One of the most notable position battles taking place this offseason for the Indianapolis Colts is at the center position, where both Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison are getting first team reps and are bot him the running to be named the starter when Indy travels to Buffalo in week one to take on the Bills.
It's a battle that is currently hard to get a feeling on, as Holmes and Harrison have been splitting reps throughout the offseason, and it will be decided at some point in training camp and preseason. According to Jonotthan Harrison, the biggest thing that will decide the competition is consistency.
"Honestly, just consistency," Harrison told Colts.com's Steve Andress on Tuesday as the Colts began mandatory mini-camp. "That's what the coaches are looking for. And of course, they understand that there may be a technical issue every once in a while, no player is perfect, everyone gets beat every once in a while, but just who can remain the most consistent throughout all these phases leading into the season."
Consistency is something that the Colts didn't have last year when it came to the center position. A.Q. Shipley provided the most consistent play, but any bit of consistency that was being developed up front was shattered when the Colts' management benched him for Harrison, an undrafted rookie who had played quite a bit in preseason. Harrison started the next ten games, though he was very inconsistent. Khaled Holmes took over in week 16 after losing his starting spot in preseason due to injury, and he started the remaining five games (including the three playoff games). He was more consistent than Harrison, but the word still wouldn't be the best one to describe Holmes' play.
It makes sense, then, that what the coaches are looking for out of the competition between Holmes and Harrison is consistency. The ability to bring the same game week in and week out, to know what you're getting every play. That will likely be the deciding factor in a competition that has been a very healthy one for the Colts, according to Harrison.
"There's this mutual respect," he noted, "and we understand that whoever ends up at the position, that's out of our control, so it's whoever performs the best and whoever the coaches feel is adequate for the position. So it's a mutual respect and we help each other out; it's not like we try to sabotage anybody, you know. But no, it's great. We work together and we train together and it's been a good competition. It's been a real good competition."
As for Harrison himself, he's ready to continue working and continue trying to win the starting job. He mentioned that the biggest thing that was different between his first start and his tenth start last year was that he was a lot more beat up in the tenth start, but he's feeling good now. "[I'm] very healthy," he said. "In a great place mentally, and I'm ready to go."