[Le bon numéro] # 59: Luke Kuechly, the dreaded panther

A player is recognizable by his style of play, his personality, his physique… but also his number. A sign of a strong attachment, players often keep the same number (if possible) when changing teams, and it sometimes becomes a communication tool.

During 99 episodes, we are going to talk about the best players by number in the NFL. With each time a holder and a replacement.

In this 59th episode, a future Hall of Famer whose early retirement surprised.

Starter: Luke Kuechly (LB, Carolina Panthers 2012-19)

Boston College legend Luke Kuechly had no time to waste. Rookie of the year in 2012, he was defenseman of the year the following season. From the 2013 season to the 2019 season, until his retirement, he is Pro Bowler and All Pro every season.

A tackle machine (1,092, or 136.5 average), he shines with his versatility and his ability to read the game. A true leader on and off the field, he was the soul of the Panthers’ defense for a decade. . Far from being an extrovert à la Ray Lewis, he prefers the coldness of the result, like his personality, calm and respectful.

He will play a Super Bowl, lost to the Denver Broncos, and will never get a ring. There is no doubt that he will however be entitled to a bust in Canton when he is eligible, and he is already the holder of this article, an even more prestigious award of course.

Alternate: Jack Ham (LB, Pittsburgh Steelers 1971-82)

Episode after episode, the ’70s Steelers are everywhere. It must be said that with 9 players in the Hall of Fame, there are people to be rewarded. Jack Ham had Jack Lambert at his side (see number 58), they were complementary and helped to make the Front Seven a group feared by all.

Quadruple winner of the Super Bowl too, he also has 8 All Pro caps and as many Pro Bowls. Like many teammates, he’s part of the typical ’70s squad and the centennial squad.

Born in Pennsylvania, Ham went on to become a legend at Penn State University and then the Steelers, making him a symbol to fans. Author of 32 interceptions, 25.5 sacks and 21 fumbles recovered, he is a model of versatility and a luxury replacement.

Notices: London Fletcher (LB), Donnie Edwards (LB), Seth Joyner (LB), Bob Brudzinski (LB), Matt Blair (LB), Kyle Clifton (LB)

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