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Darius Leonard vs Gary Brackett


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I’m trying to find an interview I read back in the day when Darius Leonard said he was glad he was drafted by the Colts because Gary Brackett was one of his favorite players and how he wanted to be the next Gary Brackett.  Also I know it’s too early to compare him to Brackett but am I the only one who get major Gary Brackett vibes when he talks?

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He doesn't play ILB or MIKE like Gary Brackett did, he plays WILL and is definitely more athletic than Gary, IMO. Gary was unheralded, an undrafted guy who overachieved, IMO and was a good fit for our system than anyone else's. 

 

Darius Leonard is more athletic but he won't be the guy with a mic on his helmet, Walker or whoever our ILB is will be. Mike Peterson, that the Colts drafted at No.36 (ironically the same pick as Darius Leonard), who also played WILL, is actually a good athletic comparison. If you are talking about leadership, time will tell. Mike Peterson was the guy Polian refused to pay, just like with David Thornton, but I am certain Ballard won't make that mistake with Leonard.

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5 hours ago, chad72 said:

He doesn't play ILB or MIKE like Gary Brackett did, he plays WILL and is definitely more athletic than Gary, IMO. Gary was unheralded, an undrafted guy who overachieved, IMO and was a good fit for our system than anyone else's. 

 

Darius Leonard is more athletic but he won't be the guy with a mic on his helmet, Walker or whoever our ILB is will be. Mike Peterson, that the Colts drafted at No.36 (ironically the same pick as Darius Leonard), who also played WILL, is actually a good athletic comparison. If you are talking about leadership, time will tell. Mike Peterson was the guy Polian refused to pay, just like with David Thornton, but I am certain Ballard won't make that mistake with Leonard.

Actually DL wears a Mic too, I think he keeps the main one in since he is almost always on the field. This happened I think last year

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Like I stated in another thread Brackett was not even close to having the talent that Leonard has.

That don't mean I am ragging on Brackett but when you compare the two the reality is Leonard brings much more to the game than Brackett ever did.

Brackett was a great Colt but when you look at the numbers it's not even close as to which one is a better overall player. 

Leonard has more forced fumbles and interceptions in two years than Bracket had in his entire 9 year career. 

If you take Leonard's numbers and look 7 more years down the road they are going to dwarf Brackett's stats.

I can also see Leonard's stats even going up if Buckner plays as expected and we get a better pass rush from the ends. 

Brackett was a special player as he over achieved his career but the Maniac is called that for a reason. 

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On 7/28/2020 at 2:37 PM, CantBeStopped said:

Imo he's already better than brackett. Brackett was a bit over hyped by us colts fans. He was part of some of the worst run defenses in league history. More times than not he was getting run over by rbs

Whats changed?  This D has even been worse than the Dungy/Meeks era. Leonard is not great in the run game. Hes 215 and gets man handled a lot

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28 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Whats changed?  This D has even been worse than the Dungy/Meeks era. Leonard is not great in the run game. Hes 215 and gets man handled a lot

What's changed? I would say quite a bit considering we had Mathis and Freeney rushing the passer during the Dungy/Meeks era. 

You can't honestly say that Leonard gets manhandled when he leads the NFL in tackling. 

For some reason you have been negative on Leonard and I don't understand why? 

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On 7/27/2020 at 10:13 AM, Boss7894 said:

I’m trying to find an interview I read back in the day when Darius Leonard said he was glad he was drafted by the Colts because Gary Brackett was one of his favorite players and how he wanted to be the next Gary Brackett.  Also I know it’s too early to compare him to Brackett but am I the only one who get major Gary Brackett vibes when he talks?

Perhaps it was this post on reddit?

 

Met Gary Brackett and Darius Leonard tonight

Sorry if this isn’t really an acceptable post, but I figured I’d share.

 

So I was at the CharBlue steakhouse tonight for my birthday dinner with my girlfriend when my girlfriend had asked the waiter “doesn’t some old colts player own this restaurant?” And the waiter said “yes, Gary brackett! He’s actually downstairs in a private meeting, but if he comes upstairs maybe you’ll be able to meet him and get a picture with him.”

