Skip to main content

Colts OL Coach Previews Center Competition

Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert broke down the competition between the two candidates that are vying to snap the ball to Andrew Luck in 2015.

INDIANAPOLIS --- Chuck Pagano said back in March there will be a competition to see who starts at center for the Colts, and with Organized Team Activities beginning Monday, Khaled Homes and Jonotthan Harrison have already been splitting reps during the offseason program.

"We're rotating them through the time right now," Colts Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert told Wednesday. "I think they know the competition is between the two of them."

It's not often you have a starting competition on the offensive line between two candidates that had as much experience in the same season as Holmes and Harrison did in 2014. Harrison started 10 consecutive games at center beginning week five. Holmes then started the final five games in the middle of the unit, including three postseason games.

"The one good thing is they get along. They compete. They know they're competing, but again, I think that's the part that really pushes both of them to really hit their max," Gilbert said. "Instead of just being complacent, both of them know they have to come out and compete every day."

That includes right now, with training camp still 11 weeks away. Holmes was a 4th round pick of the Colts, entering his third season. Harrison was an undrafted rookie last season, making his 10 straight starts all the more impressive.

"I think tremendous," said Gilbert, when asked how impressive it was that Harrison was able to accomplish that. "The center spot for us, that's where it starts. Every play, when we break the huddle, he gets up there. He's got to be on the same page with Andrew. For him to come in, and do what he did, was remarkable."

But then what many around the league refer to as the "rookie wall" found Harrison.

"Jon would even tell you the wear and tear of the NFL and the grind, it does. That's where a little bit, those guys don't realize that first year, they get worn down a little bit," Gilbert explained. "But he did a phenomenal job."

Whereas Harrison was worn down late in the season, Holmes had to overcome injury early in the season, suffering a high-ankle sprain in the first preseason game. By the time he got the starting job back, it was week 16. Holmes anchored the middle of a Colts offensive line that only allowed Andrew Luck to get sacked twice (only once in the postseason), over the final five games of the season. The Colts also rushed for 296 yards in three postseason games with Holmes at center, averaging 4.1 yards per carry, not outstanding but an improvement from Indy's season average of 3.9 yards per carry in a pass heavy offense that led the league in pass attempts.

"You have goals. It's kind of a running theme. If you can get a 3-yard gain plus in the NFL, that's a pretty good run," said Gilbert. "Anything above that is you're doing a damn good job. In the run game, if you're going to use a stat that's one of them...and you're always looking for no sacks, no pressures, no hits (on the quarterback)."

Considering Andrew Luck is your quarterback, those goals make sense, and considering how much Harrison and Holmes played last season, it appears the Colts have two good options battling it out to snap the ball to #12.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.