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Jonathan Newsome Building Off Rookie Year Momentum

Intro: The Colts outside linebacker position group might be the deepest of any unit on the defense. What’s in store for Jonathan Newsome’s second NFL offseason off the edge?





INDIANAPOLIS – If there's such thing as a "rookie wall" in the NFL, Jonathan Newsome easily knocked it down.

Going from the collegiate game one season (typically around 12 games) to the NFL level the next (could be around 20 games including preseason/postseason) can be daunting.

Newsome doesn't shy away from the moment though and certainly did not when the 2014 season dragged on.

In the second half of 2014, Newsome recorded three multi-sack games in helping him finish his rookie campaign with a team-leading 6.5 sacks.

NFL season No. 2 is on the horizon for the Ball State product and expectations have risen.

"We've talked pretty closely about, 'Hey, we just want to keep progressing,'" Colts outside linebackers coach Brad White says about Newsome.

"I want to see him progress. He will be the first to tell you, there are plays that he left out on the field that with experience, now being able to look at that, he can make those plays this year. Those are things that he looks at and he could have been double digit (sacks). We've got to keep going and you can't get frustrated. There are times that they just come in bunches."

The Colts offseason program in 2015 has provided Newsome plenty of work with the first team defense.

Building off the momentum to end his rookie season, Newsome feels he's better equipped to read and react consistently in this second year.

"It helped tremendously just being able to get out there and get the reps and have guys in front of me that I can watch," Newsome said of his rookie debut.

"Coming into this year, I'm hearing everything once again so I'm not really learning, it's just going out there, getting the reps and I don't have to sit out there and think about what I'm going to do. I actually have game experience running these plays."

The obvious highlight of Newsome's initial NFL season, and perhaps the Colts 2014 year in general, came in Denver.

A second-quarter strip/sack of Peyton Manning set up a Colts score and allowed the visitors to seize control in the Divisional Round matchup against the No. 2 seed.

It was one of several flashes Newsome showed in 2014 of why the Colts were a nervous war room in seeing if the outside linebacker would fall all the way to end of the fifth round of last year's NFL Draft.

Other team's mistakes in letting Newsome fall allowed the Colts to nab the top rookie edge rusher from a sack standpoint in the 2014 class.

In what could be the Colts deepest position group on the defensive side of the ball, Newsome has the potential to follow the elite rushers before him.

"I want to be better at everything," Newsome said this offseason.

"You can never have enough good technique. Pass rushing, setting the edge, covering, being able to read tendencies in the offense and knowing the situation first and second down, third down, distance, all that stuff comes into play."

Behind the scenes images of our photo shoot with Jonathan Newsome.

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