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This Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Will Need to Step Up in 2024

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This Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Will Need to Step Up in 2024


Last season, the Indianapolis Colts waived three-time Pro Bowl and Defensive Rookie of the Year linebacker Shaquille Leonard. Within a couple of weeks, he was signed to a one-year deal by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Colts released Leonard due to his decline in health and subsequent decline in production. Therefore, upon his release, Indy relied on fifth-year linebacker E.J. Speed to step up in Leonard’s absence.

The 2023 season was Speed’s first season, starting the majority of games. With the leadership and dominance of Zaire Franklin, the two combined for 185 solo tackles. Heading into the 2024 season, the Colts will look to these two linebackers to continue to produce and dominate opposing offenses. Franklin has shown that he can produce consistently each season. Speed will need to prove to the Indianapolis Colts that he can be the dominant linebacker that they need him to be.

E.J. Speed Will Need to Step Up in 2024

His Career Thus Far

E.J. Speed was drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Tarleton State University. After having minimal playing time in his first two seasons, Speed started his first NFL game in a road victory against the Arizona Cardinals. In that 2021 contest, he accumulated eight solo tackles and displayed athleticism and potential to be a starter in this league.

Entering the 2022 season as a backup, Speed was given more opportunities to start due to Shaquille Leonard sustaining injuries. In 2022, Speed started five games and appeared in all 17 games. He accumulated 37 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, and recorded his first sack. While the injury to Leonard was unfortunate, the Indianapolis Colts were fortunate to have comparable depth at linebacker.

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As injuries piled up for Leonard, Speed was given more opportunities to start games. In 2023, he took over as a starting linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts. He started 11 games and subsequently recorded career highs in every major category by mounting over 100 total tackles, 78 solo tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 24 assists. Although Speed’s numbers are unquestionable, the 2024 season will be his first season entering as a primary starter. Therefore, there is some added pressure to perform and keep the momentum that he started last season.

Looking Ahead as a Primary Starter

E.J. Speed will enter the 2024 season as a primary starting linebacker alongside Zaire Franklin. After these two accumulated monster numbers in 2023, the hope is that both will continue to dominate in 2024. The Colts defense got better with player extensions and draft picks. However, the middle of the defense remains relatively the same. The primary starters in that unit are still Franklin and Speed, but there is room for some depth pieces to make a splash. Fourth-year linebacker Grant Stuard will look to move into a starting position. Rookie linebacker Jaylon Carlies will also look to compete for a starting position.

Regardless, E.J. Speed’s position as a primary starter is his to keep. He has proven that he can produce and dominate for this team. Speed also has room for development and growth. Keep in mind that he is going into his first season as a primary starter and only has 17 total starts in his career over five seasons. If the Indianapolis Colts want to keep this linebacker unit in a place of dominance, E.J. Speed will need to step up and keep the momentum from last season.

Main Image: Grace Hollars – USA Today Sports



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Indianapolis, IN

How Micah Beckwith reacted to author John Green referring to him as his ‘nemesis’

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How Micah Beckwith reacted to author John Green referring to him as his ‘nemesis’


Superman has Lex Luthor. The Joker has Batman. Indianapolis author John Green’s “nemesis,” he said Sunday, could very well be in the running as Indiana’s next lieutenant governor — Micah Beckwith.

Details remain scarce on whether either men have donned brightly colored spandex and duked it out on a rooftop overlooking Monument Circle. Both, however, have sparred on issues regarding censorship.

Green recently aired his opinions about the Noblesville pastor and self-described Christian Nationalist on Instagram after Saturday’s Republican state convention, in which Indiana delegates slapped down U.S. Sen. Mike Braun’s preferred choice of state Rep. Julie McGuire in the lieutenant governor’s race and selected Beckwith instead. Beckwith will now join Braun on the November election ballot to face Democrat Jennifer McCormick, Libertarian Donald Rainwater and both parties’ nominees for lieutenant governor.

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Green wasn’t thrilled by the news. Because Indiana is a red-leaning state, Beckwith’s chances of landing in the lieutenant governor role are high.

‘New nemesis just dropped’ What John Green said about Micah Beckwith

Beckwith is “the lowest form of culture warrior,” Green said on Instagram, bemoaning Beckwith’s candidacy in a video posted with the phrase “New nemesis just dropped.”

“I don’t know how to put it generously, but he’s just one of those people who will exploit any vulnerable or marginalized population in order to make himself more popular,” Green said.

Green concluded the video saying, “I’ve always wanted to have a lieutenant governor personally hate me, and now it seems my dream may come true.”

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Does Micah Beckwith ‘hate’ John Green?

It’s possible the hate might be one-sided.

IndyStar reached out Monday to Beckwith, who said he had no “ill feelings” toward the best-selling author of “Looking for Alaska” and “The Fault in our Stars,” despite a flair-up last year in Fishers.

“I haven’t heard much from John Green since the whole Hamilton County Public Library Board thing,” Beckwith said. “I don’t hate (John Green) at all.”

What happened between John Green and Micah Beckwith in Hamilton County?

On social media, Green said both he and Beckwith are “not on the best of terms” after the ultra-conservative pastor — then a Hamilton East Public Library board member — led efforts last year to remove books off the shelves in the library’s teen section.

In addition to scores of other material, staff pulled Green’s coming-of-age novel, “The Fault in Our Stars” out of the teen section due to a policy labeling it not “age appropriate.” Green’s book was returned later after intense public backlash.

