Redskins coach Ron Rivera honors Luke Kuechly after surprise retirement

Redskins coach Ron Rivera had nothing but praise for his former star linebacker Luke Kuechly who announced his retirement on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, the NFL world was dealt the surprise of the offseason. At the age of 28, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly decided to call it a career.

Kuechly will hang up his cleats after playing eight seasons all for the Panthers. He is widely regarded as the league’s best linebacker and will finish his career with 1,092 tackles, 18 interceptions, 12.5 sacks, and 66 pass defenses in 118 regular season games. He made seven consecutive Pro Bowls, was a first-team All-Pro five times, and made it to Super Bowl 50 with the Panthers.

Kuechly’s decision prompted a lot of tributes from current and former members of the NFL. And that included current Washington Redskins coach Ron Rivera. Rivera coached Kuechly in all eight of his seasons with the Panthers and Rivera took to Twitter offer praise for Kuechly’s achievements on Tuesday night.

This is a very nice gesture by Rivera and one that Kuechly will surely appreciate. Rivera has always been known as a great guy and a player’s coach, so it’s no surprise that his relationship with Kuechly was a strong one.

And Kuechly’s resume is certainly one that could and should land him in the Hall of Fame. Just because he had a shorter career than some doesn’t take away from the fact that NFL teams feared facing him for eight seasons. And his selection to five All-Pro teams backs up the fact that he was simply playing at another level.

Rivera’s tweet wasn’t the only way that he honored Kuechly. He and the Redskins also released a statement praising Kuechly for being the “ultimate professional”.

These tributes to Kuechly from Rivera further demonstrate that Rivera knows how to do things the right way. He relates to players on a different level and truly cares about them. That will go a long way in helping to change the Redskins culture, and that’s really what he was brought here to do.

We’ll soon see what impact Rivera can have on the Redskins. But if he can find a talented professional like Kuechly to help create a team culture or identity, the team should be in good shape.

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And we here at Riggo’s Rag are wishing the best of luck to Kuechly in retirement. It was a pleasure to watch him play these past eight years.