Indianapolis Colts Training Camp does not start until July 26th. So, there will not be much news about the team until then. As a result, it is time to preview the Colts’ players who will play key roles in 2016. It is D’Qwell Jackson’s turn today.
For the past two seasons, D’Qwell Jackson has been a consistent difference maker on the Colts’ defense. His non-stop energy and ball-hawking skills make him an excellent inside linebacker.
In those two seasons with the team, Jackson accumulated a total of 317 combined tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and an interceptions returned for a touchdown. He also displayed his durability and toughness by not missing a single regular season or postseason game during this time span.
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Despite turning 33 later this year, there is not much concern about Jackson’s age as opposed to some of his other teammates. Jackson will still be expected to perform at a high level for the Colts in 2016. However, he enters the 2016 season with a little bigger spotlight on him.
With the departure of inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, there will be more pressure on Jackson to continue his run of good play. The Colts are looking for someone to take that pressure off of Jackson, but he still needs to play well.
Some people believe this is the age linebackers begin to break down, but Jackson might be the exception to this belief. He takes care of his body and has played in every regular season game since the start of the 2011 season.
There is always the chance Jackson suffers an injury in 2016. However, based off of recent history, it is a safe bet Jackson will suit up and start for the Colts in every game in 2016.
At the same time, he should reach similar numbers as he had in his two previous seasons with the Colts. It would not be surprising to see him get 150 combined tackles and at least two sacks.
Colts’ defensive coordinator Ted Monachino is going to take some chances with blitzes. Sometimes, the blitzes will make the Colts vulnerable. It will be up to Jackson to shut those opportunities down. These opportunities will give Jackson a lot of opportunities to succeed.
The Colts’ defense needs D’Qwell Jackson to perform well in 2016. He is their best inside linebacker (maybe their best overall linebacker), and his success will influence the team’s overall success in 2016.
Jackson is one of the leaders on the Indianapolis Colts’ defense. The team needs him to showcase his abilities in 2016 if they want any chance of limiting their opponents scoring opportunities.