Luke Kuechly looking for a way to stay involved with football

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Luke Kuechly announced his retirement in January after eight NFL seasons with a statement that said he knew it was the right thing to do because he didn’t know if he could “play fast, play physical and play strong” anymore.

During a recent interview with Mike Tirico, Kuechly said he hasn’t had any second thoughts about that decision. He knows he “gave everything I had” to the game as a player and that he’s looking in other directions now.

Kuechly told Tirico he hopes to “find a way to stay involved in football somehow.” He mentioned coaching, a front office role and broadcasting as possibilities and discussed seeing Jason Witten, Tony Romo and Ronde Barber in the latter role as something that held some appeal.

“Those guys, you can tell that they played at a high level and they still have the ability to stay involved with the game,” Kuechly said. “I think that part is something that’s attractive to me just in the sense that they played it and are still involved it in an interesting role.”

Kuechly also said he’s discussed coaching with former teammate and current Panthers special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn, who told him it felt like the closest he could come to actually playing the game. Kuechly didn’t say whether he had any offers in either area, but Panthers head coach Matt Rhule did say in January that he’d want Kuechly on his staff at some point.

15 responses to “Luke Kuechly looking for a way to stay involved with football

  1. He has an automatic job if he wants it with the Buffalo Panthers…lol. But seriously with the Bill’s excellent young linebackers it might be a good fit as a coach.

  2. The best way to stay involved would’ve been to keep playing, now he’s just looking to keep getting paid…

  3. What team would not want him on their coaching staff. He is what you want in your players.

  4. Play the shell game trying to remember which color is under what shell or the old game of Concentration,

  5. Have to imagine he’d be a good coach with the kind of time commitment you know he’d put into it and his natural vision and IQ he showed on the field. Best of luck to him in whatever route he opts to go

  6. Kuechly picked a good time to retire. As it is, if he had waited a year, it is likely that he would be sitting at home anyway, just like the rest of us.

  7. If he can package how to read an offense to impart it onto other people, he has a glorious career ahead!

  8. He’s relatively young, extremely smart (both in football and in general), and very well spoken. The man definitely has options, and whether it’s as a coach, as an analyst, or as a sideline reporter/game commentator I think he’d do a stellar job in whatever he pursues.

  9. Do something outside of football and helping the world. Nobody cares about sports anymore. Where are the athletes during this plandemic?

  10. Well, there are three teams who’d hire him yesterday-Washington, Buffalo, and Carolina. Rhule probably would be least likely to do so before he gets comfortable with his staff, but Rivera and McDermott know Kuechly better and likely would be thrilled to have Kuechly coach for them. I do not know how much of Kuechly’s role either coach has implemented in his own defense, but chances are they’d like to be able to use a familiar style, and who better to help teach it?

    Rivera, of course, has hired a veteran defensive coordinator in Jack Del Rio, so there is a question of whether Del Rio or Rivera would be the one to adjust how they traditionally play defense. Rivera ran a 4-3 for most of his time in Carolina, but switched to a 3-4 base for the last year and a half he was there, partly for personnel. Del Rio has run a 4-3, but there figures to be adjustments there. I think Buffalo probably runs the closest thing to Carolina’s 4-3 that Kuechly played in for most of his career, but considering the fact that Rivera brought Thomas Davis back, it might point to a shift back to Rivera’s old 4-3 that Kuechly would be a perfect fit to coach in. Outside bet might be the Giants, who run a traditional 4-3 similar to Carolina’s (one reason that they swooped in to sign James Bradberry) and the presence of Dave Gettleman, who drafted Kuechly to begin with.

    I think Buffalo’s probably the closest to what Kuechly knows, considering the presence of Sean McDermott, who probably worked more one on one with Kuechly than anyone else in the pros. Washington is very strong next, as Rivera looks to implement his expectations in the locker room and coaching style-and don’t forget, Kuechly retirement came very quickly after Rivera’s firing, so it suggests that Rivera was probably important to Kuechly’s comfotability coming back from those concussions to continue playing.

  11. Seldom do great players make great coaches. In the NBA there was Larry Bird as an outlier…in the NFL Bart Starr was NOT a great coach, and neither was Singleterry…Ditka was good.

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