The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday that they’ve officially named retired LB Luke Kuechly a pro scout.
“During the season, it’ll be player evaluation and then advance scouting stuff. So if we play a team next week, we’ve got to get everything set up and ready to go, so when the coaches come in on Monday, they’re not starting from square one,” Kuechly said, via Panthers.com.
Kuechly admitted that his new role will be different from diagnosing opposing defenses.
“I think it’ll be different in the sense that we’re not necessarily looking for scheme as we are players,” Kuechly continued. “Are the players good? What’s their skillset? What are they good at? What are they not good at?
“Say we’re looking at a guy like Christian (McCaffrey). It’s like, ‘All right guys, he’s really explosive, he’s dangerous in the open field, he catches the ball extremely well out of the backfield, he’s a matchup problem for linebackers.’ I think it’s going to be more like that.”
Kuechly added that he explored other opportunities, but he still wanted to be involved with the Panthers.
“The biggest is 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.
“I explored some other things, and they were all really cool opportunities, 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.”
Carolina officially placed Kuechly on the reserve/retired list this week after he announced he was stepping away from the game all the way back in January.
Reports later mentioned that he was considering joining the Carolina front office as a pro scout, so this isn’t a big surprise.
Kuechly, 28, is a former first-round pick of the Panthers back in 2012. He was entering the fifth year of his six-year, $64.105 million contract and set to make a base salary of $10.3 million for the 2019 season.
For his career, Kuechly recorded 1,093 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns and 67 passes defended. Kuechly was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time first-team All-Pro.