Members of the New York media and NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth were raving about Luke Kuechlys 10-tackle performance Sunday against the Jets.
To which the Carolina Panthers rookie linebacker replied: Not so fast.
While Kuechly was getting to double digits in tackles in less than three quarters, Collinsworth called him already one of the best players on this team.
Told of Collinsworths comment Tuesday, Kuechly said: I dont know about that. Ive got a ways to go. Theres some good players out there.
Kuechly, who became the NCAAs all-time tackling leader at Boston College, credited his teammates for helping him prepare and learn the defense throughout the preseason. Kuechly said hes picking up on offensive tendencies and reading keys better than he did in the first exhibition against Houston on Aug. 11.
Its still a process. They still move quick. I was still caught out of position on a couple plays this past weekend, Kuechly said. But I think from the first game until now, its definitely been slowing down a little bit.
Veterans sit: Nearly a half-dozen veterans sat out Tuesday as the Panthers prepared for their final exhibition at Pittsburgh.
Some, like Steve Smith, Mike Tolbert, Jon Beason and Jonathan Stewart, sat out because of injury. Smith continues to nurse a foot infection that has kept him off the practice field for more than a week. He is still on crutches, though he has walked without them at times.
Hes gotten much better. He was in today. He was walking around on it, which was a very good sign. He was joking around, said coach Ron Rivera.
Stewart suffered an ankle sprain against the Jets on Sunday and was not at practice. Rivera said Stewarts sprain is not severe, though the Panthers plan to sit Stewart, Smith and Beason (hamstring) against the Steelers.
Rivera did not say whether Tolbert (bruised quadriceps) would play.
Left tackle Jordan Gross and tight end Greg Olsen got the day off while center Ryan Kalil stayed at home with his wife and newborn daughter.
• Kicker Justin Medlock nailed the top of the scissor lift, and almost the video staffer on top of it, with four consecutive kicks of roughly 40 yards.
• Kicker Justin Medlock said he might change his jersey number from No. 6 to No. 7, Jimmy Clausens new number. Medlock understood he might not get that one, and said he would settle for No. 4 or 5.
Its unclear whether Medlock knows that No. 4 belonged to original Panther and longtime kicker John Kasay. It might be best to keep that one out of circulation a while.
• Rivera said he would meet with his staff Tuesday night and discuss how many reps his first-, second- and third-teams will get (if any, in the case of the first-team) against the Steelers.
• The Panthers did not pipe in crowd noise Tuesday like they did last week to simulate the experience at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands. However, they did play So Good and You Only Live Once during stretches.