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Luke Kuechly earns defensive rookie of the year honors

Jimmy Graham, Luke Kuechly AP

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was named as the league’s defensive rookie of the year on Saturday.

Keuchly was selected with the No. 9 overall selection by Carolina in last year’s draft and immediately became a tackling machine for the Panthers. Kuechly led the league, not just rookies, with 164 tackles on the year. He had 15 more tackles than the next closest player on the list as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Navarro Bowman was second with 149.

Kuechly earned 28 of the 50 votes by an Associated Press panel to earn the award. Kuechly beat out Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (11), Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Heyward (6), St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (3) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (2).

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23 Responses to “Luke Kuechly earns defensive rookie of the year honors”
  1. wtgriffin says: Feb 2, 2013 8:00 PM

    While tackles as a stat has some room for bias, Kuechly earned it.

  2. xplicitpits says: Feb 2, 2013 8:01 PM

    Hopefully Seattle doesn’t get robbed of every deserving NFL award, otherwise the NFL is going to be in a world of hurting for the next 6-7 years! Go Hawks BWAG led and directed the Number 1 Scored Against Defense in the League in his Rookie Year!

  3. vexey says: Feb 2, 2013 8:02 PM

    I’m a total Panthers homer so of course I love this

    Uncle Luke is amazing and I’m glad he’s here

  4. jtchernak says: Feb 2, 2013 8:04 PM

    If Chandler jones didn’t get injure he would have gotten some votes

  5. taurusturner says: Feb 2, 2013 8:11 PM

    Kuechly really deserved it. Talk about a guy being a rotational LB and not getting his first start until week 5 at MLB and leading the ENTIRE NFL in tackles not including a sack two interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries. Carolina has some real talent with Cam as the OROY last year and Kuechly the DROY this year. It’s time they made a run at the playoffs. Thanks to Hurney for Cam and Luke now Gettleman should take us to a SUPERBOWL with some nice additions this upcoming draft.

  6. skinswillsurprise says: Feb 2, 2013 8:14 PM

    Russ Wilson was robbed!!

  7. kingbeason52 says: Feb 2, 2013 8:17 PM

    Well deserved..See ya Beason

  8. fcoprado says: Feb 2, 2013 8:21 PM

    In my opinion Rams CB Janoris Jenkin should’ve been defensive rookie of the year.He made more game changing plays with (4 TDs off INTs incliding a fumble recovery for a TD vs the Niners that helped send the game into OT….in a Rams win).First rookie since Ronnie Lott to have 4 INTs returned for TDs.

  9. stevincinci says: Feb 2, 2013 8:25 PM

    I thought Vontaze Burfict would get a few votes. Sucks to be a Bengal.

  10. blacknole08 says: Feb 2, 2013 8:40 PM

    As a Panthers fan, I was excited when we drafted him and he deserves to be the DROTY.

    Man can play all 3 LB spots. Now if we can fix our secondary this could be a top 10 defense in the next few years.

  11. maximusprime107 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:03 PM

    I can’t believe GB CB Casey Hayward didn’t even get a vote

  12. allidoiswin55 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:36 PM

    This award goes to the most popular person or hyped coming from college at their prospective position. No knock on Luke but B Wagner should have won the award no doubt. I’m a bit biased ill admit but the kid wasn’t far behind Luke in stats but was on a TOP 4 DEFENSE.!!! WAGNER was the leader as a rookie on a playoff team which is rated #1 in scoring and tops in many categories.

    To put it simple Luke got more tackles but made less game influencing plays. His defense was terrible and gave up just because he didn’t doesn’t make him the best.. Being the best on a crappy team isn’t nearly as good as leading a top team. JS no one else really should have been that close even of rookies Wagner was top 3.

    But I do think with some more pieces Luke will still be a monster no knock on his work ethic just seems when u lead a team into the playoffs and 30secs away from a divisional championship game you earned it.

  13. threedeep1998 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:16 PM

    Surprised Harrison Smith didn’t get a vote

  14. rsellersus says: Feb 2, 2013 11:48 PM

    How does a guy who led the league in tackles AND wins defensive rookie of the year not even get a Pro Bowl sniff?

  15. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Feb 3, 2013 12:22 AM

    Lavonte David was more deserving. Period.

    1. Bucs went from 32nd in the NFL to 1st in rush defense in one season. Lavonte David was by far the biggest reason for this.

    2. Kuechly leading the NFL in tackles is extremely impressive, no question. But he did so as a MLB, a position that naturally makes more tackles. Lavonte David, an OLB, had more solo tackles(112 to 103) and was 3rd in the NFL in tackles for loss. Only JJ Watt and Von Miller had more. David is also the Bucs defensive signal caller, which is also rare for an OLB.

  16. bnwpnw says: Feb 3, 2013 12:39 AM

    Seattle needs to open up a can of whup-ass on the rest of the NFL next season unlike anything ever seen in the history the league.

  17. Patskrieg dot com says: Feb 3, 2013 1:44 AM

    Do all the reverse racist draft analysts who called Keuchly “unathletic” still stand by their assessment?

  18. sb50 says: Feb 3, 2013 2:55 AM

    Lol I remember Matt Miller, the lead draft guy forBleacherReport.com, had a scouting report for Luke Kuechly. He said he was unathletic, undersized, poor in pass coverage, and just racks up tackles in garbage time.

    He also said “Take away the gaudy tackle numbers and what’s left? Not much, honestly. Kuechly is an average athlete with good vision, but poor strength and no ability to work off blockers…Kuechly is being touted by some as a top-15 player. It doesn’t show up on film. Instead, the All-American looks like a third-rounder. And that’s on a good day.”

    Boy was he wrong about this one.

  19. turbo2728 says: Feb 3, 2013 3:58 AM

    Congrats to Kuechly. Much deserved. But come on, only 2 votes for Lavonte David?

  20. phaktor333 says: Feb 3, 2013 6:30 AM

    Quite possibly the last Boston College player to make an impact in this league for quite a while moving forward….I am so glad he abandoned the Titanic when he did.

  21. randallflagg52 says: Feb 3, 2013 6:43 AM

    stevincinci says:
    Feb 2, 2013 8:25 PM
    I thought Vontaze Burfict would get a few votes. Sucks to be a Bengal.

    ====================================

    Yeah it does.

  22. japauley13 says: Feb 3, 2013 9:18 AM

    The guy who said he was the guy on a bad team look at the stats when he was a rotational OLB for the panthers the first 4 weeks their defense they ranked 27 in total D. He took over at MLB in week 5 by the end of thr season they ranked 3th im D. From week 5-17, when he was MLB they were number 4 ranked D in the nfl. No big deal

  23. japauley13 says: Feb 3, 2013 9:19 AM

    9th in total D not 3rd my bad

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