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Carolina Panthers

Kuechly focused on wins, not tackles in 2013

Posted July 24, 2013
Updated July 25, 2013

Luke Kuechly

— Former ACC Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly was a highly-touted draft pick who did not disappoint in his first season at football’s highest level. The former Boston College stand-out played every bit like the next star linebacker for the Carolina Panthers as he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"I kept trying to tell myself, ‘it's all football, it's going to be the same stuff you see in college, it's just going to be a little quicker,’" Kuechly said. "Our playbook was a little bit different, but the schemes and ideas are relatively the same."

When asked about it, Kuechly shrugged off any sophomore slump notion. Without the pesky initiation process, the 22-year-old said he finds the game getting easier in the offseason.

"Now, I can kind of skip all that, I know most of the guys on the team, I know the coaches, I have a pretty good idea of the playbook," said Kuechly, who recorded 164 tackles, a sack, two interceptions, and eight pass deflections in 2012.

How exactly does he even begin to go about topping a year where he led the league in tackles?

"I don't have a tackle number because I think that kind of gets skewed every once in a while," Kuechly said. "I think if you make impact plays in games, that's the most important thing; causing a fumble, forcing a turnover, or making a big play."

One stat he'd like to see a spike in? W's.

The panthers finished sub-500 for the third consecutive season. Seven of their nine losses were by six or fewer points.

"In a sense, it makes you feel ok, like, 'alright, we're in the games,'" Kuechly explained. "But then at the same time, why weren't we winning? We played great in three-and-a-half quarters of most of the games, but then in the last five to eight minutes, what happened?"

That is a question that Kuechly said will no longer be an acceptable one to ask by him or his teammates.

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  • Packman24 Jul 25, 7:44 a.m.

    Kuechly=Beast! Love that guy we need two more linebackers just like him!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 24, 7:21 p.m.

    Kuechly is one of the best picks the Panthers have ever made. I really enjoyed watching in play last year; he's smart, articulate and hard working. Kuechly will have a very good NFL career, and I hope it's all played in Charlotte.

  • Hokies94 Jul 24, 6:35 p.m.

    He had a great interview tonight on WRAL. One of my favorite players. He has one of the best motors in all of football. He never quits on a play, and he is a true leader for this team. If most others had his attitude and desire we would see this team in the playoffs. He will make the All Pro team soon. Rookie of the Year last season was well deserved.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
Final
CLE 107
CHI 98
Final
WAS 84
NOP 88
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
Final
NYK 107
MIL 120
Final
BRK 99
PHI 88
Final
DAL 108
MEM 103
Final
SAN 106
SAC 99
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
LAL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKST
 
Final
EDM 3
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
SJS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
FLA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
TAM
 
Final
PIT 30
HOU 23