INDIANAPOLIS — At this point, Mo Alie-Cox's head is probably spinning a little bit — and that's a good thing.
A little more than a month ago, the Indianapolis Colts decided to take a chance on Alie-Cox, signing the former VCU basketball player — who hadn't played organized football since his freshman year in high school — to come in and learn the tight end position on the fly.
It's nothing new for the organization, which did the exact same thing with Mo Alie-Cox just three years ago. At the time, Swoope had just wrapped up his college basketball career at the University of Miami and hadn't ever played organized football, but the Colts saw a tremendous athlete with good size to boot, and decided to bring him in.
Size and athleticism have been Alie-Cox's calling card, as well. At 6 foot 7 and 250 pounds — and featuring a wingspan of 7 foot 1 — he reportedly ran a 4.75-second 40-yard dash at his football Pro Day, and most NFL teams showed interest in the former forward out of Alexandria, Va. But after visiting with the Colts, Alie-Cox was sold.
Throughout the past month-plus, Alie-Cox has had the opportunity to dive right into his new profession. His lofty learning curve includes mastering basic football skills like running routes and proper pass-catching technique, but he also will be expected to handle some of the more down-and-dirty aspects of the position, like blocking big linemen and fast linebackers — not to mention he'll likely be expected to play a role on special teams, as well.
It's something Swoope showed major progress with last season. In his first full-time NFL action, he played in all 16 games with four starts, catching 15 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown, and he is slated to be the Colts' No. 2 tight end this season.
Could Alie-Cox eventually do the same?
"I mean, I'm confident in myself, so I think I could be a great player," he recently told TMZ Sports. "I've just got to go in there with an open mindset (and) be real coachable, because this is some stuff that I hadn't done in the past, and it's at a higher level with bigger, faster athletes. So I think I can be great; just got to go in there and be coachable, learn from the other guys, and just get down the playbook and learn all the concepts and stuff like that."
In his transition to the NFL, Alie-Cox will eventually have gone from catching alley-oops on the hardwood to catching passes from quarterback Andrew Luck, who is currently recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
That has been one of the more surreal aspects of this whole journey for Alie-Cox.
"I used to watch him all the time in college, watch him in the NFL," Alie-Cox said of Luck. "I mean, I was having lunch with him the other day; he's a real cool guy, real down-to-earth, seems like somebody I could easily get along with and enjoy going to work with every day on the football field."
And what advice did No. 12 have for his newest tight end?
"Just come in here to work," Alie-Cox said. "He was talking about how Erik didn't know anything when he first got there, and then now he's slated to make a big impact this season. So (he) pretty much says I can learn from him, and I should do well in my transition, pretty much."
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