of his comfort zone to tackle a military obstacle course.
If there was one word to describe former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, it would be a machine. The perennial All-Pro’s presence at the second level is still sorely missed by the organization three years after he hung up his cleats due to long-term health concerns, which brought a premature end to a potential Pro Football Hall of Fame stint with the franchise.
Kuechly remains closely connected to the Panthers. He held a scouting position immediately following retirement, is part of their radio commentary team, and has been seen around the training facility plenty before and after the team fired head coach Matt Rhule.
Perhaps Kuechly’s path will involve coaching at some stage. There was no more intelligent player on the field and his assistance with the likes of Jeremy Chinn in 2020 played a leading role in the former second-round pick’s exceptional rookie campaign.
Carolina Panthers legend Luke Kuechly tackles military obstacle course
The former Boston College standout got the opportunity to prove he was still in football shape after a grueling day of training at a military-style obstacle course. USAA offered Kuechly a chance to participate in a series of drills and obstacles with U.S Air Force veterans in Fellsmere, Florida.
This association is close to Kuechly’s heart as his brother is a veteran of the ROTC and Army Reserves. The popular figure gained a deeper respect for military members by spending the day at the site, identifying common ground with Air Force veterans quickly due to the similar ethos of teamwork and adaptability with both professions.
Released as part of the “I Can Do That” series from Whistle Sports, the visuals as Kuechly gets pushed to the limit attempting to finish the obstacle course while receiving coaching from his military counterparts are incredible.
The experience was hosted this summer by USAA, the Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, as part of their “Salute to Service” initiative, fostering a greater understanding between current and former NFL players and the military.
This was an obvious challenge for Kuechly, but he proved there’s still life in the tank just yet. Although a return to the gridiron is not going to happen, unfortunately.
With that being said, interim head coach Steve Wilks is attempting to restore pride back into the Panthers and return the organization to methods that proved successful in the 2010s. That’s why it’s vital that Kuechly remains part of the fabric as an inspiration and someone the next generation can turn to for advice and guidance.