Apparently two interceptions and an NFL leading 164 tackles by Carolina Panthers rookie middle-linebacker Luke Kuechly wasn’t enough to earn him a spot on the NFC’s Pro-Bowl roster or land his name among the five finalists for the Pepsi Max NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
No, Kuechly’s numbers and leadership presence on the field as a rookie simply weren’t enough to earn him a few accolades following the 2012 regular season.
Of course Kuechly never had a chance of winning such an award given that three rookie quarterbacks did some phenomenal things this year, clearly earning themselves the best chance at being crowned as the top overall rookie for 2012.
However, Kuechly should have at least been among the five finalists that included Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Redskins top rusher Alfred Morris, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.
All very deserving candidates, but at the same time all offensive players. It would be nice for once to see some major awards divvied up or at least acknowledge the kind of year a rookie, like Kuechly, had on defense.
Although, it is almost a given that Kuechly will garner some respect down the road, as he is considered to be the front runner for the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Though, that still doesn’t warrant the fact that Kuechly’s name was left off both the Pro-Bowl roster and as a finalist for top rookie of the year.
Robert Kester, Rant Sports Carolina Panthers Columnist. Contact @robertkester1