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Colts Tight Ends Coach Jason Michael: ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ for Mo Alie-Cox

Indianapolis Colts v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

According to tight ends coach Jason Michael, Indianapolis Colts converted tight end Mo Alie-Cox still has tremendous upside entering his third NFL season as “the sky’s the limit” (via Colts.com’s Andrew Walker):

“The sky’s the limit with Mo in my opinion, in terms of what he can do,” Michael said.

“Obviously people look at him and he kind of gets that label of that wide tight end, of being the big physical blocker. And he’s continuing to grow in all areas of the game, but that’s kind of where his role has been, and it’s where he’s been able to get into the position that he is now. I think just going forward, I think he did an unbelievable job last year of the things that he didn’t do as much. Now, he caught balls two years ago, there’s no doubt about that, but I think what he did from a route-running standpoint, in terms of detailing those things up, he did a really good job of that last year.”

“He’s a big, big body. And when we can get the ball into his hands on the shallow cross routes and those things — and I’m not limiting him to just those routes — but he catches the ball well, and he’s a big man to bring down. So I just think continuing to evolve as a run blocker, as a pass protector, and still continuing to do that, but at the same time, finding opportunities for him. I think the more opportunities he has, the more of an all-around guy he can be … but I don’t put any limitations on Mo, and he continues to grow. And Mo is a very intelligent person, and he goes about his business.”

The former VCU basketball standout forward turned Colts tight end is only 26 years old and still has limited exposure to football relatively speaking, but he continues to show a lot of growth as a young tight end for Indianapolis.

This past season, Alie-Cox caught 8 receptions for 93 receiving yards (11.6 ypr. avg.) in 16 games (2 starts).

At 6’5”, 267 pounds, Alie-Cox has been highly regarded for the Colts particularly as an in-line blocker already (and here as an H-back), where he’s been utilized situationally and can showcase his size, strength, physicality, and athleticism:

However, as mentioned, he’s shown positive development as a receiver as well:

The great news with this year’s Colts squad is that they have three tight ends: Pro Bowler Jack Doyle, new veteran Trey Burton, and Alie-Cox—who all have differing skill-sets but each complements the others well:

“But I just think with having three different types of guys with Mo, that — and again, you don’t want to put labels because there’s other things they can do — but in that wide position as an inline player, Jack has a little bit more of that, hey, all-around utility knife, can do a little bit of anything, and Trey is kind of that way too, but he’s probably leaning a little bit more to the pass side of things as a route runner from the things that he’s done in the past,” Michael added.

“Now, he’s good. There’s going to be times when he’s going to be in a position to block and do those things, but I think Trey just brings that element of that matchup guy that allows us ... I think in football these days, there’s a couple of positions that give you a chance to create matchups and dictate to the defense.”

It’s that versatility of the group that will allow the Colts to play to each tight end’s strengths and utilize them within their respective comfort zones in the Indianapolis offense.

That being said, as the ‘young buck’ of the trio—with remaining untapped upside, the still somewhat raw Alie-Cox could potentially breakout in 2020 for the Colts.