Sometimes during training camp much attention is focused on the team drills, while individual drills are an afterthought.
One should not be so quick to overlook the individual drills, however, because often they have real relevance to game time situations.
Individual drills featuring blitz and blitz pickup were a staple at training camp in Spartanburg. Players were lined up against each other, one on one. The object: Sack the QB.
Fast forward to Sunday night against the Chiefs. Kansas City is near their own goal line, and Luke Kuechly is called on to blitz the QB and make the play.
I spoke to Luke after the game about that specific play.
"I had to get in there and beat the back." Kuechly remarked "You know, the line is sliding away and you have to get in there and beat the back. He is responsible for you, so you have to put on a move and get to the quarterback."
One on one, linebacker versus running back, just like a Spartanburg drill.
Kuechly sized up Chiefs RB Knile Davis then made a swim move that got Keuchly and QB Alex Smith face to face. The result was Luke's first QB sack of the preseason.
Something that distinguishes Luke Kuechly, not just as a player but as a person, came after the play, Luke showed genuine concern for the same quarterback he just threw to the turf. As Charles Godfrey looked for Luke to celebrate, Kuechly first wanted to make sure Alex Smith wasn't injured.
"I was just making sure he was good" Kuechly said. "It's preseason, Alex is a good dude.Just wanted to make sure he was alright"