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Darius Leonard Thoughts


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Just now, NewColtsFan said:

BOOM!!   Drop that Mic!!   Bravo!!

 

Ballard has worked diligently to build a great locker room and team culture.

 

Lets consider NOT paying two if our three best players!   “Poof!!”  There goes that culture and locker room.   So much for that. 

Yeah I could make a strong debate that Leonard is our 3rd best player only behind Buck and Nelson. I know Rivers is very important too because he is the QB. I like Kenny Moore as well but Leonard is that important like Costanzo is. 

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Let me start by saying that I support Darius Leonard. I cant overlook his inconsistent play this year though.   The Colts D in general needs to be more consistent and that starts with Leonar

I have to disagree here. Leonard isn't making mistakes. He's doing his job pretty well... the only difference this year compared to last is hes not forcing as many turn overs. As many sacks. As many t

What do you know, your typical appearance of the site. Trashing the team.   Seriously I'm not sure why you even "root" for the Colts. I use that term very, very loosely, as I don't think you

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The absence of a good quality LB in the past 20+ years has most of you giving Leonard the benefit of the doubt.

 

I never said he was a bad LB but I am wanting to see more dominant performances before Ballard throws a huge contract his way.

 

Perhaps he will take discount to stay but I doubt that.

 

BTW Ballard has preached for years about the trenches. He obviously will want to keep both Leonard and Nelson but if given the choice he will choose Nelson 10 times out of 10.

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Hey Dan I got a question.  Who is an elite LB in this league?  Who would you replace Leonard with?  If you are prepared to let him walk, you gotta have a plan to replace him.  I don't see too many Darius Leonard's available in FA.  The draft?  

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16 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

The absence of a good quality LB in the past 20+ years has most of you giving Leonard the benefit of the doubt.

 

I never said he was a bad LB but I am wanting to see more dominant performances before Ballard throws a huge contract his way.

 

Perhaps he will take discount to stay but I doubt that.

 

BTW Ballard has preached for years about the trenches. He obviously will want to keep both Leonard and Nelson but if given the choice he will choose Nelson 10 times out of 10.

No, it’s not the last 20 years that earns Leonard the benefit of the doubt.   It’s what Leonard did HIS FIRST TWO YEARS that earned him the benefit of the doubt.  It wasn’t that long ago.   Last year, and the year before.

 

How quickly people forget. 

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I think the SMART GM's, and I count Ballard in that group, are the ones who are looking 2-3 years into the future for guys they would like to draft, even if they have to move up to do it, to replace the guys who will be getting more expensive deals.  I think Ballard already has an idea whether or not he wants to re-sign Leonard, Nelson, Willis, Turay, Mack, etc.  I would expect we'll know what his plans are for some of these guys by his actions in the draft.

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7 minutes ago, AZColt11 said:

I think the SMART GM's, and I count Ballard in that group, are the ones who are looking 2-3 years into the future for guys they would like to draft, even if they have to move up to do it, to replace the guys who will be getting more expensive deals.  I think Ballard already has an idea whether or not he wants to re-sign Leonard, Nelson, Willis, Turay, Mack, etc.  I would expect we'll know what his plans are for some of these guys by his actions in the draft.

Agree.  And with the exception of JB Ballard doesn't overpay for any player.  I keep scratching my head on that one.  He has a number he is willing to lay and if you won't sign for that he will move on.  That's his MO for FA as well.  It's a waist of time to worry about contracts.  That's Ballards job and he's very good at it.  

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18 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

No, it’s not the last 20 years that earns Leonard the benefit of the doubt.   It’s what Leonard did HIS FIRST TWO YEARS that earned him the benefit of the doubt.  It wasn’t that long ago.   Last year, and the year before.

 

How quickly people forget. 

We have a tough crowd in here that is for sure lmao .

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25 minutes ago, AZColt11 said:

Hey Dan I got a question.  Who is an elite LB in this league?  Who would you replace Leonard with?  If you are prepared to let him walk, you gotta have a plan to replace him.  I don't see too many Darius Leonard's available in FA.  The draft?  

I trust Ballard in the draft to replace Leonard if it comes to that. Leonard being replaced won't happen til 22 and a lot can happen between now and then.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Sometimes you don’t realize how good someone is until you don’t have him anymore.

I'll repeat myself again

I never said Leonard isn't good

 

His play shouldn't give him access to massive contract but the lack of quality LB play from the Colts organization will result in one.

 

Best option is to extend him as soon as possible and don't waiver on that offer cause his play could ultimately make it higher or lower. 

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10 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

I'll repeat myself again

I never said Leonard isn't good

 

His play shouldn't give him access to massive contract but the lack of quality LB play from the Colts organization will result in one.

 

Best option is to extend him as soon as possible and don't waiver on that offer cause his play could ultimately make it higher or lower. 

