INDIANAPOLIS – The opportunity coaches continuously warn players about came for Boom Herron.
Days of mainly being a Colts special teams contributor for Herron evaporated late last season.
Herron was the guy in the Colts backfield and he made sure to make the most of the opening.
"It helped me a lot, learning a lot, playing the game and just going out there and winning games," Herron said during the team's offseason program of his expanded role to finish the 2014 season and the subsequent postseason.
"It was definitely a great experience for me and I think I've learned a lot from last year to this year and I'm very excited for this year."
Beginning with a Week 12 contest against Washington, Herron seized the lead back role following Ahmad Bradshaw's season-ending injury and Trent Richardson's struggles.
Herron ran for 448 yards on 101 carries the rest of the season and chipped in 39 receptions (nine total games, including the playoffs).
After two seasons of seeing virtually only mop-up duty with the Colts, Herron was leaving quite the impression on his teammates and coaches.
"I always had confidence that I could play this game," Herron said during the Colts stretch run last year. "It's just one of those things. You have to have patience. I still have to have patience. I'm still fighting for jobs...you have to keep working."
With the 2015 Training Camp a month away, it's amazing what a year can do for a guy like Herron.
He's no longer a fringe roster player come crunch down time for cuts.
Herron was the Colts No. 1 back when Frank Gore sat out a few OTAs this spring.
Entering Training Camp, Herron is the Colts clear backup running back, a spot that has always seen plenty of reps within Pep Hamilton's offense.
"Now that I'm going into my third year, it's real easy to me," Herron says of his own growth.
"It's coming second nature. Now I can just play fast instead of thinking about everything."
If Herron does indeed continue to find himself in that second running back spot for the Colts, his time will inevitably come.
In Hamilton's two prior seasons as offensive coordinator, the Colts have relied (many times due to injury) on multiple backs in a variety of roles.
Herron isn't 100 percent sure what that might mean for him in 2015, but when he scans across the locker room, he's just happy to be a part of such a potent group.
"I think it's going to be tough for defenses to stop us because obviously we have a great quarterback, we have some great receivers and some good backs," Herron said at the end of the Colts offseason program.
"I think we have some good options and if we have some good options, I think we can do some great things."
A behind the scenes look at Boom's 2015 photo shoot in the #ColtsPhotoGarage