INDIANAPOLIS –This time next week, when the Colts head out to the Anderson University football fields for their first training camp practice,
No position on the Colts roster has received as much offseason intrigue as the center spot.
-Would Samson Satele return for another year?
-Was free agency the answer to the center question once Satele was released?
-Was the center position an option with one of the Colts draft picks?
The answer to the question however, appeared to be already on the Colts roster.
Entering his second offseason, Holmes was on a mission knowing the possibilities that awaited the team’s 2013 fourth-round pick.
“It’s such a great opportunity I’ve been presented with,” Holmes told 1070 The Fan.
“I feel as if I’ve trained really hard and studied a lot this offseason, taken advantage of that opportunity. I’m excited to keep on learning.”
Holmes is hoping the 2014 training camp has a different tale then that of his rookie campaign.
A foot injury during the first week of practice in Anderson kept Holmes off the practice field for a period of time that is critical for any rookie’s development.
“As a competitor there’s certain aspects that make you disappointed,” Holmes told The Ride with JMV of his injury and therefore lack of playing time in 2013.
“I also completely understand the position the coaches were in with my injury in camp, preventing me from really competing throughout camp and the preseason. I was of course disappointed as a competitor but understood it as a football player.”
He enters Anderson this year as the man running with the first unit and “captaining” the Colts offensive line.
That means working extensively with Andrew Luck, a player that quickly went from Holmes' foe-to-friend with one selection last April.
“I had such great respect for (Luck) as an opponent in college, recognizing his talent and skillset,” Holmes says.
“Now to be on the same team as him is a wonderful opportunity. To be a center, for a quarterback like that, you can’t ask for much more than that.”
Holmes is a far cry from those days at USC and his hometown of Santa Ana, California.
The glitz and glamor of playing in the shadow of Hollywood has passed, and that’s just fine for Holmes.
“It’s a different universe,” Holmes says of his new home. “I’ve really appreciated the change of pace to be honest with you. I’ve really embraced the city. I’ve made great friends. The community overall has just been incredible. My whole experience here…I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be drafted.”
“I was so fortunate, as anyone who comes to this team is, to be drafted by the Colts. It’s such a great locker room, great environment, high character guys, high character veterans, very importantly. I was able to learn a lot, absorb a lot, even though I didn’t play much last year. I was able to grow as a football player.”