Harrison played well in first start at center

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts undrafted rookie center Jonotthan Harrison felt comfortable when he took the field for the first offensive series against the New York Giants. He wasn't the same bright-eyed rookie who had two bad snaps shortly after stepping in for the injured Khaled Holmes late in the first offensive series against the New York Jets.

"Big jump from his first exposure," coach Chuck Pagano said. "We thought he played extremely well. We didn't have any communication breakdowns. There was no center-quarterback exchange breakdowns. He played physical. He played tough. He played smart. He graded out well. He played well fundamentally and his technique was good."

Harrison started at center against the Giants because Holmes is still out with a sprained left ankle. The Colts expect to have Holmes back in time for the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 7. He's no longer in a walking boot, which is a sign that he's getting closer to returning to the practice field.

Harrison, a three-year starter at Florida, was better prepared for the Giants game because he spent the week working with the starting unit. The extra snaps he's getting will help Harrison's development in case Holmes suffers another injury once he returns.

"I like to approach every practice as if I'm a starter," Harrison said. "Approach every practice thinking my number can get called every time. That way I'm never caught off guard no matter if I'm in the starting lineup or if I'm a rotational player. Just prepare as if you're a starter throughout the week so you never be caught off guard."