WESTFIELD, Ind. -- Kwity Paye admitted he struggled a bit with the speed of his first NFL training camp practice on Wednesday.
But whatever the first round pick's struggles were, they were short-lived. Paye was a constantly disruptive force in the Colts' next three practices from Thursday to Saturday of last week, showcasing the eye-popping skillset that made him the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"You can see his athletic ability being able to turn the corner or take the inside move when it's there," defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said.
But Eberflus' observation came with somewhat of a caveat: Paye's strong first impression came in shells. And the real test will come when the pads come on for the first time this week at Grand Park.
"Once we get the pads on, we're going to have to reassess. It's almost like a restart," Eberflus said. "You restart and say, 'Okay, with the pads on guys can protect better. Guys can run block better in terms of the offensive line. Now it's more of real football.' So, we'll have to reevaluate that coming Monday."
Paye showed up to Colts camp about five pounds leaner while feeling more energetic, the product of an offseason effort to optimize his diet with the help of Colts dietician Kirsten Gregurich. The Michigan product put in plenty of work -- sometimes three-a-days, between agility, yoga/pilates, skill and strength work, he said -- to be ready for training camp.
And if the first few days of camp were any indication, Paye's hard work in the offseason paid off. And there's no reason to think he can't adjust to that next test after adjusting well to the speed of practices at Grand Park.
"He's quick and he's fast. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't," Eberflus said. "He just had to adjust to it. It's really about the visual for the player and understanding what the speed is because when you're dealing with an elite athlete like that, they understand that they have different gears where they can turn it all the way up and turn it down a little bit. He's adjusted well."