Luke Kuechly couldn’t stay out of football for long. He last played in 2019, his final season in the league with the Carolina Panthers, but is back at training camp this week…for a different franchise and in a different role.
Sean McDermott was Kuechly’s defensive coordinator with the Panthers from 2011-16. He parlayed his success there to the head coaching job with the Buffalo Bills in 2017, where he’s helped build an AFC Title contender.
Kuechly has been up in Orchard Park to help his old DC out this week. It is unclear exactly what his role is, if he has an official one, but he has been seen working with Bills linebackers and observing drills.
Bills fans should appreciate having a five-time First-team All-Pro helping out at practice. For Panthers fans, though, it has to be a bit bittersweet.
Former Panthers LB Luke Kuechly was at Bills practice again today, this time on the field watching the linebackers work. Saw him talking one on one with Tremaine Edmunds during positional work as well as others on the sideline during 11-11. Video: pic.twitter.com/7m1iAo5rDQ
— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) August 16, 2021
Former Panthers LB Luke Kuechly visiting his former DC Sean McDermott in Orchard Park today pic.twitter.com/OIiEaKnqD7
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) August 16, 2021
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) August 17, 2021
Luke Kuechly had an incredibly impressive, albeit short NFL career with Carolina. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, just his second year in the league. He went on to make seven total All-Pro teams, seven Pro Bowls, and led the league in tackles twice.
Unfortunately, concussions ended his career early. After 2019, he announced his retirement at the age of 29. He remained with the Panthers for a bit after retirement, signing on as a pro scout in June 2020. He resigned from the spot after a year.
We’ll see if this materializes into an official role down the line. 18-year veteran Bob Babich is currently on staff coaching linebackers, but there’s always the chance for Kuechly to land an assistant or analyst role.
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