INDIANAPOLIS –Newly-acquired linebacker Zac Diles sat at his locker Wednesday afternoon studying.
The linebacker claimed on Monday from Tampa Bay was absorbing all he could from his special teams playbook in anticipation of Sunday's game against Baltimore.
Diles has started 30 games in his NFL career and the Colts are the second team he has played for in 2011. Additionally, he was with St. Louis in training camp before being waived at the end of preseason. He played in seven games this season for the Buccaneers.
"It has its ups and downs," Diles said of the moves around the league. "The defense here isn't too complex, so in that aspect it's been easy. As far as getting up and moving that's the (tough) part, and getting acclimated with another team and learning how to get around the building that's the biggest thing. It's part of the business."
From 2007-10, Diles played for Houston. He even recorded an interception against Indianapolis in 2008. With the Colts playing all three AFC South teams in the last three weeks of the season, Diles knows what he will be going up against.
"I'm very familiar with those teams, Houston of course," Diles said. "I've played against all them plenty of times. I'm very familiar with their personnel and who they have and what they like to get done. It's a familiar division, so it should be a good transition."
In arriving in Indianapolis, Diles saw former teammate Anthony Hill. Hill has played tight end for the Colts the past few weeks.
"He helped me out this morning," Diles said. "I've been tugging on his shirt asking him questions, asking him where to go. I saw him this morning going out of the hotel and I didn't know he was here, so it was cool seeing him."
Diles said he still is not sure where he will fit on the defense.
"I'm on all the special teams as of right now and we'll see how it goes come Sunday, how it goes on defense," Diles said. "I know right now I'll be running down on all the special teams. … It's been an up and down year so far, just glad to be here and get on the field and help contribute."
Along with Diles, the Colts signed another former AFC South linebacker in Kevin Bentley. Indianapolis middle linebacker Pat Angerer, the NFL's leading tackler, went down with an injury early in the New England game last Sunday. Angerer was replaced by A.J. Edds. Angerer will not practice today for the Colts and how the linebackers will shake out for Sunday will not be known until later in the week.
Bentley is in his 10th NFL season after spending time with Cleveland (2002-04), Seattle (2005-07) and Houston (2008-10). Bentley was in training camp with San Diego this year, but was released in the final cut to 53 players. He spent a brief period with Jacksonville in November and was released on Monday of this week.
The unit that took the greatest hit on Sunday was the secondary. Cornerbacks Terrence Johnson and Jerraud Powers both were placed on injured reserve earlier in the week.
The Colts turned to two familiar faces to fill the voids in the secondary by calling up Mike Holmes from the practice squad and signing former Colt Brandon King.
Holmes has spent the last two months on the Colts practice squad and said he was pleased to get the call up for this weekend.
"Especially me being a rookie, playing (on the) practice squad has helped me develop my skills and come comfortable going against the number one defense day in and day out," Holmes said. "I'm comfortable with my technique and playing."
It still remains to be seen where or how much Holmes will play on Sunday, but he said he has turned to veterans Antoine Bethea and Powers for advice. When asked what will change in practice this week, Holmes said not too much, but he will definitely have his eyes on the first-team defense.
"(I'm) more tuned in to what's going on," Holmes said. "Even though I'm still running scout team, I'm very in tuned to what's going on even more with the (starters), the defense, taking a lot more mental reps."
An undrafted rookie out of Syracuse, Holmes said one of the benefits of coming over to Indianapolis from the Chicago Bears was the chance to be re-united with running back Delone Carter, the Colts' fourth-round draft pick this year.
"That was one of the best things that happened because actually we were roommates and I came in and he reached out to me and said, 'You can stay with me,' Holmes said. "We are very close and spend a lot of time together."
The Colts have had a history of undrafted free agents filling in prominent roles with the team and Holmes hopes he is next in line.
"It was definitely excitement because it's everything you pretty much worked for," Holmes said of when he heard he was on the active roster. "To be able to be called up from the practice squad is like a dream come true. It feels like I'm really part of the team now."
Former Purdue cornerback Brandon King was signed this week. King played four games with Indianapolis in 2010. He was in camp with the club this year but was waived on September 3. King spent 13 weeks on the Miami practice squad.
King has played both safety and corner in his time in the NFL, and he said he is just happy to be on the field come Sunday.
"I finally get to play," King said. "(I've) been sitting out for a while so it will be good to hit somebody else other than the people in the same jersey."
Heading into this weekend's game with Baltimore, the Colts have had five different defensive backs make their NFL debuts this season, David Caldwell, Joe Lefeged, Chris Rucker, Kevin Thomas and Johnson. It is possible Holmes could be the sixth defensive back making a career debut, but Head Coach Jim Caldwell said he will not know until later in the week what the alignment will be in the secondary at Baltimore.
"I'm just not sure at this point of the exact lineup because of the fact that we are trying to work through some things," Caldwell said. "Obviously, you know we have Brandon King, (who) comes back in and knows our system. We will work with him. We have Mike Holmes coming up. We will kind of see who fits best in the system that we already have. (Chris) Rucker, Jacob Lacey and Kevin Thomas, those three guys certainly will play. How we'll line up in terms of nickel and all that is still to be determined. We'll work our way through that."