INDIANAPOLIS – It did not take long last season for Colts wide receiver Nathan Palmer to learn a bit about the business side of the NFL.
The Elkhart, Indiana native had a very eventful phone call after three games.
"I was on a trip with San Francisco and we played in Minnesota. Then, we had the Jets next, so we went to Youngstown, Ohio, to stay on the East Coast," said Palmer. "I got a call from my agent saying, 'You're going to Indy.' I said, 'Half of my stuff is in San Fran. All I have is one suitcase.'
"In three hours, I was in Indy and calling mom and dad and telling them to come down and bring clothes. Everything happened so fast. That was my first taste of how the business is."
Palmer was on the 49ers' practice squad after joining the team in April as an undrafted free agent.
Indianapolis had a need at receiver and nabbed him for the active roster. Joining a team in the mid-stream of a season is a tough proposition for any player, let alone a rookie who had no working knowledge of the landscape.
"I came in the middle of things, so I had to learn on the fly," said Palmer. "I started out in San Francisco from the beginning and understood the plays. I came here and had to learn things in the middle of the season.
"I was trying to learn things and jump in. It was a little bit challenging, my first year."
Colts personnel officials last year equated the additions of Palmer and Vontae Davis as almost having more draft picks on board.
Both came well after spring and training camp practices had most players operating off the same script, and both young performers had to rely on knack, intellect and teammates to contribute.
Palmer found the field on five occasions, catching one pass and being a game-day deactivation on seven occasions.
The inactivity came after playing in 48 games at Northern Illinois, many alongside Chandler Harnish, the club's seventh-round draft pick who spent the majority of the season on the practice squad.
Palmer was on the same wave length with Harnish at school, having 93 receptions for 1,575 yards and 16 scores.
He is busying himself with the principles and principals of the offense here.
"This off-season has been incredible, understanding the plays, being able to start off fresh and not only knowing the plays, but understanding why we're running them," said Palmer. "You're looking for the different kinds of coverages and why the play works. That helps out a lot.
"Andrew's an incredible quarterback, and he breaks it down to you as far as what he's aiming to do at that position," said Palmer. "Being around Andrew, I've learned about quarterback steps and drops and how it relates to my routes. Before, I never really knew that.
"Matt (Hasselbeck) has been great, the leader and wily veteran. Chandler (Harnish) has been great. It's amazing to watch him grow from where we were at Northern. What better place is there to be because I'm behind Reggie Wayne every day watching him. You can see why he has incredible seasons."
Palmer is a sponge soaking in information from coaches and doing his best to make an impact.
"I'm getting know the guys better and really understanding what my role may be," said Palmer. "Last year, it was sort of establishing that role. Now, I'm trying to figure out where I fit in.
"Now that I understand the business more, I'm a lot more prepared for things."