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Kuechly Says Concussion Won’t Affect the Way He Plays
The Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is considered one of the best linebackers in the NFL right now, because he can play against both the pass and the run. Some also say Kuechly is the perfect linebacker for today’s NFL because it allows him to use both his run stopping and pass defending skills. If you want to bet on the Panthers this season, check out the betting wagers for 2017 NFL games.
In the past, NFL defenses required their linebackers to be strong against the run and rush the quarterback on certain downs. Since the league was more run oriented at the time, teams didn’t really have a need for linebackers that could defend against the pass.
These days, the league is extremely pass friendly and passing numbers like 4,000 yards, which used to be a major milestone, are now common, which means defenses can use all the pass defending help they can get.
With defenses now looking for linebackers that can play both the run and pass, Kuechly is the perfect candidate to fill the role.
Kuechly’s smarts, speed, and toughness make him the perfect middle linebacker for today’s NFL. He is fast enough to cover tight ends, running backs and receivers when asked, and still fast enough to come back and play the run.
Kuechly’s particular set of skills come in handy for the Panthers, who play in the NFC South and have to face quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan twice a year.
With quarterbacks like that in his division, Kuechly gets spread around the field quite a lot. The star linebacker doesn’t seem to mind being spread all over the place. He recently told reporters that he enjoys being able to run around because it’s his preferred way to play.
When asked if he would rather make an interception or a big stop in the run game, Kuechly didn’t hesitate when he said he would rather have an interception because it has a bigger impact on the game. He said a two yard loss might have an effect on a series, but an interception is a game changer.
Carolina head coach Ron Rivera, who played linebacker in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the 1986 Chicago Bears, compared the way defenses played in his day to how they play now.
Rivera said things were a little different back then because the game was more physical than cerebral. Back then, teams didn’t do a lot of pre-snap movements and hardly ever spread the defense around. This led to a lot of physical play, especially in the run game.
Rivera also acknowledged that Kuechly is perfect for today’s game, but added that he could also play in any defensive system in the past, because he is just that good.
Last season, Kuechly didn’t play in all 16 games because he suffered a concussion in week 11 which kept him off the field for the rest of the season. It was the second concussion of his career.
Nine months later, Kuechly is eager to get back on the field and return to doing what he does best. When asked if the concussion will change the way he plays, Kuechly answered, no.
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