INDIANAPOLIS – Living up to expectations of an NFL record setting rookie class isn't very realistic, especially when the goal is to select "trench" guys.
That's what the makeup of the 2013 Colts draft class was all about—finding the guys in the trenches for a 3-4 defense on one side of the ball and to protect an elite skill group on the other side.
Much has been made about Khaled Holmes, the Colts 2013 fourth-round pick, and his effort to try and seize the open starting center position this season.
Holmes is trying to join the Colts first two picks from 2013, Bjoern Werner and Hugh Thornton, as key contributors on a playoff team.
Over the last two weeks, Werner and Thornton have appeared on Colts UpClose and both shared their thoughts on Year Two in the NFL.**
On his overall thoughts heading into Year Two:
"It's amazing how it feels now from OTAs compared to last year. Even if you knew plays last year, you were still a rookie and you were scared to mess up. When you tell yourself those negative things, you are going to mess up at some point. Now, I'm just more fluid out there, knowing the playbook in my second year. It's a lot of fun out there."
On his individual expectations in 2014:
"I have high expectations for myself and I know it's going to be a great year for myself and the team. I can't wait just to get out there and prove it. They picked me for a reason and I want to prove that and step up."
On getting a chance to head back home over the next month:
"I'm heading back home to Germany, check in with the family, some family and friends before the whole season gets started. The last time I saw my parents was last year after OTAs so it's time to check in again and see the family."
On the Colts offense going into the second year in Pep Hamilton's system:
"In all honestly, this offense is going to be capable of what we expect it to be capable of and it's a matter of putting in the work now so we can experience the glory later. If we are able to trust each other and hold each other accountable to do the right thing on the field, we are going to be as great as we want to be."
On what he sees from Andrew Luck:
"He has unwavering confidence and that's something that is admirable and something that you look up to. When he gets in the huddle and he tells us what to do, there's no question in our mind we are going to do it to the best of our ability because he's calling the shots. We trust him as a quarterback and we believe in him and we know he's going to put us in the right situations to be successful."
On how he's watched fellow draftee Khaled Holmes grow into his second season:
"Just a desire to be better and to be a leader of the offensive line. For me, I can attest from playing at a young age in your first year was extremely hard for me just because you don't necessarily have the respect from a lot of the other players in the NFL. I think we have a great group of guys along the offensive line that are constantly helping Khaled and he's helping us get better as well."