The Herald Bulletin

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Colts

April 30, 2014

Colts Notebook: New LB Jackson already showing leadership skills

INDIANAPOLIS — When the Cleveland Browns cut linebacker D'Qwell Jackson in late February, the eighth-year linebacker was looking for one thing in his new home: Stability.

Jackson believes he's found that with an Indianapolis Colts franchise that has made 11 playoff appearances in the past 12 seasons. And he arrives in the Circle City with a strong reputation as a locker room leader.

"I'm just looking forward to doing whatever I can to help this team win and whatever I can on the defensive side of the ball," Jackson said Wednesday during the second week of offseason conditioning at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "Whatever my knowledge is from my experience, I'm more than willing to share with the guys that are willing to listen. It's a good group of guys thus far in the locker room so I think it will be an easy transition for me."

Count second-year linebacker Josh McNary among the willing students. He figures to serve in a back-up role behind Jackson and third-year starter Jerrell Freeman.

And he said Jackson already is picking his spots to take charge in the meeting room.

"He has a lot of leadership experience, and he doesn't bite his tongue," McNary said. "If he feels that there's something we might be unclear about, he'll make sure he draws it out on the board for everybody to see, not just himself. He's a real selfless guy, and you can tell he has just that natural leadership trait."

The Browns won 10 games during Jackson's rookie season in 2007, but Cleveland hasn't won more than five in any year since.

The linebacker watched the Colts' magical 2012 campaign — during which Indianapolis improved from 2-14 to 11-5 and made the playoffs while head coach Chuck Pagano battled leukemia — and became a fan from afar.

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