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May 30, 2012

Luke Kuechly is man of many hats

Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly is wearing several hats in his first few weeks in the NFL – and carrying them, too.

Kuechly, who is taking reps at both middle and weakside linebacker, made the quarter-mile walk Wednesday from the Panthers' practice fields to Bank of America Stadium toting four helmets: his own and those belonging to veteran linebackers Jon Beason, Thomas Davis and James Anderson.

The pack mule tradition has long been part of rookie indoctrination in the NFL.

Kuechly is taking it in stride – about 300 strides or so after every OTA (organized team activities) practice.

“It hasn't been too bad. It's my job,” Kuechly said. “You've got to come in and you've got to take care of them.”

Kuechly, the ninth overall pick in the April draft, had two helmets in each hand as he walked along the paved path between the practice fields and the stadium Wednesday afternoon.

“It gets more difficult the longer you walk in,” he said. “You think it wouldn't be that bad. But by the time you turn that corner up there, everything just starts pulling.”

Kuechly, the former Boston College standout, is the NCAA's all-time leader for tackles in a season (an average of 15.9 a game in 2011) and over his career (14.0 per game). But he is starting over on an experienced, though somewhat hobbled, linebacker core.

“You've got to earn the respect. It's not like they're going to give it to you,” Kuechly said. “For me it's just come out and learn as much as you can and watch as much as you can because all the guys that are in there right now know what they're doing.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on May 30, 2012 at 02:42 PM | Permalink


Luke is doing it right

Posted by: buzzkill | May 30, 2012 3:41:57 PM

Anbody wanna grab a drink after practice?

Posted by: Dwayne Jarrett | May 30, 2012 3:45:46 PM

I like kuechly

Posted by: bob | May 30, 2012 6:36:02 PM

Hazing is so stupid. Kuechly needs to be saving his energy for practice, not toting around everyone's gear.

Posted by: Reed | May 30, 2012 6:44:39 PM

get over yourself Reed. He's a pro athlete, he has enough energy to carry a few helmets. seriously. it's all in good fun, every rookie has to deal with it.

Posted by: nah | May 30, 2012 11:40:44 PM

Hey Doc. Brees,

This past year was the first time Beason has ever been actually injured. The only reason you are upset is because Brees is playing his cards right because he deserves a top contract because without him, the Saints would not have made it this far. Vilma was not that good, he was just a smart player for talent, but not smart with off the field issues. Beason is one of the most instinctual and hard hitters in the game before last year so watch your attitude.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2012 8:27:03 AM

"before last year"

people love to live in the past with Beason. he was great about 3 seasons ago, back when he was just playing for a new contract. congratulations. should we bring back Moose and Brad Hoover too, they were good a long time ago?

the same people that like to talk about how good Beason WAS are the same ones that thought we should keep Delhomme around as long as we did. you and Marty saw how that worked out.

Posted by: Frank | May 31, 2012 1:42:01 PM

The way it should work is more talented players carry for less talented. If that were the case Davis and Beason would be hauling 2 helmets each.

Posted by: Frank | May 31, 2012 7:45:02 PM


we should have kept delhomme around. He took us to the playoffs in 2008. You wanted to dump the winningest QB in franchise history coming off a playoff season? fairweather fan.

when was beason ever NOT good? when he wasn't playing?

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 1, 2012 5:01:48 PM

so based on that logic John Fox should still be here too right?

Posted by: Frank | Jun 4, 2012 11:30:41 AM

Wow! Are we gonna play the Superman theme when he enters the field!

Posted by: Quame | Jun 5, 2012 10:29:14 AM

Frank you my friend are severely retarded. Beason is the best MLB besides.Pat Willis in the NFL untl he got injured last season....if he comes back full strength (looks like he will) then I don't see whybhe wouldn't return to form. He had one down season only because hebwas injured. Not to mention he is considered to be a much better linebacker than Villa by people in the league anyways.

Frank, please do us all a favor and kill yaself

Posted by: frank the re re | Jun 13, 2012 7:40:12 PM

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