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Did the Panthers Find a Hidden Gem in Free Agency with Frankie Luvu?

Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu continues to make the most of his opportunities.

Linebacker Frankie Luvu wasn't the biggest free agent signing this offseason for the Panthers and not even at his own position. Nonetheless, he has proven to be a quality find by GM Scott Fitterer through two preseason games. 

Last week, Luvu didn't see much playing time only appearing in nine plays but he made the most of his opportunity and came up with a big sack of Jacob Eason on 4th down to give the Panthers the ball back. He carried that momentum over into Saturday night against Baltimore and shined in an expanded role. 

Luvu was flying all over the field making plays, seeking contact, and wreaking havoc in the backfield. His energy and passion for the game are what head coach Matt Rhule loves so much about him but he also took notice of his playmaking abilities. 

"The biggest thing is he punches the ball out a lot and plays with tremendous intensity. It seems like he's a difference-maker so far in these first two games in terms of some key plays, so we'll continue to try to find ways to get him on the field."

Early in the first half, the Ravens methodically marched their way down the field and were on the cusp of scoring their first points of the game but Luvu came in and punched the ball out, putting an end to the Ravens' scoring threat. There were also a couple of plays where Luvu nearly got to the quarterback but he got close enough to affect a few throws and picked up a couple of QB hits. 

Luvu met with the media following Saturday night's game and was asked about what he's tried to prove to the coaching staff throughout training camp and the first two preseason games.

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"Just trying to show them that I'm a guy that they can trust on the field, do my job, and just try to make plays and hopefully, the defense and offense and the whole team will feed off of that. So, nothing but energy and a guy who just does his job."

Luvu is seemingly always around the football regardless of where he lined up pre-snap. He really took to his coaching in New York from former Panther and the late Kevin Greene. He valued his relationship with Greene and plays the way he does because of him.

"Coach Snow always says 'just be around the ball'. When they turn on the tape and you're around the ball, that's kind of a mindset of when I started playing under Coach Kevin Greene. He used to coach me. I kind of took that mindset and brought it over here and just carried on with it."

Luvu is currently listed as the backup to Haason Reddick at the right outside linebacker spot but if he continues to make plays, they'll find a way to get him on the field more often.

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