Khaled Holmes A Name To Watch In 2014

Intro: Position battles all over the playing field will be watched with the offseason program starting on Monday. There’s no question the center position will have a keen eye on it over the next few months.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Paring a young center with a top draft pick at the quarterback position is an ideal situation for any NFL team.

Having continuity for two players, that will touch the ball each play, virtually set in stone for around a decade is a luxury that teams strive for, but many find difficult in achieving.

The Colts got the first part of that equation in 2012 when they chose Andrew Luck with No. 1 overall pick.

A veteran center was paired with Luck in his rookie season, while other draft picks were spent on a variety of positions that compiled one of the best rookie classes in NFL history.

Suring up the offensive line was a priority heading into the 2013 offseason and with that the Colts selected guys in the trenches with their first four picks last April.

When the Colts announced Khaled Holmes as their fourth round of last year's draft, GM Ryan Grigson called him the "center of the future."

Holmes battled through injuries during minicamp and training camp in 2013 and now with the starting center position up for grabs, the question becomes---Is the future now?

"He's very, very bright," Chuck Pagano says in describing Holmes. "From a mental standpoint, it's all there. Physically, he got hurt in training camp so it was like we had Samson (Satele). Mike (McGlynn) was always the guy who came in as the backup and really because of the injury there wasn't a need to thrust him and so he kind of got lost in the shuffle."

"We've got a big, athletic guy that has played at a high level for a long time in the Pac-12. He understands the game and our expectations for him are really high and his expectations for himself are really high. I can't wait to see how he comes back. He's going to be 100 percent healthy obviously. It should be great competition and I look for him to do big things."

The first day of phase one of the voluntary offseason program.

 

Holmes would seem to be the early favorite for the starting position with veteran center Phil Costa announcing his retirement on Monday afternoon.

Obviously, the Colts will continue to evaluate all options in looking for competition along with Holmes and Thomas Austin currently on the roster.

Draft pundits around the league have pegged the interior line as one of the deeper spots in the 2014 draft.

The center position will be one to watch this offseason with no NFL starting experience on the roster with the Colts offseason program opening up on Monday.

In league meetings last month, Pagano brought up how the Colts had Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday together for so many years.

The Colts have a 24-year old Holmes ready to compete to be a guy to pair with Luck for the immediate future, and possibly longer.

"We talked about the continuity of the offensive line since we've been here. Sure, you would love to have a guy that's going to be there for the long haul and I think that's why we evaluated and took Holmes a year ago," Pagano said.

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