AJ Klein Recaps the 49ers Loss and His Rookie Season
Panthers linebacker, A.J. Klein, joined Mac and Jim to discuss his rookie season in the NFL.
On the playoff loss to the 49ers: The thing that was most frustrating was we didn’t play our type of ball. Usually, we’re cool-headed. We don’t get caught up after plays, we had some penalties called on us that was just us losing our composure. Also, seeing plays that we didn’t finish, both offensively and defensively, that we left on the field that could’ve made a difference. It’s definitely tough to lose a game like that, but that’s the way the chips fall sometimes.
On his biggest play of the season (sack against the 49ers in the regular season matchup): On the initial play, we had a blitz called and I was coming off the edge. I watched the exchange and looked at Gore and saw he didn’t have the ball. I thought get up field because [Kaepernick's] booting. I shot up field and it happened so quick, I was in his hip pocket. I tried to grab him and he grabbed my facemask and that’s when it started to slow down. I tried to pull him down, but I couldn’t because he had his hand on my facemask. I was trying to get him of my facemask, and by the time that happened, he had the ball out in his right hand and it was flailing everywhere. I was thinking if I can get his hand off and swipe at the ball, maybe I can cause a fumble. So much stuff was running through my mind and the next thing you know the play’s over and it was less than a second.
On Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis: Both of those guys, they’re great guys off the field and ont the field, they give 110% every single play. You can pull up multiple games and watch the tape and these guys do not take plays off. That’s what I like to do with my own game, but these guys emulate it to the highest level. I love playing with them, they’re great guys.
A.J. also discusses the aftermath of sacking Kaepernick, the mentality of the Panthers defense, and Mac takes a little shot at Iowa State hoops.