Leonard was disappointed when his name didn’t appear on the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster Tuesday night.Now the league’s leading tackler intends to make all future opponents pay for the perceived snub.“He told me he’d have 40 tackles this week Antonio Morrison Jersey , and I told him that’s humanly impossible,” tight end Eric Ebron said Wednesday.But if the Colts (8-6) have learned anything about their star rookie, it’s not to discount anything he says.When South Carolina State played Clemson in 2016, Leonard had 19 tackles against the eventual national champs and his childhood favorite, which never offered him a scholarship. His performance that day earned him the nickname “Maniac” around campus, a nickname he still clings to, and put him on the radar of Colts general manager Chris Ballard.Throughout the draft process, he heard from the critics again. This time they were questioning the level of competition he faced in college; how long it would take to make the transition from FCS to the NFL; and whether Ballard reached when he took Leonard at No. 36 overall, four picks into the second round, in April.Others questioned whether missing all of the Colts’ spring and summer workouts because of a bad hamstring would slow him down this season.Leonard has proved all of them wrong.Despite missing one game, at New England, he continues to lead the league with 146 tackles and needs 15 over the final two games to break Jeff Herrod’s single-season franchise record (160), a mark that has stood since 1991. And if Leonard’s play matches the hype Kenny Moore Color Rush Jersey , Herrod’s record could go down Sunday against the New York Giants (5-9).“It adds more fuel to the fire,” Leonard said when asked about missing the Pro Bowl. “It gives me more reason to go out and keep fighting. With everything I did and knowing it’s still not enough, I’ve got to put more on my resume.”Leonard views it as more of a promise than a warning and it fits his personality.While he revels in the underdog role, he routinely plays with a chip on his shoulder and continually sets his standards high. His goal each week is to get 25 tackles and he’s finished in double digits in seven of the Colts’ 14 games. He’s tied with Carolina’s Luke Kuechly for the most games with 10 or more tackles this season.But what the Colts have found in Leonard is much more than a tackling machine.His seven sacks are third-most100 Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehtaby a Colts rookie, trailing only Dwight Freeney (13) and Vernon Maxwell (7). Dee Ford, Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt — all Pro Bowlers — are the only players this season to force more fumbles than Leonard (4). He also has 12 tackles for loss, six passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.Andrew Luck spotted the potential almost from the first moment Leonard suited up for Indy. At the first training camp practice, Leonard made a leaping, acrobatic interception of the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.“I’ll be honest, the first couple of training camp practices I said ‘My goodness, he’s not supposed to be that fast and play linebacker,'” Luck recalled. “And then he went up for that interception and came down with it, and I just said ‘My goodness.'”Luck appreciates that he won’t have to contend with Leonard in a meaningful game. The rest of the league won’t be as fortunate.“I want to go out there every week and make every tackle https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Jeremiah-George-Jersey ,” Leonard said. “I like to set a crazy goal, so each week if it’s not 25 (tackles), I’m mad at myself.” INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck‘s health was Indianapolis‘ biggest question the past two years. But halfway through his comeback season, the star quarterback looks like his old self and the numbers suggest he’s actually playing better.Luck’s strong return has helped the Colts win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two years, and they head into the bye weekend full of momentum and hope.“He made some incredible plays. I mean some incredible plays, conversions on third downs, plays that he shouldn’t make, plays that normal quarterbacks don’t make,” first-year coach Frank Reich said, describing Luck’s impressive game Sunday at Oakland.Many wondered if Luck could ever regain the form that had many calling him the league’s best young quarterback before Indy took him with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012.He exceeded the hype by leading the Colts to playoff appearances and earning Pro Bowl selections in each of his first three seasons.Then came the injuries and the losses. Luck hurt his right shoulder early in the 2015 season and wound up missing nine games — the last seven with a lacerated kidney. He sat out one game in 2016 with a concussion and missed the entire 2017 season after having surgery for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.But he’s answered the critics with a solid first half.Indy (3-5) needs one more win to match last season’s victory total and faces the second-easiest schedule over the second half. The Colts are two games out of the AFC South lead with five division games remaining and Luck getting even stronger.He is 225 of 342 with 2,187 yards, 23 touchdowns — a pace to set career highs in each category including completion rate (65.8 percent). He’s also flirting with the best rating of his career at 96.2. He had a 96.4 in 2016.Numbers tell only part of the tale, though.Luck has done it despite losing top receiver T.Y. Hilton for two games with a hamstring injury Denico Autry Jersey , Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle for five games with an injured hip and five different starting lineups on the offensive line.“You’re returning from an injury, you’re learning a new system, you’ve got T.Y. Hilton and some receivers hurt and you’re breaking in some new linemen — it’s not going to be as easy as people think,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said before last weekend’s game. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what he has done in this league and what his capabilities are.”An improving cast could make Luck and Co. even tougher to contend with.From 2012-17, Colts running backs topped the 100-yard mark just four times. Last week, Marlon Mack became Indy’s first back with consecutive 100-yard games since Joseph Addai in 2007.The revamped offensive line has allowed just 10 sacks, a stark contrast to the 156 times Luck went down in his first 70 starts. In fact, Luck hasn’t been sacked in three games — the longest stretch since he left Stanford.Part of the explanation is Reich’s philosophical change, asking Luck to make quicker decisions.That, too, has showed in the numbers.His completion rate and rating against defenders within 1 yard of a receiver have jumped from 25.9 percent and a 45.0 rating in 2016 to 36.0 and 72.5 this season.And while his throws over 20 yards have declined from 2016 to 2018, his rating on throws between 11 and 20 yards has gone from 99.0 to 106.0.The one bugaboo continues to be interceptions. Luck has thrown eight this season, putting him on a pace to throw more than he has in all but two seasons. But five of them came in Weeks 5 and 6; he had none in the two games prior and none in the two games after.“No one on this team is going to go out with a sort of harness on them and say you can’t go play full speed Nyheim Hines Color Rush Jersey ,” Luck said recently. “I think our coaches do a great job of allowing us to play free and fast and loose, but within that, I guess at the same time you have to play disciplined.”Where would the Colts be if Luck had stayed healthy?Nobody knows.Yes, he would have reached 20,000 yards passing sooner. The Colts may not have missed the playoffs each of the past three seasons. His progression may have been a little steadier.But, for now, the Colts are just happy to have Luck back, playing well.“When you have the quarterback that we have, there is an expectation that we have to score points,” Reich said. “Everybody in this building knows we have an elite quarterback.”100 Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta

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