Kwity Paye will make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks after putting together a strong, consistent preseason. The 2021 first-round pick had a sack in both games in which he appeared and was a disruptive force during training camp.
And with every passing day in August, Paye looked more and more ready to go for Sept. 12.
"He's so mature as a competitor, I think that having the game experience in preseason will help him and I thin he'll be right in the right spot where he needs to be for Game 1," Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus said. "And he'll feel that energy in Lucas Oil and build on from that. He should be excited and have a positive energy about him with the rest of the defense going into that first game."
Paye will face an immediate challenge in facing Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' offense — which includes four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown, too. But one thing that's impressed Colts coaches about Paye after getting him to Indianapolis is his ability to quickly take in and process information, and then immediately use what he learned to make adjustments on a play-to-play basis.
"You can see him processing that information as it's going in. And he's able to give it back to you — Kwity, what are they doing, what are you doing, that kind of thing, what happened on that snap." defensive line coach Brian Baker said. "… That is really unique. I've coached some experienced guys that could not — they don't have a clue what just happened. And this kid knows right away as a rookie."
That ability is another reason why Eberflus is confident in Paye heading into his NFL debut. The things Paye picks up early on can help him as the game goes on — which should be beneficial against Wilson, whose has a 106.2 passer rating in the fourth quarter during his NFL career.
"He's got a lot of growing to do the course of this first year," Eberflus said. "I tell him hey, it's like a rolodex, something you learn, you put into that file and you keep it. During the game, he's going to learn three or four or five things — oh, that came up here, how I got this guy or how I played against that guy. So he's gotta take really good notes in his mind, which he does.
"He's got a great ability to recall and a great ability to use what he's learned going forward."