Jonathan Newsome Looking to ‘Play Fast’ Next Season


With his rookie season now under his belt, Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome is looking to take another next step into become an elite pass rusher at the NFL level. The emerging 2nd-year pro is coming off a highly productive debut season with the team in which he recorded a team-high 6.5 sacks last season.

Not bad for a rookie 5th round pick, not bad at all.

Still, there remains work to be done and parts of Newsome’s game that he’s still looking to improve upon. According to the promising young pass rusher, even despite a productive sack output in his rookie season, Newsome still admittedly left a handful of sacks on the field and is looking to play faster:

"“I missed like four or five sacks last season,” Newsome said via ESPN’s Mike Wells. “I looked at the film and I could have had double digits. That comes with time. I’m still learning, but I definitely have a better grasp of the playbook now. I can just go out and play fast.”"

The 6’3″, 251 pound pass rusher figures to join a much more crowded group at outside linebacker, where the team recently signed veteran Trent Cole and with the eventual return of Robert Mathis. Still, no team has ever complained about having too many pass rushers, Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson said as much earlier this offseason himself:

"“I was always brought up if you have 12 pass rushers, give me 13,” Grigson said at the NFL Combine. “You know, you can never have enough pass rushers and that’s ‘Scouting 101′.”"

Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome (91) celebrates against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Newsome may come off the bench as a situational pass rusher initially, the Colts figure to deploy defensive packages featuring a multitude of pass rushers, so a lack of playing time shouldn’t really be an issue for the young pass rusher. Despite only playing in 37.2% of the team’s defensive snaps last season, Newsome was still able to make an impact with his 6.5 sacks, so he doesn’t appear to be the type of player that needs to play every down to be effective.

More importantly, the Colts additional pass rushing depth should allow all of the Colts pass rushers to play both fresher and faster throughout the course of a game. Set to become a 2nd-year pro, a more polished pass rusher in Jonathan Newsome is clearly looking forward to taking advantage of this year’s opportunity:

"“I’m really ready to eat now,” Newsome added via ESPN’s Mike Wells. “I’ve got a year under my belt, so I don’t have as steep of a learning curve. I can just come out of the gate this year.”"

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