Former Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly will be trying out his talents in the radio booth this upcoming season, the team announced today. Kuechly is scheduled for six Carolina home games and an away game in his hometown of Cincinnati.
Play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff leads the Panthers’ radio crew. He will be joined by Kuechly or Jim Szoke, along with color commentary from either offensive tackle Jordan Gross or quarterback Jake Delhomme.
“It’ll be cool – you just know he’s going to be good at it,” Delhomme said. “I’m looking forward to it because he’s so smart. I told him, the way he studies the game, I’m not worried about him stepping on any toes.”
The Boston College product was always known for being one of the smartest players on the field. He had great football instincts and worked on his craft by spending endless hours in the film room. He hopes those talents translate to the booth.
“Watching the tape, I can rewind, I can pause, I can fast-forward, I can skip a play. But here I get one shot and go,” Luke Kuechly said. “To see the perspective from up here is really cool – to see it from this high, it looks so much slower. When you’re on field level, everything looks like it’s moving so much faster.”
He added: “I think it could be a lot of fun. I think that’s the biggest reason, to do something around the game on game day that’s fun.”
Sudden Retirement Stuns Fans
Luke Kuechly stunned the NFL world when he retired at the age of 28 after eight professional seasons. He was still at the top of his game at the time, having made 144 tackles in 2019 while earning his seventh-straight Pro Bowl.
On January 14, 2020, the Panthers’ social media accounts posted a 3:35 video of Kuechly announcing his retirement. He did not give a specific reason for retiring, but his injury history – including multiple documented concussions – likely had something to do with it.
In his short – yet incredibly productive – career, Kuechly started 188 games and made 1,902 tackles. He had 18 interceptions, 12.5 sacks, 75 tackles for loss and 31 quarterback hits. He was voted the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 after earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his debut season of 2012. Kuechly was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowler.