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Redemption: Eric Ebron opens up about time in Detroit, new chance with Colts

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NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck might find himself as the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, but there’s another redemption story brewing in Indianapolis.

It’s in the tight end room. It’s Eric Ebron.

After four up-and-down years with the Detroit Lions, Ebron opened up with Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star about his time in the Motor City.

With pressure mounting to be one of the best tight ends in the league, and maybe even in the history of the game for that matter, Ebron would see a lot of highs and a lot of lows. When the lows occurred, he lost confidence in himself.

“I allowed myself to get too comfortable, to get too complacent,” Ebron said. ”It showed. My game wasn’t the same. My confidence wasn’t the same. I was just young, man. I got into a world of grown men maybe a little too soon. I had to figure it out and take the long road, but I figured it out.”

Ebron’s new coach had a vision for him in the new Colts’ offense.

“He’s playing the role that we envisioned him playing,” Frank Reich said when asked about Ebron’s impact on the team. “And we are happy with that. Like everybody else, he needs to improve further. I expect bigger things. He’s a really talented guy and so we need to keep utilizing him as much as we can.”

Former Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky — who spent time with the Lions when Ebron was drafted 10th overall during the 2014 NFL Draft — was a part of the interview process as well, and he had some interesting things to say about his former teammate.

“Eric (Ebron) got drafted too high,” Orlovsky said. “That’s not a knock on Eric. It’s just a reality that a team took him at No. 10. When teams do that, teams, front offices and fans have an expectation level. That’s unfair to place on a player. He didn’t draft himself 10. The team did.”

“They wanted Eric to go on the field and understand coverages and to change his routes mid-play and make really difficult catches that were kind of the story of Jimmy Graham’s career. It just didn’t happen. It goes back to expectations. He needs to be this guy and produce like this guy, and if you don’t, then it’s deemed you suck. But Eric didn’t suck. There were drop issues, yeah, but he didn’t suck. But that’s how things sort of went awry.”

Ebron is on pace for a Pro Bowl season, compiling 36 catches for 394 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games thus far. While the stats are coming, so is his love for the city of Indianapolis.

“I love it here,” Ebron said. “They have accepted me so well, Colts fans and the city. And my family loves it here. Hey, as long as my wife is happy, I’m happy.”