Colts Camp Battles: Outside Linebacker
By Evan Reller
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome (91) forces a fumble from Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) during the second quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
2014 Stats: 24 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
PFF Grade: -2.5
The Colts have said they don’t like to let talent escape from their own backyard, and such was the case from Ball State’s Newsome. He led the team in sacks last season and was first rookie to do so since Dwight Freeney (who had 13 in his rookie campaign).
Newsome would have finished the year with a positive overall grade if it weren’t for a horrible outing against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game (he had a -4.0 overall). Newsome was about average against the run and recorded 12 stops last season (but also missed seven tackles). He finished with a +3.4 pass rush grade which was the best of any linebacker and second best on the team.
It should be noted that Newsome had a game changing play against the Broncos in the playoffs where he strip-sacked Peyton Manning, early in the second quarter. It set Andrew Luck up with good field position which turned into a touchdown and a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
Newsome likely won’t be getting many starts this season but will definitely be used as a situational pass rusher and key rotational player. But when he was given a chance to start, he played very well (albeit against the Titans). Newsome looks like he is well on his way to a productive career with the Colts following a very good rookie year.
Next: The Depth Chart