Erik Swoope Goes From Never Playing Football To Making Colts 53-Man Roster

Intro: The tight ends the Colts will take into the 2016 season are Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope. How has Swoope transitioned from never playing football in 2014 to finding a spot on the 53-man roster?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Mo Alie-Cox sees the clips, usually in special teams meetings, and wants to cringe.

Is that really me?

That's what Swoope thinks when he sees those 2014 clips of him playing football for the first time in his life.

Yes, a 2014 season on the practice squad was Swoope's *first time ever *playing the game of football, at any level.

"I just don't remember being that small, timid and confused," Swoope now says when remembering his first days of football from 2014.

The Colts groomed Swoope, who had to adjust to adding 30 pounds to his 220-pound frame, on the practice squad for two seasons and eventually called him up to the active roster for the 2015 regular season finale.

With Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener both unrestricted free agents, Swoope knew what 2016 looked like for him.

When Fleener departed in March and the Colts elected not to bring in a veteran free agent for the offseason program, nor use one of the team's eight draft picks on a tight end, the message was clear for Swoope.

"I've gotten a really good opportunity," Swoope said of securing the No. 3 tight end spot on the team's 53-man roster in the preseason.

"In the past two years, I've been mainly on the sidelines watching Dwayne, Jack and Coby develop their games. This year I've actually gotten a chance to make plays and I feel like I've been making steady progress."

Swoope had 10 catches for 103 yards this preseason and now will be the No. 3 tight end this fall.

Football wise, Swoope said assessing defenses was probably the biggest hurdle he faced in making the transition from the hardwood.

The days of a 2-3 zone or man-to-man defense are gone.

It's 11 guys moving pre-snap and disguising things until the final second.

In 2014, Swoope was simply listening to play calls hoping for one or two words that sounded familiar.

That was understandable back then.

It isn't now.

Swoope is on the 53-man roster. Football is life. And the Colts believe the extraordinary transition has been made from Swoope going from football novice in 2014 to a contributor in 2016.

"This is everything to me," Swoope says of football.

"The guys have been great answering my questions, because I do have a lot of them. This is the year that I believe everything should come together."

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