We will see how he plays in 2021, he set the bar so high for himself in 2018 and 2019 that now at times he just looks like normal good LB. He still has been good this year IMO. Take him off our defense and we are not the same, JMO.

19 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Sometimes you don’t realize how good someone is until you don’t have him anymore.

Yep, I said the same thing above.

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Just now, 2006Coltsbestever said:

We will see how he plays in 2021, he set the bar so high for himself in 2018 and 2019 that now at times he just looks like normal good LB. He still has been good this year IMO. Take him off our defense and we are not the same, JMO.

Yep, I said the same thing above.

The loss of Buckner would hurt more. Example: Titans game

 

I think we will potentially still be solid as long as Buckner is there 

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33 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

I trust Ballard in the draft to replace Leonard if it comes to that. Leonard being replaced won't happen til 22 and a lot can happen between now and then.

 

 

Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone and too late.  I'm sure the 49'ers would like to have Buckner back and let Armstead walk instead.

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4 minutes ago, AZColt11 said:

Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone and too late.  I'm sure the 49'ers would like to have Buckner back and let Armstead walk instead.

49ers made a financial decision for their future. I understand why they did it and why we did it. Doesn't mean what they did was bad. 

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Just now, coltsfan_canada said:

I think what they did was not good either looking at their record from appearing in SB to last in ur division. :dunno:

It doesn't help that the entire division improved. They would still be in the hunt if they were in the East lol 

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1 hour ago, danlhart87 said:

I'll repeat myself again

I never said Leonard isn't good

 

His play shouldn't give him access to massive contract but the lack of quality LB play from the Colts organization will result in one.

 

Best option is to extend him as soon as possible and don't waiver on that offer cause his play could ultimately make it higher or lower. 

I would disagree with that his play shouldn’t give him access to a massive contract.  He is at worst the second best player on the defense and this defense is currently rated fifth in the league and the strength of the team and a large part of why they have won 8 games.  Is his play down a little this year?  Sure.  However that’s like saying Marvin’s play was down the year after he caught 143 catches or Manning’s play was down after he threw 49 TDs or Edge was down after he won back-to-back rushing titles.  The reason it’s down is that’s near impossible to keep performing at that high of a level year in and year out.  He’s still a stud player that isn’t easily replaced.  So suggesting letting him walk as you have done shows that at least on some level you don’t appreciate how good he is.  He’s a star and stars get paid in the league.  Look I like you but in the past two weeks you’ve suggested letting Houston go and now Leonard. What’s next?  Trading Buckner?  You are saying get ride of the stars of the defense.  You don’t do that and not have a massive drop off.  

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I don’t even understand the point of this thread. You have a young LB that has stats to show one of the best starts for a linebacker period. Like ever! And his stats have taken a small drop so you talk about not paying him and let him possibly walk. Seriously? I will say that coverage wise he has looked lost at times but you could look at many big time players and see down play amount them in some games. This year is just a different year. Plus with Buckner comes change. Buckner is the key to that D and Ballard has preached the 3tech would be. Now your star LB needs to learn to play with a solid D line. He doesn’t have to be in the hole at all times but now needs to QB spy and play better coverage. I will say he had 2 or 3 games that he looked sluggish with a slow first step when his hammy was bothering him. That showed in coverage for sure. Regardless this dude will get paid. By us. Because he is worth every penny. 

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12 hours ago, danlhart87 said:

I think this D can survive without Leonard. They can't without Buckner though. 

Before Buckner without leonard we had no one  don’t forget that quickly..none of our linebackers has the instincts to go along with the athletic ability of leonard nor does anyone on the team since he’s been drafted has created more of an impact on this D like He says put some respect on his name 

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14 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

Just a thought but having Buckner keeps him cleaner and he maybe doesn’t have as many opportunities for fumbles and int. Plus we don’t blitz as much now we have Buckner. 

This one hit it on the nail they don’t use him to rush the passer as much anymore his coverage in man has been a bit spotty but in zone he seems fine still..I worry this week our linebackers are most likely gonna get destroyed by waller lol I think we should put Rhodes in their TE Bc Rhodes vs Ruggs deep easy Td 

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21 minutes ago, will426 said:

This one hit it on the nail they don’t use him to rush the passer as much anymore his coverage in man has been a bit spotty but in zone he seems fine still..I worry this week our linebackers are most likely gonna get destroyed by waller lol I think we should put Rhodes in their TE Bc Rhodes vs Ruggs deep easy Td 

I think we might see Willis on Waller a lot. Colts I believe are number one in the league this year at defending TE.

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Leonard will get his deal this offseason. He’s not playing the final year of his rookie deal...when he’s likely been one of the biggest bargains in the NFL.

