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same season since 1985.Nelson’s reward: a Pro Bowl selecti

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:48 am    Post subject: same season since 1985.Nelson’s reward: a Pro Bowl selecti Reply with quote

WESTFIELD Ryquell Armstead Jersey , Ind. �? Last season, Darius Leonard led the league in tackles, earned the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and was an All-Pro. Most players would consider it a spectacular start to an NFL career.The Indianapolis Colts linebacker views his rookie season another way �? as a solid foundation to complete some unfinished business in 2019.“I wasn’t named MVP, I wasn’t a Super Bowl champion and I wasn’t a Pro Bowler,” Leonard has said repeatedly. “So there are still goals I hadn’t reached last year. I just go in with the same mindset as proving everybody wrong and just outworking everybody on the field.”For Leonard and All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, this year’s prime focus is proving 2018 was no fluke �? and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.While Leonard flew around the field , piling up tackles and filling stat sheets, Nelson’s impact on Indy’s offense was equally impressive. The sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft teamed with rookie right tackle Braden Smith, a second-round pick, to fill two glaring holes on an offensive line that allowed a league-high 56 sacks in 2017.Together , Nelson and Smith helped the Colts go five straight games without yielding a sack, the league’s third-longest streak since 1982; gave up a league-low 18 sacks all season; and paved the way for the Colts to rush for 200 or more yards in back-to-back games for the first time in the same season since 1985.Nelson’s reward: a Pro Bowl selection and his own spot as an All-Pro.It’s only the second time in league history rookie teammates made the team. The only other players to achieve the feat were Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears in 1965.Now Leonard and Nelson are chasing bigger objectives for their encore performances.“I would say more goals are more detailed on what I want to accomplish,” Nelson said after Thursday’s first training camp practice. “It’s really about cleaning up my technique. But the No. 1 goal is to win the Super Bowl.”Just how much better can this tag-team tandem get?Well, they excelled in spite of all the potential pitfalls rookie face: learning new teammates, new coaches and new systems.Consider, too, that because of the draft and pre-draft workouts, Nelson couldn’t participate in all of the Colts’ offseason practices, and an injury prevented Leonard from making it onto the field until the first day of training camp.
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