 

So about an hour passes by and a group of young people in colts gear leave from downstairs who I assume was other current colts players that I didn’t recognize since they had already passed my table by the time I had realized. But I had looked back and saw Gary and Darius talking with each other, so I approached them and chatted with them for a bit and told Gary he was a hell of a player in that Tampa 2, and he responded and said thanks and that he was teaching the guys some things and giving them advice on dropping back better.

 

I just thought it was really cool to see Brackett going out of his way to have dinner for a couple hours with these younger guys and giving some tips. Hopefully Leonard turns out to be the next Gary Brackett.

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56 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Whats changed?  This D has even been worse than the Dungy/Meeks era. Leonard is not great in the run game. Hes 215 and gets man handled a lot

The whole defense got manhandled last year seems like that happend when the team decided to go smaller on the D-line...

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2 hours ago, jameszeigler834 said:

The whole defense got manhandled last year seems like that happend when the team decided to go smaller on the D-line...

They never really went smaller. Thats the scheme. Light up front.  Penetrate....go for the qb. If u manage to tackle the rb on the way to the qb......bonus. 

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11 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

They never really went smaller. Thats the scheme. Light up front.  Penetrate....go for the qb. If u manage to tackle the rb on the way to the qb......bonus. 

Well whatever they did it failed miserably that unit must be better this season for this team to do anything no with the addition of Buckner I believe they will be but time will tell.

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1 minute ago, jameszeigler834 said:

Well whatever they did it failed miserably that unit must be better this season for this team to do anything no with the addition of Buckner I believe they will be but time will tell.

They failed as they could not apply pressure. They failed because they play a basic system and very good to great qbs will destroy it. Now if they play more man, I am not sure they have the dbs to be successful. Time will tell.

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11 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

They failed as they could not apply pressure. They failed because they play a basic system and very good to great qbs will destroy it. Now if they play more man, I am not sure they have the dbs to be successful. Time will tell.

When we played man coverage even good QB's weren't lighting us up for 400 yards then late in the season all they wanted to play was that two deep zone garbage the prevent me from winning defense cause in todays NFL you wont beat anybody playing that coverage if we play more man i think the sky is the limit for this team but anymore zone crap no chance...

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On 7/27/2020 at 9:39 AM, chad72 said:

He doesn't play ILB or MIKE like Gary Brackett did, he plays WILL and is definitely more athletic than Gary, IMO. Gary was unheralded, an undrafted guy who overachieved, IMO and was a good fit for our system than anyone else's. 

 

Darius Leonard is more athletic but he won't be the guy with a mic on his helmet, Walker or whoever our ILB is will be. Mike Peterson, that the Colts drafted at No.36 (ironically the same pick as Darius Leonard), who also played WILL, is actually a good athletic comparison. If you are talking about leadership, time will tell. Mike Peterson was the guy Polian refused to pay, just like with David Thornton, but I am certain Ballard won't make that mistake with Leonard.

 

Darius is a far better athlete with much more raw ability than Brackett.  He does play ILB from time to time, but that's not very common.  Darius is a tall, rangy, speedy, athletic guy who is a bit on the light side for an NFL LBer.  Brackett was 5'11" 235 lbs (so short for an NFL LBer and a bit heavier than Leonard).  Brackett certainly wasn't known for his athleticism, he was more of a hard worker who had good instincts and put him in solid position to make plays.  

 

Leonard, in 2 years, has already been an all-pro twice and a pro-bowler 1x.  Brackett never achieved either of those accolades.  Brackett was 2x AFC defensive player of the week over the course of his career.  In his rookie year, Leonard was 2x AFC defensive player of the week and also was awarded an AFC Def. Player of the Month and NFL Rookie Def Player of Month award and NFL Def. Rookie of the Year.  He broke the Colts' franchise single season record for tackles in a single season as a rookie.  

