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Linebackers: 2021 Position Preview 

Darius Leonard aims to continue his historic pace in Year 4 while Bobby Okereke will look to build on a strong finish to 2020. Here's what you need to know about the Colts' linebacking corps heading into training camp. 

#53 LB Darius Leonard
#53 LB Darius Leonard

Who's In

  • Malik Jefferson (signed as free agent)
  • Isaiah Kaufusi (signed as undrafted free agent)

Jefferson, a 2018 third round pick, appeared in 34 games for the Bengals, Browns and Chargers over the last three seasons. Kaufusi played his college ball at BYU and totaled 204 tackles in four seasons for the Cougars.

Who's Out

  • Anthony Walker (signed with Browns)

Replacing Walker's leadership will be a challenge for Darius Leonard, Bobby Okereke and the rest of the Colts' linebackers, but it's one that group is embracing.

"Obviously, Anthony was a rock on our team, a focal point, really a leader," Okereke said. "Just for me, personal accountability, stepping up and making sure that I'm that consistent leader for everyone on the defense and really just keeping this thing rolling."

Who's Back

  • Matthew Adams (fourth year)
  • Zaire Franklin (fourth year)
  • Darius Leonard (fourth year)
  • Bobby Okereke (third year)
  • E.J. Speed (third year)
  • Jordan Glasgow (second year)
  • Skai Moore (second year)

What To Watch For

Okereke will look to build on a strong finish to 2020 at Grand Park, while there should be some strong competition to replace Walker at Mike linebacker among the returning group of Colts linebackers.

Training Camp Information

The Colts will return to Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield for training camp in 2021. Click here for a full schedule of practices open to fans. Free tickets will be required to attend, which can be obtained here. For more information on Colts 2021 Training Camp Powered By Kerauno, click here.

Statistically Speaking

The leaderboard for most tackles in the first three seasons of a player's career since 1987, when tackles became an official statistic:

  1. Luke Kuechly (473)
  2. Patrick Willis (467)
  3. Steve Atwater (452)
  4. Kyle Clifton (447)
  5. Lavonte David (430)
  6. Jon Beason (419)
  7. Zach Thomas (419)
  8. Darius Leonard (416)
  9. Ray Lewis (414)
  10. Jerod Mayo (405)

They Said It

"This is going into my fourth year in the system and once you're in the system for over two to three years, you can do more. Everybody knows what we run. There's not sugarcoating anything. We are going to line up, we are going to run what we run and now that we are confident having veteran players on the defensive side of the ball, we can change things up, we can disguise more.

To be a championship defense, we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. You have to know the playbook. You can't have the mental mistakes. If you look at the games that we lost, it wasn't anything that the opposing team was doing. It was more so what we were doing to ourselves – having missed assignments or mental errors or getting dumb penalties. Those are things that we can't do. Once we clean all that up, we will be a championship defense." - Darius Leonard

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