Time to realize Khaled Holmes is the starter

May, 12, 2014
May 12
1:30
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL draft came and went without the Indianapolis Colts drafting a true center.

Surprised?

Holmes
You shouldn't be. Really, you shouldn't be.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano have talked up second-year center Khaled Holmes ever since they finally cut bait with Samson Satele in March.

Holmes is their starting center whether you like it or not.

"Khaled's our center," Grigson said over the weekend.

It should be noted that Thomas Austin is also a center on the roster and second-round pick Jack Mewhort and veteran Donald Thomas can play the position.

But it’s Holmes' job and the Colts are going sink or swim with him snapping the ball to quarterback Andrew Luck.

"We’re up front with everybody in the building and he still has to perform at a high level," Grigson said. "He's got to. Everybody has to. Like I said, to do what we want to do, everyone has to ascend to a championship level of play. That’s the goal."

Some tend to believe Holmes will likely be the starter only because Phil Costa decided to suddenly retire last month. That’s not true. Holmes had the inside track to be the starter even with Costa on the roster.

Grigson has said a number of times that they didn’t select Holmes in the fourth round of the 2013 draft to stand on the sidelines supporting his teammates.

Holmes did enough of that as a rookie, playing a total of just 12 snaps after an injury caused him to miss most of training camp.

"We're the ones that have studied," Grigson said. "We’re the ones that have watched all the film and not just 10 YouTube clips. Thirty-seventy starts at USC, it's like it's 'Whatsa Matta U.' It’s a pretty good program .… Rarely do you have a surefire frontline starter sitting there waiting in the wings for you."

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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