CHARLOTTE — One of the Carolinas Panthers’ most popular players is returning to the organization.
The team’s all-time great linebacker Luke Kuechly will be joining this year’s radio broadcast team, teaming up with play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff, sideline reporter Kristen Balboni and retired Panthers players Jordan Gross and Jake Delhomme.
Kuechly is scheduled to be in the booth for six home games (Week 1 against the Browns, Week 4 against the Cardinals, Week 5 against the 49ers, Week 7 against the Buccaneers, Week 12 against the Broncos, and Week 15 against the Steelers), and one away game to his hometown of Cincinnati (Week 9).
“You just know (Kuechly’s) going to be good at it,” Delhomme said in a news release. “I look forward to it because he’s so smart.”
Kuechly was the Panthers’ 2012 first-round pick and 2013 NFL defensive player of the year. He spent eight years with the team and totaled 1,092 tackles, 75 tackles for loss, 31 QB hits, 12.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, and nine fumble recoveries.
Kuechly retired from the NFL following the 2019 season in order to take care of his body and avoid any further injuries to the head.
After retiring, he spent a season with the Panthers as a professional scout.
“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly said. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow.
“I think it could be a lot of fun. I think that’s the biggest reason, to do something around the game on game day that’s fun. You still get the atmosphere, and all the good memories I have here in Carolina.”
Kuechly said he enjoys the new perspective that being on the broadcast team gives him.
“To see the field from a different angle is cool, and it’s fun to see it from this high, because it looks so much slower. When you’re on field level, everything looks like it’s moving so much faster because you don’t have that perspective from being high.”
The Panthers’ regular season kicks off on Sept. 11 at Bank of America Stadium against the Cleveland Browns.
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