CHARLOTTE – Luke Kuechly has never faced Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
But he's pretty tight with someone who just did.
Linebacker Thomas Davis and the Chargers lost 27-20 to Houston in Week 3, and Kuechly was asked if he's compared notes with his best bud / former teammate.
"Yeah, I talked to Thomas a little bit," Kuechly said with a big smile. "It was weird to watch him in a different jersey. But he's still running, he's still hitting, still having fun.
"We'll see if I can pick anything up from him."
Kuechly isn't about to give away any trade secrets, of course, but he did share a piece of what he talked about with Davis.
"He said Deshaun is really good. He talked about how slippery he is, how hard he is to tackle," Kuechly said. "Him and I have talked about these guys for a while. DeAndre Hopkins – that dude is a monster."
And for those wondering, yes, Kuechly, Davis and Shaq Thompson still compete for individual stats each week.
"TD called me the first week and told me he beat me," Kuechly said. "Shaq had a sack last week. Thomas had half. I didn't get any."
Don't call Olsen a security blanket
Tight end Greg Olsen is the oldest guy on the team. That's a fact.
Is he a "security blanket" for quarterback Kyle Allen? That's up for debate. And it's pretty clear which side Olsen is on.
"Security blanket, to me, is like an old slow guy who is like five yards from the line and when you have no one else to throw to, you throw it to that guy. That's not quite me yet," Olsen joked. "It's not my favorite classification, but I don't really care. Just try to get open when they throw it and try to catch it. I think quarterbacks feel comfortable knowing where I'm going to be. I take a lot of pride in that. I take a lot of pride in seeing things through their eyes, not through mine. Over time that's done me a lot of good."
During Carolina's 38-20 win over Arizona, FOX commentators repeatedly pointed out Olsen's age (34) as he put up six catches for 75 yards and two scores.
"Yeah, apparently that was a thing in the last broadcast," Olsen said. "I'm going to have to talk to (color commentator) Brady (Quinn). I've known Brady for a long time.
"Whatever. I wear it with a badge of honor."
On a more serious note, Olsen did say he's quickly developed a good rapport with Allen. Olsen and Cam Newton spent years developing trust on the field, and that's something the veteran tight end and the young backup quarterback will have to constantly work at.
"It takes time. You are never going to grow that overnight," Olsen explained. "Cam and I have played a lot of games together, a lot of practice reps together. Those past experiences, good or bad, live on. With Kyle, a lot of it has to be verbal, just talking through things that may come up. You can't wait till after they come up and get it wrong and say, 'Oh, next time.' There might not be a next time.
"We try to talk through as many possible looks you might get on a particular play or a particular coverage, just so in the event it does match up with that play or that coverage you're both on the same page to capitalize on it. When it's there, you got to hit it. If you don't, in this league when you come back to it, it's not going to be there."
Moton's big challenge
Right tackle Taylor Moton faced a Watt brother last year. We all remember the hit T.J. Watt put on Newton in Pittsburgh.
On Sunday, Moton will battle the older Watt brother for the first time. Houston's star defensive end typically lines up across the right tackle, although he will move around from time to time.
"Obviously, he's a very good player. I'm excited about the challenge. I know we all are," Moton said. "Watt has got good technique. High motor, high effort guy. That'll take you very far in this league."
Stanford stars squaring off
Eric Reid isn't the only one excited to see his little brother Justin Reid in Houston on Sunday.
Christian McCaffrey played with Justin Reid at Stanford from 2015-16, and Reid will have to try to tackle Carolina's star running back for the first time.
When asked what's different about the two brothers' personalities, McCaffrey essentially said, "Not much."
"Man, not a lot. They're very similar. Both great dudes," McCaffrey said. "Got a lot of respect for both of them. J. Reid was a physical phenom coming into Stanford and to see the leadership role that he ended up taking at Stanford was cool. Obviously not shocked that he's had success now."
View photos from Thursday's practice in Charlotte before the Week 4 game against the Texans.