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Luke Kuechly got mad, then got even

Luke Kuechly AP

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was angry when he was flagged for hitting Ravens wide receiver Aaron Mellette in the head, because it negated his breakup-turned-interception.

As it turns out, that was bad news for the Ravens. Two plays later, Kuechly picked off Joe Flacco, showing the kind of instincts alarming for a player so young.

“He doesn’t get mad often,” Panthers linebacker Jon Beason told Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. “But when he does, good things seem to happen.”

In addition to the pick, Kuechly forced a fumble which was recovered for a touchdown, at times living in the Ravens backfield.

It was the kind of performance the Panthers are growing accustomed to from last year’s first-rounder.

“I’m a big fan of ‘Luuuuuuuke’ Kuechly,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said. “He’s just a person that holds himself to a standard that failure is not an option for him.

“For him to not get the favor of the call, . . . [and] to come back and get an interception, that’s just a testament of who Luke is.”

Having him in the middle of that defense (a job which used to belong to Beason) is going to keep the Panthers competitive this year. Particularly after they invested their first two draft picks in defensive tackles to keep traffic out of his way, he should be able to continue to make such plays.

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50 Responses to “Luke Kuechly got mad, then got even”
  1. pilot2011 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:28 AM

    His performance last night was unbelievable. I haven’t seen a linebacker completely control a game like that in a while.

  2. 509seahawks says: Aug 23, 2013 10:30 AM

    Kuechly looked really really good last night.

  3. dankinator says: Aug 23, 2013 10:30 AM

    He should’ve never been flagged for that hit on Mellette. He was making a play on the ball and it just happened to be where Mellete was heading too.

  4. PFT=crap says: Aug 23, 2013 10:33 AM

    Not a knock on Fletcher Cox, but wish he was still available at 12 last year…

  5. trublazer says: Aug 23, 2013 10:33 AM

    BEAST!!!!

  6. ingraven says: Aug 23, 2013 10:34 AM

    I couldnt even be mad, I gained SO MUCH respect for him last night. He took over that game.

  7. citizenstrange says: Aug 23, 2013 10:38 AM

    “He’s just a person that holds himself to a standard that failure is not an option for him.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Unless you win the Super Bowl every single year that you are in the league, failure is ALWAYS an option.

    The Panthers were 7-9 last year meaning they failed more than they succeeded.

  8. rasalghoul says: Aug 23, 2013 10:39 AM

    This kid is a beast! Would love to see him in Green and Gold.

  9. mathomp3 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:41 AM

    This kids is a stud for sure. I was pissed when he was taken before the Seahawks had a chance to grab him. Luckily, Bobby has worked out just fine for us.

  10. supremekingz says: Aug 23, 2013 10:43 AM

    Didn’t know anything about the kid til yesterday, but MAN! That guy is a playmaker and a problem! If he plays like that for 16 games, he’s a pro bowler for sure

  11. floratiotime says: Aug 23, 2013 10:43 AM

    The kings of pre-season.

  12. trollingforjustice says: Aug 23, 2013 10:44 AM

    I saw the game and he was all over the field making plays.He could be the next Polamalu…..

  13. naderktait says: Aug 23, 2013 10:45 AM

    He didn’t even hit him in the head. I guess it looked like it at first but he actually ended up hitting his arm. They showed it on ESPN after the game. Just a bad call.

    Although, it is pretty sweet to know that he can bounce back after a bad call and make an even better play. Hope he plays like this during the season b/c Schula’s offense couldn’t make anything happen last night.

  14. ramofsteel says: Aug 23, 2013 10:46 AM

    What a stud. Not too often you see too many 4-3 LBs making so many plays.

  15. sellout1983 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:47 AM

    Product of Ohio football. This dude is a monster.

  16. lovefootball4life says: Aug 23, 2013 10:47 AM

    That guy owned my Ravens. And just think Panther fans, he’s only going to get better from here. Wow.

  17. slbasegame257 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:48 AM

    Its one preseason game everyone calm down. Bobby Wagner is still better. GO HAWKS

  18. whysomanylosers says: Aug 23, 2013 10:52 AM

    sellout1983 says:
    Aug 23, 2013 10:47 AM
    Product of Ohio football. This dude is a monster.
    _________________________________

    I *think* his time spent at Boston College has more to do with his success…. Nice try though.

    I wanted the Bucs to draft him, now they have to play against him twice a year.

  19. twilson962 says: Aug 23, 2013 10:55 AM

    That was an amazing performance. It was like watching a high school game, where it was obvious which kid was going to a D1 school.

    Reminded me of a young Urlacher or Seau!

    He absolutely killed it!

  20. kane337 says: Aug 23, 2013 11:01 AM

    Luke was a beast last night. I was going to be envious of whoever took him in the draft.

  21. camcameronsucks says: Aug 23, 2013 11:11 AM

    This dude played crazy last night! Im a ravens fan but damn he was all over the place, but……

    Did anyone see how jittery he was all game? He couldnt sit still. Is this dude juicing or did he take too much of his pre-workout supplement?

  22. officialgame says: Aug 23, 2013 11:12 AM

    Calling out the Dallas fans who posted yesterday that Sean Lee was the best LB in the NFL your dreaming. Luke’s speed, burst, power and anticipation far exceed any LB in football today. And I’m not a Panthers fan.

  23. moagecu says: Aug 23, 2013 11:17 AM

    I may be wrong or remembering incorrectly. But I thought they said no penalty on the play and the interception stood. or was that another very similar play?

  24. getyourownname says: Aug 23, 2013 11:18 AM

    He was very impressive, as was the Carolina D-line (esp. Lotulelei) last night. Panther fans enjoy.

