In each of his first two seasons, Leonard made a list of roughly 15 goals he wants to achieve in the league.
He has only been able to accomplish a handful of them, but is ready to unleash his potential.
The Colts have been holding a virtual offseason program this offseason, but Leonard finds it tough to sit through them.
“The only thing that sucks is a guy like me . . . hates to sit still for 10 minutes,’’ says Leonard.
— Clark Wade (@ClarkWade34) May 6, 2020
Leonard is not the kind of person who wants to sit on his laptop for two hours.
Instead, he wants to be working out and improving his game for next season.
“I had to turn my man cave into a whole gym,’’ Leonard said.
It appears Leonard is ready to make the jump to the next level in 2020.
Leonard’s strongest motivation heading into his third season come from two areas.
It’s from his “To Do” List and his teammate linebacker Anthony Walker.
During his first season in 2018, Leonard was named first-team All-Pro and Defensive Rookie of the Year.
That season, Leonard led the NFL with 163 tackles through 15 games, which is a team record.
He followed that up with being named to his first career Pro Bowl and named second-team All-Pro Bowl.
Leonard is 24 years old and is already the first player since 1982 with 10-plus sacks and 5-plus interceptions in his first 25 games.
Despite all those accomplishments, Leonard still has plenty more to cross off his list.
“I think I wrote down maybe 15 goals last year. I only met three or four. That’s unacceptable in my book,” says Leonard.
Darius Leonard's only one of four defensive players since 2000 to record 120+ tackles, 5.0+ sacks, and 5+ interceptions in a single season (2019)—joining Brian Urlacher (2007), Rodney Harrison (2000), and Lavonte David (2013). #Colts
(*Fancy Picture Added*) pic.twitter.com/MvGcF4JZ15
— Luke Schultheis (@LuckAtLuke) May 6, 2020
Leonard and Walker have a linebacker competition going on, which sounds like it’s already fairly intense.
The competition consists of how they’re matching up while attacking their team-aligned workouts.
Leonard is upset that Walker beat him by two tackles when Walker finished with a career-high 123 tackles last season.
This friendly competition is pushing both players to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.
Can Leonard Get Even Better?
During the 2019 season, Leonard finished with 121 tackles, five sacks, and five interceptions through 13 games.
That’s an impressive stat line to beat, but Leonard might actually be able to do it.
Leonard wants to be the leader of the defense and he’s well on his way to earning that right.
He wants to go out there and make plays and lead by example.
Colts LB Darius Leonard on the DeForest Buckner trade:
"Excited to add another monster to our defense."
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) May 6, 2020
The Colts went out and traded their first-round pick in exchange for defensive end DeForest Buckner this offseason.
“Watching his tapes, seeing how well he plays, I’m seeing how he can help the defense,” says Leonard.
This defense has some truly special players that can all learn and improve together.
It’s a young group of talented players that are pushing themselves and want to get better each season.
Right now, the sky’s the limit for Leonard, so he could end up being the best linebacker in the league soon.
Surely, Colts fans are excited to have Leonard around for at least the next few seasons.