Khaled Holmes said he did what he was told.
Inactive for the Indianapolis Colts’ first 11 games this season, the second-year center prepared as a starter.
After a while, it would be human nature for doubt to creep in. Perhaps he would never get a shot to prove himself?
Holmes insisted this week he never thought that. He just kept working hard.
“It’s nice to have a vote of confidence, in a sense,” Holmes said Tuesday. “Obviously the game didn’t go as any of us had hoped. It was exciting to get out there, get my first start in, and I think I did alright.”
He admitted the season has been tough, but that, “I’d like to think I handled it as a professional and as well as I could have.”
Coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week that Holmes practiced well while on the scout team and earned the chance to play. But the coach also conceded the change had to do with rookie Jonotthan Harrison’s drop-off in performance and injury issues.
The Colts started the season with A.Q. Shipley at center for four games. In a surprise switch, Harrison started the next 10. Now Holmes has the job, as was supposed to be the case when the team started training camp. An ankle injury during the Colts’ first preseason offensive series dropped Holmes from sight, yet again.
Last season, the fourth-round pick out of Southern California was mostly missing as a rookie, too. He was inactive for nine games, didn’t play in four others and when he did get on the field, it was for 13 snaps. He was then inactive for both playoff games.
“You can’t let circumstances affect your approach to the game,” Holmes said. “Like we always preach here, you prepare as a starter and you keep that mind-set regardless of the circumstances.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.