  25. loyalpanthersfan says: Aug 23, 2013 11:19 AM

    slbasegame257 August 23, 2013, 9:48 AM CDT

    Its one preseason game everyone calm down. Bobby Wagner is still better. GO HAWKS
    _____________________________________________

    You do know he was the Defensive Rookie of the Year last year right? Trust he’s much better than Wagner.

  26. ceejayb says: Aug 23, 2013 11:25 AM

    People can say yeah, yeah it’s just pre season but man. The way he played yesterday was phenomenal. Great instincts. I’m a Ravens fan but watching him last night was a treat. If the panthers can sort out their secondary, that defence can be top 5, without question.

  27. Steeley McBeam says: Aug 23, 2013 11:25 AM

    Rivera should find a way to work “Water sucks, gatorade is better” into each of his pregame speeches.

  28. tommyribs says: Aug 23, 2013 11:27 AM

    He will be the best at his position in the NFL Very Quickly.

    Looks like Clark Kent, plays like Superman.

  29. thegregwitul says: Aug 23, 2013 11:28 AM

    Kuechly is a beast, and this is coming from a Bucs fan. However, I will say this; as good as Kuechly is, Lavonte David is right there with him.

    It’s not out of the question to say that the NFC South is home to the next Ray Lewis in Kuechly and the next Derrick Brooks in Lavonte David. Both guys have the numbers, are defensive leaders and mirror the playing styles of the aforementioned greats.

    Not too shabby.

  30. rationalitybias says: Aug 23, 2013 11:36 AM

    He should have DESTROYED Flacco after that pick instead of cutting back and ultimately slipping.

  31. DaveKShape says: Aug 23, 2013 11:37 AM

    This guy just straight up scares me. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an NFC South Offensive Coordinator. He must be in those dudes’ nightmares.

  32. nirvana504 says: Aug 23, 2013 11:37 AM

    Yeah but it’s The Panthers, so who cares?

  33. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Aug 23, 2013 11:38 AM

    this guy stinks

    the closest he will ever come to a world championship is beating the world champions in a preseason game

  34. touchdownroddywhite says: Aug 23, 2013 11:41 AM

    Don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

  35. doe22us says: Aug 23, 2013 11:47 AM

    moagecu says:
    Aug 23, 2013 11:17 AM
    I may be wrong or remembering incorrectly. But I thought they said no penalty on the play and the interception stood. or was that another very similar play?

    They reversed the call they initially got right.

  36. contactkylesmith says: Aug 23, 2013 11:47 AM

    Somehow lost in the mix (and this article) is that Kuechly had 164 tackles last year as a rookie, which was the most in the NFL. More impressively, that’s 16 more tackles than the guy that came in second. And he did all of that with a subpar D-line. If you don’t think this kid is already special, you should start to pay attention.

  37. FinFan68 says: Aug 23, 2013 11:52 AM

    Best player in Carolina (at any level) and is most likely a top 3 defensive player in the NFL. This guy is going to have a great/HoF NFL career if he stays healthy.

  38. flannlv says: Aug 23, 2013 12:03 PM

    CAM should abandon the Superman schtick and defer to Clark Kent.

  39. SAV says: Aug 23, 2013 12:03 PM

    IM A 33 YEAR OLD RAVENS FAN AND THIS GUY KUECHLY OR HOWEVER YOU SPELL IT IS THE MOST DOMINANT DEFENSIVE PLAYER I HAVE EVER SEEN PLAY NOT NAMED RAY LEWIS, ED REED, LAWRENCE TAYLOR, OR REGGIE WHITE!!!!

    PERIOD!

  40. nolahxc says: Aug 23, 2013 12:06 PM

    Great player!

  41. cincinasty87 says: Aug 23, 2013 12:24 PM

    Kuechly is a Beast , Wish the BENGALS had him in the middle . Rey will improve though

  42. scoobies05 says: Aug 23, 2013 12:33 PM

    dude can play. that was an impressive performance

  43. tarunksathish says: Aug 23, 2013 12:47 PM

    For all the “tackles are a meaningless stat!” criticism that he takes, Kuechly singlehandedly takes over games. He’s absolutely incredible.

  44. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 23, 2013 12:58 PM

    That’s why you dive for the knees, Luke.

  45. axespray says: Aug 23, 2013 1:33 PM

    Everything we thought we’d be getting when we drafted AJ Hawk…. ugh!

    That Kuechly took that game OVER.
    If we had him, 579 never happens.

  46. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 23, 2013 1:39 PM

    A much better player and leader than Newton will ever be, already.

  47. sellout1983 says: Aug 23, 2013 1:59 PM

    @whysomanylosers, So the fact I watched him play high school football for the St X Bombers in Cincinnati OHIO has nothing to do with him being a product of Ohio?

  48. whysomanylosers says: Aug 23, 2013 2:56 PM

    sellout1983 says:
    Aug 23, 2013 1:59 PM
    @whysomanylosers, So the fact I watched him play high school football for the St X Bombers in Cincinnati OHIO has nothing to do with him being a product of Ohio?
    _______________________________

    ^^^ All that and a ham sandwich will make a nice lunch….

    BC is where he played COLLEGE ball, HS is great to watch but means nothing to you and maybe Al Bundy.

  49. whysomanylosers says: Aug 23, 2013 2:57 PM

    *means nothing to the rest of the football world except you and ole AL…

  50. fukdaeagles says: Aug 23, 2013 6:44 PM

    Dude is a beast. What a bargain right now for Carolina. Should be signed to ATLEAST Sean Lee $$$ before the final year of his rookie deal. If this guy stays healthy he’s an easy Pro Bowl pick. Elevates the whole D & a true leader. Awesome instict & athleticism. A Top 5 defensive player for sure.

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