 

Honestly, I don't really see much similarity to Leonard and Brackett.  They are both hard workers, humble guys, and seem to be very nice guys off the field.  They both came in with chips on their shoulders (Brackett as an UDFA, Leonard as a guy from a small school who everyone labeled as a bad draft pick for as early as he was picked).  Otherwise, aside from being smart/instinctive football players who both were able to amass high numbers of tackles, their styles of play have very little in common.

 

In terms of Peterson, I guess he was more athletic than Brackett, but I don't think he's a good comparison to Leonard, either.  Peterson didn't get paid because he was demanding top dollar contract and Polian thought he was more of a product of his system than a stellar player (he was named 2nd team all-pro 1x in his career - 2005 in Jax, but he was never at the level DL has been).  Polian was right, Peterson was replaced by David Thornton who came in and had better numbers in 2003 than Peterson did in 2002.  Then Marcus Washington and Cato June.  The way that system was set up with Dungy running the show was that we just needed a solid athlete who could play disciplined football in that system and we'd be fine at that position.  None of those guys were 'Derek Brooks' or even close, but they played a role in a system which allowed them to put up big tackle numbers.  

 

Leonard, on the other hand, seems to have the physical attributes along with the mental side and work ethic to elevate to a different level than so many players in this league.  He is more than a product of his system, IMO.  So, I think you're right, Ballard won't let Leonard go (aside from major injury, off field issues, or something unforeseeable)... but, I don't think Polian made 'mistakes' letting Peterson, Thornton, or Washington leave-- the play at that position never really diminished in that system so long as we had the pass rush we did on the DL and the guy stepping into the spot was an adequate athlete who could play his role.  I think Darius is above that level.

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1 minute ago, GoColts8818 said:

Brackett was often an underrated player here but Leonard has surpassed Gary already.  That’s no disrespect to Gary either.  Leonard is a superstar.

 

Watching the Manic play is like:popcorn:

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On 8/3/2020 at 6:19 PM, CurBeatElite said:

 

Darius is a far better athlete with much more raw ability than Brackett.  He does play ILB from time to time, but that's not very common.  Darius is a tall, rangy, speedy, athletic guy who is a bit on the light side for an NFL LBer.  Brackett was 5'11" 235 lbs (so short for an NFL LBer and a bit heavier than Leonard).  Brackett certainly wasn't known for his athleticism, he was more of a hard worker who had good instincts and put him in solid position to make plays.  

 

Leonard, in 2 years, has already been an all-pro twice and a pro-bowler 1x.  Brackett never achieved either of those accolades.  Brackett was 2x AFC defensive player of the week over the course of his career.  In his rookie year, Leonard was 2x AFC defensive player of the week and also was awarded an AFC Def. Player of the Month and NFL Rookie Def Player of Month award and NFL Def. Rookie of the Year.  He broke the Colts' franchise single season record for tackles in a single season as a rookie.  

 

Honestly, I don't really see much similarity to Leonard and Brackett.  They are both hard workers, humble guys, and seem to be very nice guys off the field.  They both came in with chips on their shoulders (Brackett as an UDFA, Leonard as a guy from a small school who everyone labeled as a bad draft pick for as early as he was picked).  Otherwise, aside from being smart/instinctive football players who both were able to amass high numbers of tackles, their styles of play have very little in common.

 

In terms of Peterson, I guess he was more athletic than Brackett, but I don't think he's a good comparison to Leonard, either.  Peterson didn't get paid because he was demanding top dollar contract and Polian thought he was more of a product of his system than a stellar player (he was named 2nd team all-pro 1x in his career - 2005 in Jax, but he was never at the level DL has been).  Polian was right, Peterson was replaced by David Thornton who came in and had better numbers in 2003 than Peterson did in 2002.  Then Marcus Washington and Cato June.  The way that system was set up with Dungy running the show was that we just needed a solid athlete who could play disciplined football in that system and we'd be fine at that position.  None of those guys were 'Derek Brooks' or even close, but they played a role in a system which allowed them to put up big tackle numbers.  

