Well Adidas Jack Eichel Jersey , it turns out that maybe Panthers four-time All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly may have a minor flaw in his game.
The 27-year-old Kuechly, considered one of the best players in the league at his position, said after Sunday's practice his pass rushing ability needs to improve "by leaps and bounds."
And Panthers coach Ron Rivera was quick to agree.
"Yes, he does" need to improve, Rivera said. "Like Cam (Newton) likes to tell you, 'Superman has his Kryptonite.'"
Kuechly has been akin to Superman for the Panthers defense over the past six seasons.
He has 818 tackles and 15 interceptions during that span, and has staked his claim as the most productive middle linebacker ever to play for the Panthers 鈥攚ith a realistic chance to go down as one of the NFL's all-time bests along with Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary.
Rivera has repeatedly said Kuechly is like having a coach on the field with his ability to call out an opponent's play call to teammates before the ball is ever snapped. He's seemingly always around the ball and his mistakes are few and far between.
Getting to the quarterback has rarely been one of Kuechly's strengths.
He has 10陆 career sacks, including just one last season. By comparison, Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner 鈥?whom Kuechly is often compared to in the NFC 鈥?has 15陆 sacks during that same span.
Kuechly is working with new linebackers coach Steve Russ to improve his explosiveness and ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage, a skillset that could potentially elevate the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year to a whole new level.
"Coach Russ has a planned attack for (improving) that and hopefully it will translate into a game Ravens Kenny Young Jersey ," Kuechly said.
Kuechly joked that he has to get better at pressuring the quarterback because his longtime buddy Thomas Davis, the team's outside linebacker, "beats me in that (category) every year 鈥?and I have to try to get him back."
This may be Kuechly's year to get the best of Davis, who will start the season serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
It's not anything new for Kuechly to target an area to improve. For the past couple of years Kuechly spent extra energy working on his pass coverage skills, an area in which he has shown noticeable improvement.
Of course, the biggest concern for Kuechly will be avoiding another concussion. He has sustained a concussion in each of the past three seasons, causing him to miss 10 games.
The Panthers simply can't afford to lose him.
His speed and ability to chase down ball carriers from sideline to sideline still amazes Rivera, who played linebacker for nine seasons for the Chicago Bears and won a Super Bowl in the 1985 season.
Rivera said he's "seen everything" from Kuechly, but pointed to a play he made last week in practice that caused the coach to pause the game film and replay it in slow motion several times. As Rivera describes it, Kuechly was chasing down a ball carrier to the outside when a blocker stepped in his way to cut him off.
But that didn't keep Kuechly from making the play though.
"The position he was in, he should have been cut off," Rivera said. "But he made a step in and the blocker came down with him and he jumped around him and accelerated to the outside and made the play. It's one of those where you just sit there and go Authentic Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , 'Wow.'"
While the focus this summer will be on improving as a pass rusher, Rivera said Kuechly remains a special player.
"He has that kind of ability and I think a big part of it is just how smart he is as a football player," Rivera said.
The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with Danielle Hunter, making him one of the top 10 highest-paid defensive ends in the NFL while securing another core player before he could reach free agency.
The deal, which was done on Wednesday, is worth up to $72 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms weren't disclosed by the team.
The deal includes $40 million in guaranteed money, with a $15 million signing bonus. The annual average worth is more than $14 million, on par with fellow Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen.
"I had to get this out of the way," Hunter said, acknowledging relief to have signed before training camp. "I didn't want to be bothered by anything."
Hunter has 25陆 sacks, three forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles in three seasons Youth Jeremiah Attaochu Jersey , after being drafted in the third round in 2015 out of LSU. Still only 23 years old, Hunter was a top priority to retain at a premium position. Griffen is 30, and primary backup Brian Robison is 35.
"Just looking forward to getting him locked in and what he's going to continue to bring not only to this defense and this football team, but also the type of character that he brings," general manager Rick Spielman said.
Over those past three seasons, Hunter and Griffen have combined for 57 sacks, the second most by a pair of teammates in the league behind Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap of the Cincinnati Bengals (58).
The pass rush and run defense provided by these bookends has been a significant part of coach Mike Zimmer's unit that gave up the fewest points and yards in the NFL last season.
"We build a bond together on defense," Hunter said. "We go out there, we know we're brothers. We fight together. We do our assignments. On and off the field we're really, really close.
Hunter was third in the NFL with 12陆 sacks in 2016, the most by a defensive end. Born in Jamaica and raised just outside of Houston, the 6-foot-5 Joe Mixon Bengals Jersey , 252-pound Hunter was a classic late bloomer the Vikings targeted with confidence he'd continue to develop with the right coaching to complement his measurable physical skills. Spielman and his scouts have been proven right with that pick.
"I kind of came in with the mindset of just playing football. I had a whole bunch of people in front of me, older guys that were able to show me the way, good coaches and a good coaching staff," Hunter said. "The only thing I could do is just come in here and focus and play football."
The Vikings extended middle linebacker Eric Kendricks earlier this offseason. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are their other two standouts on expiring contracts, with space under the salary cap dwindling. Signing both of them to new long-term deals might not be possible.
They're plenty happy to at least have Hunter around well into the next decade, though. According to statistics compiled by Vikings coaches, Hunter also has 125 quarterback hurries and 147 total tackles. He has never missed an NFL game to injury, with his only two absences coming in 2015 when he was on the inactive list in the first month of his rookie year.
"It's all about keep continuing to improve my game. I've got to go out there and do what the coaches tell me to do. Now that I have this I can't relax," Hunter said. "I have to keep pounding and grinding."