Alie-Cox is yet another former basketball player trying to play tight end. But will his transition work for the Colts?
Mo Alie-Cox played basketball at VCU in college. He was a good player too, standing at 6’5 and 267 pounds. He is a big guy who was able to use his body well. But how will his basketball skills transition to football, especially at the tight end position?
The Colts think that Alie-Cox’s body gives him an advantage. He is too big for most safeties to cover and too fast for most linebackers. The problem is teaching Alie-Cox the fundamentals of the game and how to play football at an NFL level.
Alie-Cox knows how to use his body to get position. He did that while at VCU. He would do the same thing while jostling for position to catch a football. The bigger problem is working on blocking technique and footwork. He is very rough around the edges and needs a lot of work.
This isn’t the first time the Colts have tried making former basketball players into solid football players. Tight end Erik Swoope also played basketball at Miami. He has contributed a little bit, but not enough to make a solid impact. They also have Ross Travis as a tight end, who played basketball at Penn State.
Their affinity for former basketball players seems somewhat odd. There are obviously some great tight ends who made that transition in the league, such as Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates. But it seems to be more prudent to get players who have football experience and don’t need to be taught a lot.
Whatever the case, the Colts are taking a gamble with Alie-Cox. If he can pick up the nuances of the game, he might be able to contribute.