 

Leonard, on the other hand, seems to have the physical attributes along with the mental side and work ethic to elevate to a different level than so many players in this league.  He is more than a product of his system, IMO.  So, I think you're right, Ballard won't let Leonard go (aside from major injury, off field issues, or something unforeseeable)... but, I don't think Polian made 'mistakes' letting Peterson, Thornton, or Washington leave-- the play at that position never really diminished in that system so long as we had the pass rush we did on the DL and the guy stepping into the spot was an adequate athlete who could play his role.  I think Darius is above that level.

 

Excellent post!!! :thmup:

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On 8/2/2020 at 8:42 PM, Moosejawcolt said:

Whats changed?  This D has even been worse than the Dungy/Meeks era. Leonard is not great in the run game. Hes 215 and gets man handled a lot

Where are you seeing him at 215?

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11 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Yeah he is listed at 230. I was thinking more like 235.

Darius has stated many times that he prefers to play around 220.

He was weighed in at 230 for the combine.  But was nursing an injury, and was not able to work out for a lot of that time, and gained some weight.

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I'd read anything a person says about his/her weight with a grain of salt. It's an area where people, especially athletes lie about routinely. 215 lbs at 6'2'' with almost 35'' arms is insanely low.

 

I'd say his most common playing weight is 225-230.

 

He is 215 lbs just like Pat Williams (Vikings) was "317" lbs.

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1 hour ago, Four2itus said:

He is listed at 230 on the Colts roster. I would take that over an article over a year old. 

Roster weights are notoriously unreliable.  Leonard gave interviews last year where he said he plays between 225-218.  He’s trying to play as fast as possible. 

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7 hours ago, rock8591 said:

I'd read anything a person says about his/her weight with a grain of salt. It's an area where people, especially athletes lie about routinely. 215 lbs at 6'2'' with almost 35'' arms is insanely low.

 

I'd say his most common playing weight is 225-230.

 

He is 215 lbs just like Pat Williams (Vikings) was "317" lbs.

https://clutchpoints.com/colts-darius-leonard-opens-up-about-playing-undersized/

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7 hours ago, Four2itus said:

He is listed at 230 on the Colts roster. I would take that over an article over a year old. 

LBer's in this style of D are notoriously  under weight. Thats why thry are very susceptible to the run. Their front 7 is light. 

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7 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

LBer's in this style of D are notoriously  under weight. Thats why thry are very susceptible to the run. Their front 7 is light. 

Leonard missed 5 tackles last season and that put him at the 4th fewest in the league for linebackers. 

I think that number is gladly susceptible. 

You seem to have this illusion that Leonard is a poor tackler when the stats show different.. :scratch:

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12 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

Leonard missed 5 tackles last season and that put him at the 4th fewest in the league for linebackers. 

I think that number is gladly susceptible. 

You seem to have this illusion that Leonard is a poor tackler when the stats show different.. :scratch:

R u counting the # of times an offensive linemen or tight end locks on him and drives him 10 yards down the field?  I know I am being a smart ... and I apologize. Our linebacking core is light and there is no getting around that.  Opposing te's are bigger than out lb core.  It is the weakness of this D philosophy. The lbers in this D tend to b drafted on their ability to defend the pass. Okereke looks like a stud against the pass. However, he like Leonard, is basically a safety playing lber. Just my opinion.

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29 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

R u counting the # of times an offensive linemen or tight end locks on him and drives him 10 yards down the field?  I know I am being a smart ... and I apologize. Our linebacking core is light and there is no getting around that.  Opposing te's are bigger than out lb core.  It is the weakness of this D philosophy. The lbers in this D tend to b drafted on their ability to defend the pass. Okereke looks like a stud against the pass. However, he like Leonard, is basically a safety playing lber. Just my opinion.

 

LOL. Did you watch any of the games last season?

 

Also, Okereke is 6-1, 235 lbs, basically the same size as Patrick Willis and Luke Keuchly, except with longer arms and also runs a 4.58 40. I’d take the increased arm length and athleticism over 0.0001 centimeters in height any day. 

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47 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

R u counting the # of times an offensive linemen or tight end locks on him and drives him 10 yards down the field?  I know I am being a smart ... and I apologize. Our linebacking core is light and there is no getting around that.  Opposing te's are bigger than out lb core.  It is the weakness of this D philosophy. The lbers in this D tend to b drafted on their ability to defend the pass. Okereke looks like a stud against the pass. However, he like Leonard, is basically a safety playing lber. Just my opinion.

