Scott Fowler: Why Greg Olsen says Panthers' Luke Kuechly is 'very at peace' with his retirement
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said Wednesday that his close friend Luke Kuechly was "very at peace" with his decision to retire from football at age 28. "Luke and I have seen each other many times since the season ended," Olsen said in a phone interview with The Observer. "And I think it's nice to see him feel so strongly about this. That doesn't mean it was easy. It was “Luke and I have seen each other many times since the season ended,” Olsen said in a phone interview with The Observer. “And I think it’s nice to see him feel so strongly about this. That doesn’t mean it was easy. It was hard. But he seems very at peace.
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring at age 28 after eight seasons in the NFL. Kuechly announced the news in a video posted on the Panthers website on Monday. "Now is the right time for me (to step away)," the seven-time Pro Bowler said in the video.
During halftime of the Boston College football game against Syracuse, former BC great Luke Kuechly 's jersey was retired to the wall overlooking Alumni Stadium.
The Panthers have had a good week . . . until Tuesday night. That’s when Pro Bowl linebacker
“I think now is the right chance for me,” Kuechly said, via Max Henson of the team website. “It makes me sad because I love playing this game, I’ve played it since I was a kid. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do. The memories I have from this place and this organization and being on the field with these guys – they’ll never go away.
Luke Kuechly can find comfort in retirement knowing he's the best player in Panthers history
No Carolina player has dominated the NFL the way Kuechly did for eight seasons.The scene was ordinary. A kid, roughly 13 years old, combing through a pile of shirts at a Charlotte-area Dick's Sporting Goods looking for the right size. He had help from an adult, a relatively tall and athletic-looking young man but an unsuspecting figure wearing a plain gray tee.
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Luke Kuechly had his Boston College jersey retired at halftime of the Eagles' games against Syracuse. Watch the entire ceremony and listen to Kuechly speak
“In my heart I know it’s the right thing to do… There’s only one way to play this game since I was a little kid – play fast, play physical and play strong. And at this point I don’t know if I am able to do that anymore.”
New coach Matt Rhule will not have one of the greatest players in franchise history to build around on his defense.
Kuechly, 28, played eight NFL seasons and made seven Pro Bowls and five first-team AP All-Pro nods.
He also was Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and defensive rookie of the year in 2012.
“Beyond his extraordinary performance on the field, Luke has had a tremendous impact on this organization and region,” owner David Tepper said. “In my two seasons with Luke, I quickly recognized how special of a person he is. The respect he gives and garners from others as well as the positive impact he has on his peers is second to none. It’s obviously going to be very difficult for all of us because we know that no player can replace what he’s been for this organization for the last eight years. His presence can’t be replicated.”
Kuechly made 1,092 tackles, the most in the NFL since he entered the league. His 18 interceptions are most by a linebacker since 2012 and third-most in franchise history. His 75 tackles for loss are tied for fifth among linebackers over that span.
Hawks' Chandler Parsons diagnosed with concussion, whiplash after car accident .
Hawks' Chandler Parsons diagnosed with concussion, whiplash after car accidentParsons has already been ruled out for the team’s road trip to San Antonio.