Luke Kuechly talks Old Spice, arm wrestling Brian Urlacher and tackling Marshawn Lynch

Luke-Kuechly-Old-Spice

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is the kind of impact player that NFL teams envision when they select a player in the top ten of the NFL Draft. Selected ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

What can he do for an encore in year three? Kuechly’s eyes are set on the Super Bowl. Kuechly’s old-school physical style and “Smelf-confidence” lends itself perfectly to a partnership with old-school icon Old Spice.

Talk about the partnership with Old Spice.

“I partnered up with them to talk about the hair product that came out earlier this year. There’s shampoos, conditioners, different gels. The biggest thing behind them is the simplicity to use the product. You can use it real quick and don’t have to take a whole lot of time. We use it quite a bit in the locker room. I passed it out to some of the linebackers and everybody is loving it right now.”

At every level you’ve played, you’ve been a tackling machine. How do you account for this? What do you do differently?

“I’ve always had a great group of guys around me. At Boston College, Bill McGovern (former DC) did a great job and he is the reason why I developed in college. And when I got to Carolina, I had some older guys around like Jon Beason [and] Thomas Davis that taught me a lot, and I learned what it takes to be successful. So I owe a lot to those guys for the success I’m having today.”

What makes the Panthers defense so physical? Every defense in the league tries to be what you guys are. What’s the secret?

“I think it’s a mindest. To play physical and establish the line of scrimmage and make physical tackles and force turnovers. We’ve had a couple meetings in OTA’s this year and that has been the message; to be a physical team, to push guys back and make plays… Our coaches preach being one of 11 for the defense. Do your job, take care of your responsibility on each play and try not to do too much. If each guy does his job and does it correctly, that’s 11 guys doing the same thing and that puts you in a position to win games.”

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NFL Draft kicks off tonight

Football fans everywhere will be glued to their TV screens tonight as the NFL Draft starts at 8 PM EST on ESPN and the NFL Network. Millions more will be following the action on Twitter, which has become the ultimate meeting spot for sports fanatics. You can follow me our NFL guru, Anthony Stalter, during the draft on Twitter @AnthonyStalter, and you can follow me @clevelandteams. Yes, I’m a tortured Cleveland Browns fan, so the draft is my annual Super Bowl.

Cleveland will be one of the pivotal teams in the draft with the #4 pick, and many are predicting that they will take running back Trent Richardson. But the Minnesota Vikings are making noise about trading out of the #3 pick, and that could mean Richardson goes to a team at #3. These tow teams will be pivotal in a draft that could be very hard to predict after the first two picks.

You can follow Anthony’s NFL draft coverage at ScoresReport.com. You’ll see his mock drafts along with analysis of the top draft prospects and sleepers.

There are so many mock drafts out there these days that you can OD on all the various projections. Of course Mel Kiper and Todd McShay at ESPN has some of the best information out there. Here’s a 7-round mock draft at NFL.com that would make me and other Browns fans very happy. Michael Lombardi’s first round mock draft would be even better, as he has the Browns getting Richardson and then Micheal Floyd dropping down to them at #22.

Search around and you’ll find plenty of information and speculation about your own team. Then you can load up on beer and munchies, invite some friends over and enjoy the show tonight.

  

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