Ebron signed with the Colts for the opportunity to play with the star quarterback.
That’s the same reason running back Frank Gore came aboard back in the spring of 2015. Gore and Luck played a total of 22 games together in three seasons because of Luck's injury problems.
The Colts, and Ebron, hope Luck won’t be spending the 2018 season on the sideline. They need him back on the field after dealing with a shoulder injury for nearly the past three years.
“The reason why I came here is because of Andrew Luck, to keep it honest,” Ebron said. “It doesn’t really matter where I played or where I went, I just wanted a quarterback and someone that I knew could get me the ball and pretty much work with me the way that I knew that I needed to be worked with. And I think Andrew Luck was the perfect fit. Doing my research and my time upon him, I just felt like that was the perfect move for me was to come to Indianapolis and be a weapon for him.”
Luck -- or whoever is quarterbacking the Colts -- can only do so much for Ebron. The 25-year-old has to help himself, too.
Ebron spent four seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he failed to live up to the expectations of being the No. 10 pick in the 2014 draft. It didn't help that receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive lineman Aaron Donald were selected two and three spots, respectively, after him. Ebron was released by the Lions last month after 186 receptions for 2,070 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Colts signed Ebron a week later.
“I’m here. I’m here,” Ebron said. “Frank Reich did a damn good job if I’m here. He knows how to sell you now. ... He’s very, very strategic and very, very offensive-minded, which helps people like me in situations of where you want to create the mismatches and you want to do the things that help you evolve and be great. That’s what I like with what Frank said.”
Reich’s offense is predicated on exploiting mismatches. The Colts' new head coach often did that with the tight ends while serving as Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator the past two seasons. Ebron will have the inside track on being the No. 2 tight end behind Pro Bowler Jack Doyle, to go with receiver T.Y. Hilton on the outside.
“I hope so. I hope so. That would be refreshing,” Ebron said when asked about the tight-end position having a significant role in the offense.
Ebron could find himself in numerous mismatch situations, but none of that will matter if he’s not able catch the ball. He dropped 6 percent of the passes thrown his way last season, the 18th-worst rate in the NFL.
“I’ve done a lot of things at a very young age and I do have that as a positive,” Ebron said. “My deal is to just take it to the next level. At this place here, I have a new start, I have a new finish. I have a new rep, and that alone means a lot. I look forward to making that rep a good one.”