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Indianapolis Colts

A month into life in the NFL and the United States, Daniel Adongo is getting help from every avenue

Intro: Former rugby player Daniel Adongo is a month into his stay in the United States. Adongo has been welcomed with open arms by players and coaches in trying to learn the game of football.





INDIANAPOLIS—Colts players and coaches can't help but gravitate towards Daniel Adongo.

With an infectious personality and oozing potential, Adongo is rarely seen on the practice field without multiple 'teachers' trying to help the former rugby star.

"He's got, right now, 75 coaches plus 20 guys that are actually called coaches," Head Coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week. "It's amazing what everybody has done with this kid.

"He's picked up the system and the scheme and the nuances of the game. He's still learning obviously. He's a quick study. He's growing every day, guy is like a sponge. Every time you turn around, he's asking somebody a question. So, he's doing well."

Adongo has called the United States home for just over a month and the 23-year old is grateful for the support he has gotten from his new family.

"It's meant a lot to me from an emotional standpoint," Adongo said of the support. "Coming to America for my first time and playing football for my first time, it's meant a lot to me. It's been encouraging. I've got a lot of friends."

During practice, Adongo is typically seen running through special teams drills before moving over to his positional group.

Pagano said earlier this week that Adongo will probably not play in the Colts preseason finale but rest assured he won't be far from his head coach come Thursday night.

"He's sitting there champing at the bit every game," Pagano said of Adongo. "I turn around and he's standing right behind me the whole game waiting to get thrown out there."

"I'm just going to protect Daniel from himself. Guys have been playing five, six, seven years in the league running down on a kickoff and don't see a trap block coming. I just don't want to throw him into a situation like that right now where he doesn't have a full grasp of everything going on."

Even though Adongo has yet to play in an NFL game he has been introduced to a gameday atmosphere.

The adrenaline rush that Adongo receives running out of the tunnel has him that much hungrier to get on the field.

"The hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time we go out," Adongo said. "The guys get so amped for the games but their concentration level is so high. We're well prepared for the games. What you see out at practice is the same thing we do on the field. We practice well and we translate the same effort that we had during practice during the week into the games."

One of the countless players that have been working with Adongo over the past month is 11-year veteran Cory Redding.

In just over a month, Adongo has already put on 10-12 pounds and Redding loves watching and helping the raw outside linebacker.

"Everybody's pretty much wrapped their arm around (Adongo), trying to get him to pick up the game as fast as possible because we see glimpses of just how fast he is, how physical he is," Redding said.

"It's just fun to see him mix it up with the guys, come off the edge and rush, to drop back in coverage and figure out who to cover, all of those things that we do every day. It's kind of normal to us and it's kind of easy, but to him it's a whole new ball game, so it's pretty fun. He's getting it together and when the light bulb goes off, I'm telling you, it's going to be fun to watch."

When Adongo arrived in Anderson for the beginning of training camp, he made it clear that he wanted this dream to become a reality.

After a month of absorbing everything thrown his way that mindset has not wavered.

"My expectations are to make sure that I'm here to stay," Adongo said. "That was the whole point of the transition to come and play football and be a part of this, what we are building here. We're building a monster. I haven't thought past that but I've been preparing well to make sure that I'm part of this team."

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