Darius Leonard loses weight to try to win more

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Darius Leonard weighed 234 pounds when the Colts made him the 36th overall choice a year ago. He finished the season in the 217-218 range.

The linebacker now weighs 221, hoping to keep it below 225 all season.

“I’m not a typical linebacker,” Leonard said, via Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan. “I’m more of a speed guy, very athletic so if I’m going to play in space, I’m going to need to move.

“If you look at a linebacker, 6-4, 230 pounds, going to come downhill. I’m more of a speed guy and very athletic. So if I’m going to play in space, I need to be able to move. And I played all my life at 215, 220 and was never over 225. And last year I was injured a lot, that was when I was pretty heavy, so I want to stay down. Hopefully I can cut some of that down.”

Leonard made All-Pro and won defensive rookie of the year. He did not make the Pro Bowl. That, he said, has given him extra motivation for this season.

“I didn’t win a Super Bowl ring. I didn’t win MVP. I wasn’t a Pro Bowler, so I still thrive from that,” Leonard said. “Every year you want to be classified as the best, and every game I want to make every tackle, every sack, everything.

“So if my name isn’t at the top, I’m not happy. And last year my name wasn’t at the top, so I’m going to keep working until I get there.”