 

So on one hand...you have a team leader who has had two great seasons in his first two years in the league...with a truly special rookie season. You could stop there I guess...but we should look at a bit further.

 

Because on the other hand...you have a player who has been trending downward in many stats and categories since that special rookie season (tackles, TFL, sacks, QB hits, overall PFF grade, etc). He saw a major improvement in pass defense last season...but those numbers have regressed to even below his rookie season numbers where pass defense was not very good. And the INTs and TOs...the signature Leonard plays...aren’t there this season for some reason.


Hopefully he finishes strong...but if not...we will have seen regression across the board...whether it’s compared to his rookie season or last year. Maybe it’s a plateau...or maybe it’s an accumulation of injuries or wear and tear...who knows...but the numbers are there to suggest both. And we shouldn’t discount them or what we are seeing.


And then you have the decreasing cap for next year with lower-than-original  projections going forward. And you also have two cornerstones of your OL to extend.

 

So what do the Colts do? They should (and will) absolutely re-sign him...because he’s a very good player and a team leader. But I don’t think giving him a monster contract is as much of a no-brainer as it was a year ago. So I am curious to see what what his deal will look like. 

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1 hour ago, Chloe6124 said:

Just a thought but having Buckner keeps him cleaner and he maybe doesn’t have as many opportunities for fumbles and int. Plus we don’t blitz as much now we have Buckner. 


Leonard is blitzing less...~3.4/game vs. ~4/game last season. However, his success has gone down...he’s pressuring the QB ~12% of the time (vs. 21% last season). With an improved DL

(with Buckner) to keep him clean...that’s interesting. You would expect those numbers to be similar or hopefully improve.

 

Teams are throwing less against the Colts...about 3 less attempts per game...so 48 less pass attempts overall.

 

Because of this (and the success Leonard had last year)...he is also being targeted at a lesser pace than last season...~ 1 less target per game. So if that holds...he will have faced 53 targets (vs 62 last season). That’s a noticeable difference...but it wouldn’t explain the drop from 5 INTs to 0 INTs (as of now). 

 

But less targets isn’t necessarily a bad thing...because his passer rating against has jumped back up to 103 (vs 62.8 last year). 
 

Just seems like he hasn’t played up to his stellar standard this year...despite being on the 5th ranked defense and with a much much better DL. I don’t think it’s necessarily concerning...this is probably his floor...and that’s a really good player...and we want really

good players. But Leonard’s not going to be extended as a really good player...it will be as an All Pro player...so I think this season should be part of the consideration. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, shasta519 said:


Leonard is blitzing less...~3.4/game vs. ~4/game last season. However, his success has gone down...he’s pressuring the QB ~12% of the time (vs. 21% last season). With an improved DL

(with Buckner) to keep him clean...that’s interesting. You would expect those numbers to be similar or hopefully improve.

 

Teams are throwing less against the Colts...about 3 less attempts per game...so 48 less pass attempts overall.

 

Because of this (and the success Leonard had last year)...he is also being targeted at a lesser pace than last season...~ 1 less target per game. So if that holds...he will have faced 53 targets (vs 62 last season). That’s a noticeable difference...but it wouldn’t explain the drop from 5 INTs to 0 INTs (as of now). 

 

But less targets isn’t necessarily a bad thing...because his passer rating against has jumped back up to 103 (vs 62.8 last year). 
 

Just seems like he hasn’t played up to his stellar standard this year...despite being on the 5th ranked defense and with a much much better DL. I don’t think it’s necessarily concerning...this is probably his floor...and that’s a really good player...and we want really

good players. But Leonard’s not going to be extended as a really good player...it will be as an All Pro player...so I think this season should be part of the consideration. 

 

 

I think if the Colts were smart they would extend him this next coming offseason while his numbers are down. 

 

The crazy thing is with Buckner i thought his numbers would be amazing 

 

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18 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

I think if the Colts were smart they would extend him this next coming offseason while his numbers are down. 

 

The crazy thing is with Buckner i thought his numbers would be amazing 

 

You were as wrong about that as you were about this thread ;)

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15 hours ago, danlhart87 said:

I think this D can survive without Leonard. They can't without Buckner though. 

This was the same thing polian thought when he let , Thornton, June etc... walk and it was a bad decision. Having LB with Leonard skill set is key to this def 

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1 minute ago, jbaron04 said:

This was the same thing polian thought when he let , Thornton, June etc... walk and it was a bad decision. Having LB with Leonard skill set is key to this def 

Thats why extending him ASAP is crucial. I feel like his potential contract numbers are only gonna go up as the entire D improves.

 

He's a legit player but ultimately could end up costing the Colts 18 to 20m  if they play the waiting game. 

 

I like Leonard a lot but I'm not sure how I feel paying an inconsistent player that much if it comes down to it.

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