Panthers star Kuechly focused on ‘fresh start’ after disappointing 2018 season

Carolina Panthers

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WNCN) — The day the Panthers report to training camp, the media descends to Wofford College — the team’s home for the past 25 summers.

While the players were filing into the dorms to get settled before camp began, one of Carolina’s biggest stars was a bit preoccupied. Luke Kuechly was looking a golf carts — one by one.

“I set it up so everybody will have one. Want to make sure that everybody has the right name on the golf cart because Eric texted me this morning and said ‘hey, which one of these is mine?’ And I was like, ‘good question.” So I go out there today and try to figure out who’s is who’s and everything so I think we’re off to a good start.”

It’s not a red carpet event, but when the team arrives, some do — in style. It marks a fresh start for a team that started out the season 6-2, before losing seven straight.

“Every year its a wash. Every year you got to come in, it’s a new team and it’s new players and a new season. It’s kind of the thing I think everyone understands, young guys, old guys, guys who’ve been around before. Understand that no matter how bad the season was the year before, it’s always a new season, new players and new opportunities,” linebacker Luke Kuechly said.

Kuechly was a monster on defense for the Panthers in 2018. He tallied 93 total tackles and two sacks. But at camp — he was acting like a kid on the first day of summer camp.

“Yeah I love coming down here. You know, it’s kind of fun being down here with all the guys. I always tell everyone it’s fun because guys don’t have an opportunity to have an excuse. Like ‘hey you wanna go hang out?’ And they’re like, ‘no I got to watch my kid.’ And I’m like, ‘sorry! Can’t watch your kid down here!’”

Also back in the fold for the Panthers is Greg Olsen. He missed most of 2018 with a broken foot. His absence really had an effect on Cam Newton, as Olsen has arguably been his favorite target throughout the former’s career.

“When I played and when I played last year with it broken at times I was very productive. Obviously it wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t great running around with ur foot half off but it I can stay healthy and my foot stays as good as it has been the past couple months. I know what I’m able to do, I know what I’m capable of doing,” Olsen said.

And of course all eyes are on the aforementioned Newton after a shoulder surgery in January.

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