Luke Kuechly: A Rich Man in the Middle


Luke Kuechly is the heart of the Panthers defense. What do you do with the best linebacker in football? You lock him down. According to reports by Rand Getlin of, the Panthers have done just that with a five year sixty two million dollar extension. That should keep Kuechly safely in the middle of the Panthers defense during his prime seasons.

Kuechly is quickly taking over the League. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and then he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after that. When people talk about Luke Kuechly, they mention players Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis as being his comparison points. There is just one difference, Urlacher and Lewis never had Cam Newton on the other side of ball.

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Yes, Lewis got Joe Flacco at the end of his run. But there has not been a team up of young star quarterback and young middle linebacker quite like this before. Newton and Kuechly could be a touchstones to a productive era of Panther football. Now it is just time to put the other pieces around them.

Has one man ever seen the union of quarterback and linebacker deliver a Super Bowl? Yes they have. That is Ron Rivera, head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He saw the union of Jim McMahon and Mike Singletary first hand lead the Chicago Bears to their only Super Bowl win. Yes, Walter Payton had a lot to do with that but the point still holds.

In fact, it might be true to say that Rivera has been trying to rebuild that Bears team here in Carolina. He has Sean McDermott, an attacking style defensive coordinator. He relies on defensive pressure from the line with an intuitive linebacker to diagnose and finish plays. The only thing he is missing is the dynamic scoring on the offense side. That is where we could use Walter Payton and the last few offensive lines he played with.

Congratulations on getting your money, Luke. Go beat the Jaguars!