The Colts made defensive end Kwity Paye a first-round pick this year because they liked his potential as a pass rusher, but no one was expecting overnight success because Paye wasn’t used heavily in that role during his time at Michigan.
An ankle injury in training cam and a hamstring injury early this season have interrupted Paye’s acclimation to the new league and his new role, but there were signs of things coming together against the Jets last Thursday. Paye had his first two quarterback hits of the season and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said the team likes the growth they’ve seen from Paye in that aspect of the game.
“He’s learning how to get to the edge and learning how to smart-rush the tackle, meaning that when he gets to the level [of the quarterback], he comes back, and when he beats him on the corner, he’s able to turn the corner,” Eberflus said, via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “I think the progress of him is coming, and the pressures, the hits on the quarterback Thursday, were better.”
Paye would like to get home for his first NFL sack, but said he thinks “the pressures that I’m getting are opening opportunities for other guys to come in and make the play” for a Colts team that has won three of its last four games. Should he continue to improve as a threat to opposing quarterbacks, continued success will be likelier in Indianapolis.