Well Authentic JK Scott 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 Yonder Alonso Jersey , 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," 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 Youth Mason Rudolph Jersey , 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, '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.
NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t currently occupying a playoff spot, but manager Dave Roberts spoke confidently Wednesday about playing in the postseason. New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, on the other hand, is beginning to sound like a skipper who knows his team will be long forgotten by October.
Two teams headed in opposite directions will square off for the first time this season Friday night when the Mets host the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22).
Both teams are coming off series-deciding losses. The Mets suffered their third straight defeat Thursday when they fell to the host Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the finale of a four-game set. The visiting Dodgers were off Thursday after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-0 in the last game of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The series loss was the first in 10 series for the Dodgers (38-35), who are 21-9 since dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins from May 15 to May 17. The hot streak vaulted them from fourth place in the National League West to second place during the surge and gained 5 1/2 games on the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks Buccaneers Alex Cappa Jersey , who hold a 2 1/2 game lead heading into Friday’s action.
In addition, Los Angeles has moved two games behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the second NL wild card.
The Dodgers did all this despite getting little to no contributions from stars such as Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, all of whom have been on the disabled list for the last five weeks, and Cody Bellinger, who has struggled most of the season. No wonder Roberts sounded so confident after Wednesday’s loss.
“We’re going to be somewhere in October,” Roberts told reporters. “I can’t speak to the opponent, but we’re going to be somewhere.”
It will take a miracle for the Mets (31-41) to be anywhere but a golf course when the playoffs begin. New York, which has lost 40 of 60 since an 11-1 start, is 11 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 8 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
The Mets’ slide has been marked by extreme highs and lows on both sides of the ball. They have scored 42 runs in the last six games, a span in which the pitching staff posted a 5.14 ERA.
New York scored just 42 runs in 17 games from May 28 through June 15 Nate Solder Jersey Giants , during which its pitchers posted a 4.13 ERA.
“There’s no magic pill or magic wand to make everything sync up at the same time,” Callaway told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think that’s been the tale of our season so far. Even when we’re not winning games, we have a part of us that’s going good. We just have trouble getting (everything) to sync up at the same time so we can get on a good run again.”
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start on Sunday, when he gave up two runs in six innings as the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3. Wood won the last time he took the mound last Saturday when he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Wheeler lost his lone career start against the Dodgers on June 19, 2017, when he surrendered seven runs in two innings as the Mets fell 10-6. Wood is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.