INDIANAPOLIS —With the cameras rolling on him or with a microphone in his face, Denico Autry is a man of few words.
He'd rather let his play on the field do the talking for him.
Which is exactly why Autry can't wait to get going with his new team.
The Indianapolis Colts on Thursday announced the signing of the free agent defensive end, their first addition of the 2018 new league year.
Autry, who went undrafted out of Mississippi State, had spent the first four seasons of his career with the Oakland Raiders, where he saw improvement each and every step of the way.
And while Autry wasn't an everyday starter during his time in Oakland, the 27-year-old seems ready to ramp things up into a larger role in Indy.
"I like the defense you guys are running," Autry told Colts.com just after signing his contract on Thursday morning. "Looking forward to getting with some of these young guys and showing them some things — and maybe they can show me some things."
In four years in Oakland, Autry, who played in 56 games with 18 starts, collected 100 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 12 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and caused one safety. But he's coming off a career year in 2017 where, in 16 games with just three starts, he had a career-best 36 tackles, five sacks and seven passes defensed.
Autry says he'd describe himself as "rugged, physical."
"Just a smashmouth football player," he added.
That style fits in well with new Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and the new 4-3 base defense he's bringing to Indy. In Oakland, Autry — who stands at 6 foot 5 and weighs in around 270 pounds — was asked to play every position across the line, finding success in one-on-one matchups as well as against one or more blockers, opening up opportunities for the playmakers around him.
"(He's) kind of one of those guys that just brings their lunch pail to work every day; don't ask any questions, whatever you need to get done, it gets done," Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said of Autry last season, via Raiders.com. "He [Autry] is rugged in the sense that he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty; double team, triple team, wherever the play is executed for someone else or whatever, hey, he's out there doing it."
Another role that has suited Autry well in his career is on special teams, where he has shown a knack for collapsing a kicking team's front and getting his hands on kicks. In 2015 alone, he had an NFL-best three blocked kicks, the most by one player in a season since 2011.
Autry said success on special teams is all about having the right mindset.
"One thing I learned is that special teams counts, too," he said. "So I'm going just as hard as I would on third down as I would on special teams."
But whether making an impact on defense or special teams, Autry simply can't wait to get going with his new teams
"Yeah, I'm just ready to get the ball rolling," he said. "Get things rolling."
The Colts have signed former Oakland Raiders defensive end Denico Autry, who is coming off a career year in Oakland.