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HEPL board, director discuss collection review policy

Hear Hamilton East Public Library director Edra Waterman explain why the board’s policy led to “The Fault in Our Stars” being moved.

Clark Wade and Michelle Pemberton, Wochit

Beckwith, however, told IndyStar he regrets Green’s novels were included in the purge.

“Honestly, I was upset that even some of his books got moved in the first place,” Beckwith said, who later resigned from the library board to concentrate on his campaign. “That was never the intention. It was designed to go after pornographic and very graphic material and move them into the adult section.”

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What books by John Green are being challenged in Indiana and elsewhere?

Green is no stranger to controversy from officials challenging his books. The popular author is known for young adult novels that touch on prickly subjects involving sexual maturity, teenage angst and mental health.

According to an exclusive investigation by sister publication The Des Moines Register, Green’s 2006 debut novel, “Looking for Alaska,” a story that follows a boy who leaves home for boarding school and meets a girl named Alaska Young, is among the most challenged books in Iowa.

He and other authors are suing the state of Iowa over a law seeking to remove books from libraries and classrooms. Green also has faced book challenges in his home state of Indiana.

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John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ moved out of library’s teen section

John Green said he’s not going to Fishers anytime soon after his book was removed from the teen section, meaning “no Top Golf or IKEA for a while.”

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Elissa Maudlin, Jenny Porter Tilley, Rachel Fradette and Jenna Watson, Wochit

What books did Hoosiers in Indiana challenge in 2023?

Indiana’s top ten most challenged books in 2023, according to the America Library Association, are as follows:

  1. “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green.
  2. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie H. Harris.
  3. “The Goats,” by Brock Cole.
  4. “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe.
  5. “Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins.
  6. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.
  7. “Jesus Land: A Memoir,” by Julia Scheeres.
  8. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison.
  9. “The Glass Castle,” by Jeannette Walls.
  10. “Water for Elephants,” by Sara Gruen.

Others are reading: Indianapolis author John Green among most banned authors in Iowa. He’s suing

John Tufts covers trending news for the Indianapolis Star. Send him a news tip at JTufts@Gannett.com.



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Experts share how to stay safe during Indy's heat wave

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Experts share how to stay safe during Indy's heat wave


INDIANAPOLIS— The hottest week of 2024 so far is hitting Indianapolis in a big way.

With high temperatures expected to be in the 90’s for the next couple of days, many healthcare professionals are advocating for at risk citizens to be extra cautious.

Lieutenant Michael Farley works for Indianapolis EMS.

WRTV

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“We get heat related issues almost every day in the summer,” explained Farley. “It’s more surprising not to see them than it is to see them.”

According to Indianapolis EMS, there have already been 11 heat health related 911 calls over the past three days.

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WRTV

Dr. Cory Showalter works at Riley Hospital for Children. He says the best ways to stay safe in the heat is by taking preventative measures.

“Preventively trying to avoid any of those symptoms by doing frequent drinks, getting out of the sun and getting into the shade,” explained Showalter. “You just have to get out of that stress of the heat.”

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RELATED | Beat the heat without breaking the bank

Beat the heat without breaking the bank

Farley agreed saying he hopes all of Central Indiana takes the heat seriously.

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“Don’t get to that point in the first place,” shared Farley. “Try to limit your time outside. If you’re getting to the point where you think something is wrong, then clearly the planning has kind of failed there.”

The Marion County Public Health Department shared the following tips for staying safe in the heat:

  1. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  2. Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  3. Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it is cooler, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
  4. Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
  5. Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
  6. Do Not Leave Children in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying.

    Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.”

MORE TIPS |City shares heat safety tips ahead of first 90-degree day of the year (wrtv.com)





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The Olympic Swim Trials kicked off in Indianapolis

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The Olympic Swim Trials kicked off in Indianapolis


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) – This weekend, the Olympic Swim Trials kicked off in Indianapolis.

And it was a record-breaker!

20,689 hearts beating inside the stadium, the largest crowd to ever attend an indoor swim meet.

And Michiana was well represented with some people working the event and others attending as fans.

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“It’s very exciting because it’s here in Indiana and you get to say that you are from this area and it’s very nice to see this in Indianapolis cause it’s in a football stadium which was very awesome to see them turn from football to swimming,” said RaeAnne Hastings at the South Bend Swim Club.

For Raeanne attending the Olympic trial is a dream come true. As a swimmer herself– seeing her role model earn her ticket to Paris on Saturday was a unique experience.

“I think as a mom or parent when your child finds something they are so passionate about and then you’re able to take to what would be a pinnacle event for them. I was just moved to tears. It was that beautiful moment when she was stunned speechless, just a little tear and you saw her take it all in and you’re like I did good. I gave her the moment she deserved,” said Judeanne Hastings, Raeanne’s mother.

Not only are local fans in the stands this year, but they’re also working the event.

“My job here at Olympic trial is to cover digitally each athlete swimming away not necessarily what they’re doing in the pool but what they’re doing out and what their story adds as a whole. I have to take a step back sometimes and be like wow I’m at Olympic trials covering swimming that’s a goal, that’s a dream,” said Copper VanDriessche, the Swimming World Magazine Intern.

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The Olympic Trials wrap up on Sunday but for these fans the pride of hosting an event this big in their state is one they will never forget.

“I think it’s really important to mention how deep the swimming is in the state of Indiana, especially from our South Bend area. Having the world’s biggest stage here in Indianapolis,” said VanDriessche.



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