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Chuck Pagano On Former Basketball Player Erik Swoope: "He's Turning Into A Football Player

Intro: A year ago Erik Swoope had never played football. Now, he’s making an impression during the Colts offseason program.





INDIANAPOLIS – The itch took him briefly back to the hardwood.

A few weeks back, former college basketball player and current Colts tight end, Erik Swoope was in the gym. But the sight was a tad horrifying.

Swoope wanted to get a few shots up at the sport that had earned him a college scholarship and at least opened the eyes to scouts of the sport he now plays for a living.

"It was bad. I couldn't make a shot," Swoope can say with a smile of shooting a basketball for the first time in a year.

"I made like two in an hour. It was really bad."

Fortunately for Swoope, the inroad he's beginning to make on the football field is the reason basketball can officially be put in the past.

Football is at the forefront of Swoope's mind, something that wasn't always the case when he put the pads on the first time in his life last season.

"I would say personally, I've left basketball go," Swoope says of his now football evolution.

"That's been the biggest thing because mentally I was just playing that game the whole year (2014). Now, I've really been really able to just absorb the teaching and buy in. That's the main reason the progress has been so consistent."

The 6-6 Swoope has grown into his new body at the professional football level.

He finished his basketball career at Miami playing at just under 225 pounds. He's now hovering above 250 pounds and feels comfortable carrying that weight.

Extra reps for Swoope this offseason began with Dwayne Allen in Arizona for the first half of the offseason program, and continued with Coby Fleener sitting out due to injury.

Swoope did enough to impress Chuck Pagano.

"He's turning into a football player right before our eyes," Pagano said of Swoope.

"The guy is a hardworker. He's got talent. He can run. He's got a big catch radius. He understands things obviously better now than he ever has, so he's able to play faster. He's making plays."

Pagano pointed out that Swoope, just like everyone else, will be evaluated at a more accurate level once the pads are put on in Anderson.

Helmets and shorts is the current Colts get-up right now and even in such a setting, Swoope has shown tremendous growth to his fellow tight ends.

"He's definitely on the right track," Dwayne Allen says of Swoope.

"All he needs is to continue the progress that he's made so far. He's come a long way from a guy who never played football to a guy that we are looking forward to helping us out."

Organized Team Activities (OTA) Part 6

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