Just sixth months after announcing his surprise retirement, former Carolina star linebacker Luke Kuechly is back in the organization after being hired by the Panthers as their newest pro scout.
Kuechly, a seven-time Pro Bowler in Carolina retired in January after just eight seasons in the league after a series of concussions.
Now, he’ll be a key piece in evaluating talent from other NFL teams.
“I’ve never really done anything like this, so I’m just going to take it a day at a time and see what I think,” Kuechly told Panthers.com. “I think it’ll be fun. It’s still going to be football. It’s still going to be around good people. That’s what matters.”
There have been rumors since his retirement that he could remain involved with the Panthers in some type of coaching role and his passion for watching film is legendary and is a reason he joined the front office as a pro scout.
“You were always looking at schemes and tendencies and where you think a team is going to attack you on the defensive side of the ball,” Kuechly continued.
Kuechly added that he had other post-NFL life opportunities, including broadcasting, but felt this was the best opportunity for him.
“The biggest thing is I still wanted to be involved with the team, around the game, and I wanted to be in the building because I still have a lot of people in the building that I’m friends with and I enjoy being around and I wasn’t ready to quite give that up,” Kuechly said.
After being drafted in 2012, Kuechly totaled 1,092 tackles, the most in the NFL since he was drafted, during his time in the league.
“I explored some other things, and they were all really cool opportunities,” Kuechly said. “But I like being around the team, I like being around Charlotte, I like the guys upstairs (in the front office), and this will give me, I think, the closest thing I can get to playing.”