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Team-record eight Panthers named AP All-Pro


CHARLOTTE – A record eight Panthers have been named 2015 Associated Press All-Pros.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly and center Ryan Kalil were honored for the third time. Kuechly has been on the first team for three consecutive years. Kalil was on the first team in 2013 and second team in 2011.

It's the second first-team All-Pro honor for fullback Mike Tolbert, who earned the honor in 2013.

Quarterback Cam Newton, cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker Thomas Davis were selected to the first team. Defensive tackle Kawann Short and tight end Greg Olsen were named to the second team. It's the first time those five players have received All-Pro honors.

"A lot of our guys do deserve recognition. We've had some really good years," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It's the culmination of a lot of hard work for these guys. It's nice. Even though it's an individual award, I think a lot of guys will recognize that they had a lot of teammates that helped them and coaches that have helped get to where they are."

QB CAM NEWTON (first team)

All-Pro stats: Completed 296-of-495 passes (59.8 percent) for 3,837 yards with 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Rushed 132 times for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.

All-Pro moment: Leading the offense on two 80-yard touchdown drives in the final eight minutes – including one in the final two minutes – to rally Carolina to a 27-23 victory at Seattle in Week 6.

LB LUKE KUECHLY (first team)

All-Pro stats: Paced the Panthers with 137 tackles despite missing three-and-a-half games and added four interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a sack.

All-Pro moment: In the first Thanksgiving game in franchise history, Kuechly became the first NFL player since 1997 to intercept passes on consecutive offensive snaps, returning the first one for a touchdown in a 33-14 victory at Dallas.

LB THOMAS DAVIS (first team)

All-Pro stats: Compiled 123 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

All-Pro moment: Davis leaped to pick off Aaron Rodgers on fourth-and-goal, which sealed victory for Carolina against Green Bay in Week 9.

CB JOSH NORMAN (first team)

All-Pro stats: Recorded four interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns – along with 55 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

All-Pro moment: Reached out full extension to intercept a pass in the end zone during the closing moments against New Orleans in Week 3, securing the win for Carolina.

FB MIKE TOLBERT (first team)

All-Pro stats: Rushed 62 times for 256 yards and one touchdown and caught 18 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

All-Pro moment: Fought off five tackle attempts by Eagles defenders to reach the ball across the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown catch on Sunday Night Football in Week 7.

C RYAN KALIL (first team)

All-Pro stats: Anchored an offensive line that helped Carolina rank second in the NFL with 2,282 yards and stand as the only team to rush for at least 100 yards in every game.

All-Pro moment: In some ways, Kalil set the tone for the entire season when he played every snap of a tough victory at Jacksonville in Week 1. He wasn't expected to do so after missing most of the preseason with a knee injury.

TE GREG OLSEN (second team)

All-Pro stats:Recorded 77 catches for a career-high 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns as Carolina's No.1 target.

All-Pro moment: Olsen was on the receiving end of Newton's game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass to beat the Seahawks.

DT KAWANN SHORT (second team)

All-Pro stats: Compiled 51 tackles, 11 sacks, forced three fumbles, recovered two and recorded 32 quarterback hurries.

All-Pro moment: Recorded three sacks and forced a fumble in a 27-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football in Week 7 to cap a two-week stretch that produced five sacks.

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