Luke Kuechly got mad, then got even

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.

50 responses to “Luke Kuechly got mad, then got even

  1. 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.

  2. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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.

  23. @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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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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