Carolina Panthers Charles Tillman believes his new team mate Luke Kuechly is the 'same if not better' than Brian Urlacher.
The cornerback who was brought to the Panthers this offseason has said to David Newton of ESPN.com that the current Panthers linebackers is very similar, if not a better player, than the former Chicago Bears star.
Tillman said: “Brian was really great in his prime. Father Time catches up to us all. Right now Luke is very young, very active and very explosive. He has a lot of power and speed and reminds me a lot of Brian back in the ’03, ’04, ’05 and ’06 era.”
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Tillman played with Urlacher for ten seasons at the Bears, so he knows all about him and how he plays on the field.
To compare Kuechly to the future Hall of Famer is a huge honour for the 24-year-old, but it isn't the first time it has happened. ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden compared the Panthers linebacker to the former Bears star at the start of last season.
Kuechly is on his way to matching the eight-time Pro Bowler's statistics. Since being drafted by the Panthers in the first round of the 2012 Draft, he has achieved 473 tackles, seven interceptions, one forced fumble and six sacks.
Comparing him to Urlacher right now would be unfair. The former Bears star once achieved six asks in one season in 2005, and 41.5 sacks across his entire NFL career, so Kuechly still has a long way to go.
The similarities are there though. Now he has to live up to the expectation.