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Colts’ newly signed DE Ryan Delaire making immediate impression on coaching staff

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San Diego Chargers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

This time of year players are signed late into training camp nearly every day. The Indianapolis Colts were quiet initially, but lately have had to make some moves in order to combat injuries and positional needs.

Saturday the Colts signed former Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Ryan Delaire after releasing safety Shamarko Thomas. Delaire hasn’t wasted any time in showing the coaching staff that he intends to be around to become a real part of the competition for this roster.

Delaire tipped, and intercepted a pass on his very first day of practice with the team, and has been getting a heavy load of snaps since coming aboard. Considering the Colts’ injuries, specifically at defensive end, Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis have been sidelined for several practices recently.

Reich stated that Turay is “very close.” But we also know Chris Ballard’s vision to constantly provide competition in order to elevate the talent level on the roster.

“Yeah, there might be a specific need.. and you’re looking at your rotation and when it comes to D-line, you can never have enough, you know we always talk about wanting to have 8 starters. Chris [Ballard] has this philosophy — and I think this is great — where, listen, the guys that we have in we like, but when you see someone that can make the team better we’re not opposed to bring him in here, give him a shot, see what he can do and give him shot to make the team.”

And it appears as though Delaire hasn’t become ‘just another camp body’ either. He’s been showing off his pass rush ability and — something that Reich has harped on about who he wants this team to be — ball production. When asked about the impression Delaire has made in such a short time span, Reich spoke very highly about him.

“Really impressed. I mean really impressed. As far as guys coming in at this point in camp, I mean, the couple days he’s been out there (nodding), he’s certainly turned heads for sure.”

The position sits with Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt getting the majority of first-team reps with Turay out, and Tarell Basham hasn’t looked all that impressive to this point. John Simon continues to prove that he’s just a very good football player and will do what is needed to make the defense successful.

We won’t know much about what Delaire can do until we see him Monday in the Colts second preseason game, but the early returns suggest that he was a good signing and, at worst, could push Basham to up his game and maybe even help Turay take off when he returns to the field.

Hopefully the Colts can generate more of an immediate pass rush Monday versus the Baltimore Ravens than they did in the first couple series in Seattle. Delaire might just find an inside track to the 53-man roster if he can be the one to stand out in that regard.