Chuck Pagano and the Colts haven't exactly been great at committing to or declaring a starting center. And by not great I mean awful. But it seems that perhaps they have learned from their mistakes and are changing it now, as the team's head coach made absolutely no doubt about it: Khaled Holmes is the starting center for the Colts.
"Khaled's our starting center,'' Pagano told the media on Monday, according to FOX59's Mike Chappell. That's as definitive as I can ever remember him being about the starting center position for the Colts.
Though there was competition, it seemed clear all throughout the offseason that Holmes had the advantage over Jonotthan Harrison, and once training camp began any remaining questions were erased. Holmes took every single snap with the first team offense in practice, and he even worked out individually with Luck on snapping the football while the other players on the team did special teams drills. In the first preseason game we saw the trend continue, as Holmes was the only center to play with the first team.
In the past two preseason games, however, the questions started to creep back in - mainly because of the fact that, for the first time, Jonotthan Harrison was seeing reps with the first team at center. Were the Colts thinking about making a switch? Some of the flashbacks to the mishandling of the position last year started to flood back to the minds of many fans, but Pagano put a stop to any and all questions about it today: Khaled Holmes is the guy.
And really, he should be. Holmes outplayed Harrison in the 2014 season, Holmes outplayed Harrison in training camp, and Holmes has outplayed Harrison in preseason (on Saturday, as soon as Harrison entered the game the line began to have massive struggles). He's the most stable and reliable option that the team has and has the head start, having received all of the reps in camp and most of them in the preseason. The Colts really want to establish a consistent starting five and they want their center to grow comfortable with working with Andrew Luck.
Back when the Colts drafted Khaled Holmes in 2013, many thought that he would be given the chance to be the team's center of the future. Now, he's finally getting that chance as the team's starter, and he has the complete backing of his head coach.