Buccaneers: Impact Players for the Panthers in Week 16
By Brian DeFeo
Middle Linebacker Luke Kuechly
You see what I did there, while he does give Buccaneers fans headaches, he also experiences constant headaches from all the concussions.
While his career may be in doubt if he has any further head injuries, linebacker Luke Kuechly is an All-World impact player in the NFL.
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He was recently named to his fifth Pro-Bowl in his six seasons and is on pace for his fourth All-Pro selection.
When on the field he calls all the plays, makes adjustments, and is a tackling machine. In nine career games against Tampa Bay, he has 74 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions.
He was an absolute beast against the Bucs in Week 8.
Bringing down eight tackles and an interception late in the game, he personally shut down the Tampa running game and ended any hope they had at coming back.
The Buccaneers had a shot at selecting him back in 2012 but chose Mark Barron instead. Later in the draft, they walked away with their own All-Pro Linebacker in Lavonte David, but imagine if they drafted both.
This will go down as one move which will haunt the Bucs franchise, especially going to a division rival. Try picturing offenses struggling to game plan against Kuechly, David, and Kwon Alexander.
With that core, the Bucs wouldn’t even have to worry about the lack of pass rush from the line.
However, it will never happen and the Buccaneers will have to hope Kendell Beckwith can develop into half of what Kuechly is.
Without Thomas Davis this week, look for this linebacker to rack up double-digit tackles in Week 16.