Time Is Now For Erik Swoope

Intro: As the Colts look to round out their tight end group behind Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle, former basketball player Erik Swoope has a chance to seize the third tight end spot.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Mo Alie-Cox knows full well his honeymoon period to the NFL has come to a close.

When Swoope first arrived in Indianapolis following the 2014 NFL Draft, he had never played a down of football.

Never. Had. Played. Football.

The Colts saw potential in the former University of Miami basketball player, signing him as an undrafted free agent.

They've now witnessed the growth and development for two years, with a tremendous opportunity now for the taking in Swoope's third season.

"This will be a huge Training Camp for Erik," Chuck Pagano said earlier this week.

"Obviously that piece of clay and that body we saw early on is much different now. He doesn't look like a guy that's never played and a basketballer that's playing football for the first time."

At tight end, the Colts have a clear cut top two in Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle.

With Coby Fleener departed, Rob Chudzinski is still looking to incorporate multiple tight ends, meaning a third tight end is a must.

The Colts are pleased with what undrafted tight ends Darion Griswold and Mike Miller have shown in helmets and shorts.

But it's Swoope that has the experience, something that couldn't be further from the truth two years ago.

Swoope assures he is well past having basketball creep into his mind or the early Training Camp days of tipping off offensive plays to Colts defenders.

"I had no idea what was going on," Swoope says of his first offseason in 2014. "I had never been in a locker room with more than 15 people, so just this alone (looking around the 90-man locker room) was mind boggling.

"My first year I was trying to make a lot of comparisons. 'This is like what I used to do. This is like what I used to do.' As I begin to study and see different guys play, basketball and football have nothing in common. Once I really understood that in my heart, then the plays and everything we were doing started to make sense."

For last year's regular season finale, the Colts brought Swoope onto the active roster. He played six offensive snaps against the Titans.

After two preseasons, Swoope has three catches for 17 yards in those game settings.

The project days of Swoope are all but history and it's the Colts that are now counting on him in 2016.

"Two years of studying is more than enough," Swoope says of him having to be ready to contribute.

"They want me here for a reason and I just want to show them that."

 

2016 Organized Team Activities (OTA) - Week 6 - #2

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