The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday night that Kuechly is staying on with the franchise, joining its front office as a pro scout. Given the amount of tape he was known for watching in his playing days, it doesn’t seem like a bad fit.
Only now, Kuechly will be breaking down other teams only for other players.
From the Panthers:
"During the season, it'll be player evaluation and then advance scouting stuff. So if we play a team next week, we've got to get everything set up and ready to go, so when the coaches come in on Monday, they're not starting from square one," Kuechly said.
Kuechly chose to retire following last season at the young age of 28, citing a feeling he had lost a step. One of the best linebackers football has seen in recent history, Kuechly underwent shoulder surgery after the regular season and has sustained three known concussions in his career.
Kuechly was reportedly mulling a coaching and consultant role after retiring, and a job as a pro scout sounds like a natural choice.
"The biggest is thing is I still wanted to be involved with the team, around the game, and I wanted to be in the building because I still have a lot of people in the building that I'm friends with and I enjoy being around and I wasn't ready to quite give that up," Kuechly said.
"I explored some other things, and they were all really cool opportunities, but I like being around the team, I like being around Charlotte, I like the guys upstairs (in the front office), and this will give me, I think, the closest thing I can get to playing."
In his eight seasons with the Panthers, Kuechly notched 1,092 tackles, 75 tackles for loss, 66 pass deflections, 18 interceptions, 12.5 sacks, five first-team All-Pro nods and the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Anything else he gives the Panthers will be just gravy.
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