Your opinion is wrong though.

 

Colts had 7th best Run Defense in the league last year.

 

https://www.footballdb.com/stats/teamstat.html?group=D&cat=T&sort=rushypg

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I try not to pre-judge, especially those with different opinions.

 

Except sometimes, those opinions are NOWHERE CLOSE to fact or reality, nor would video evidence of the truth would bring about that type of perception. I do not apologize for calling a fish a fish, when a fish is clearly a fish while someone else can say "no, it's actually a dog."

 

2 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

R u counting the # of times an offensive linemen or tight end locks on him and drives him 10 yards down the field?  I know I am being a smart ... and I apologize. Our linebacking core is light and there is no getting around that.  Opposing te's are bigger than out lb core.  It is the weakness of this D philosophy. The lbers in this D tend to b drafted on their ability to defend the pass. Okereke looks like a stud against the pass. However, he like Leonard, is basically a safety playing lber. Just my opinion.

 

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30 minutes ago, rock8591 said:

I try not to pre-judge, especially those with different opinions.

 

Except sometimes, those opinions are NOWHERE CLOSE to fact or reality, nor would video evidence of the truth would bring about that type of perception. I do not apologize for calling a fish a fish, when a fish is clearly a fish while someone else can say "no, it's actually a dog."

 

 

I do think that in a year or tow, Okereke will b thr Colts best Lb

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24 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Because everyone through the ball at a rate of 70%.  Why run on theColts when u can throw all day??

Thus the addition of Buckner. 

You are possessed with negativity. When ever someone has anything positive you always come back with something negative. I don't think you even like football. 

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I don't feel like i am negative. Their defence was atrocious last year against competitent offences. I evaluate them based on last year's performance not what may happen.  I hope they show growth and Buckner is the addition that everyone thinks will turn the D around. My biggest complaint with this D, beleive it or not, is not the talent.  It is the talent assembled to play a D , which I am not a big fan of. Their u have it

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1 hour ago, Moosejawcolt said:

I don't feel like i am negative. Their defence was atrocious last year against competitent offences. I evaluate them based on last year's performance not what may happen.  I hope they show growth and Buckner is the addition that everyone thinks will turn the D around. My biggest complaint with this D, beleive it or not, is not the talent.  It is the talent assembled to play a D , which I am not a big fan of. Their u have it

 Your argumentative personality wont allow you to just admit you are wrong. You just deflect and start all over again. 

  I understand that because I once had those personality traits. Self awareness is a beautiful thing. 

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2 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

 Your argumentative personality wont allow you to just admit you are wrong. You just deflect and start all over again. 

  I understand that because I once had those personality traits. Self awareness is a beautiful thing. 

So what am i wrong about??

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On 8/2/2020 at 7:14 PM, crazycolt1 said:

What's changed? I would say quite a bit considering we had Mathis and Freeney rushing the passer during the Dungy/Meeks era. 

You can't honestly say that Leonard gets manhandled when he leads the NFL in tackling. 

For some reason you have been negative on Leonard and I don't understand why? 

The weak side line backer in this system always gets gaudy tackle #'s. The idea is for the D to funnel the runner back to the weak side. Dont beleìve me.  Look up stats for WIL in this system.

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6 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

The weak side line backer in this system always gets gaudy tackle #'s. The idea is for the D to funnel the runner back to the weak side. Dont beleìve me.  Look up stats for WIL in this system.

So what?

You said he was poor at tackling and even had his weight wrong.

The dude missed 5 tackles last season and he weighs 230 lbs. 

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3 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

So what?

You said he was poor at tackling and even had his weight wrong.

The dude missed 5 tackles last season and he weighs 230 lbs. 

Why Colts' Darius Leonard (221 pounds) wants to be one of the NFL's lightest linebackers. INDIANAPOLIS — Darius Leonard showed up for the start of his rookie season in Indianapolis at 234 pounds."

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