Khaled Holmes To Start At Center In Week 17

Intro: The Colts had a change in their schedule this week with taking Thursday off for Christmas. What was it like to get back on the practice field on a normal off day?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts were back on the practice field Tuesday with a little change up in their schedule in Week 17.

Instead of their normal off day on Tuesday, the Colts will take Thursday off this week for Christmas.

Here are a few sound bites from Chuck Pagano, T.Y. Hilton and Khaled Holmes on Wednesday:

Chuck Pagano on the mindset for Week 17:

"Efficiency. Great execution in all three phases. Play with great fundamentals and technique. Eliminate turnovers. Eliminate penalties. Sustain drives. Great situational football. Third down, convert. Get off the field on third down. Control the ball."

Bowen's Analysis:* *Pagano rattled off this list when asked about what he hopes for in the regular season finale. The head coach expanded on how important third-down play has been in wins, along with hitting on chunk plays and then keeping those plays off the board defensively.

Pagano was asked a big picture question on Tuesday about looking ahead to the two opponents (Bengals/Steelers) the Colts could see in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Pagano said their advanced scouting staff has begun work on those two teams while the coaches and players remain solely focused on the Titans. Earlier this year, the Colts beat the Bengals, 27-0, at home in Week Seven. They then lost a road matchup the following week to the Steelers, 51-34.

T.Y. Hilton on getting back to practice:

"You could see guys were more focused, guys were in tune.

"We had a player-to-player meeting today, so I think that kind of woke everybody up. It was well needed."

Bowen's Analysis: During the open media portion of practice Hilton went through individual drills for the first time since leaving the Houston game with his left hamstring injury. This backs up what Chuck Pagano said on Monday of expecting Hilton to play in Tennessee.

The "woke up" comment from the player meeting on Tuesday follows something similar to what Dwayne Allen said, too. Listening to several players in the locker room on Tuesday, it's clear that Week 17 means something to this team, even if their playoff seeding has all but been decided.Khaled Holmes on being named the starting center for this week:

"It's nice to have a vote of confidence in a sense. Obviously the game didn't go as any of us hoped, but it was exciting to get out there, get my first start in, and I think I did alright."

Bowen's Analysis: Chuck Pagano announced on Tuesday that Holmes will be the team's starting center for the regular season finale. Holmes was the starter last week in Dallas and Pagano was pleased with the center's starting debut, outside of a few hiccups.

The major problem in Holmes getting on the field in his first two seasons has been staying out of the training room. His intelligence has never been questioned, but he had another physical setback in the preseason opener when he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him the rest of August. Holmes was the team's No. 1 center through virtually the entire offseason, up to that point, and it looks like he has the chance to head into the playoffs as that guy.

INJURY NOTES

With the Colts practicing on Tuesday, an injury report did not have to be released.

During the media portion of practice, it appeared that Gosder Cherilus (groin), Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and Hugh Thornton (knee) all returned to work.

Dwayne Allen (knee) said after practice: "Whether or not I'm up this week, we'll see. Coach said it's day-to-day, and hopefully the knee progresses enough that way I'll be out there with the guys on Sunday."

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