Costa was likely going to be backup center

INDIANAPOLIS -- There was a lot of panic from the Indianapolis Colts' fan base when the team announced that center Phil Costa was retiring Monday.

Is Costa retiring significant news?

Yes, because the Colts have Khaled Holmes and Thomas Austin as the only other centers currently on the roster. Costa retired because he wasn’t into it physically and mentally anymore.

But Costa's retirement was not as important from the standpoint that they lost their starting center. The Colts expect Holmes to be their starter at that position, barring a complete collapse by him.

Holmes could go from 12 snaps and being a healthy inactive 11 times last season to possibly being the person responsible for hiking the ball to quarterback Andrew Luck.


Holmes was behind everybody after missing a significant amount of training camp last year with an ankle injury.

"This league, unfortunately, when a guy gets hurt in training camp he gets shelved," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said last month at the NFL owners meetings. "There was a lot of optimism about him in minicamp, his level of intelligence. He's unique, he's 318 pounds. He's got guard versatility, even though I think he's a center, but he's got good arm length. At center, you have to have that. ... The guy knows how to play football."

The Colts, obviously, have high expectations for Holmes. That’s why they selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Holmes started 37 games while at USC.

I do believe it’s a risky move by Grigson because Holmes is raw. The importance of protecting Luck is paramount and the interior part of the Colts’ offensive line was so bad last season.

We’ll see if Grigson’s move to go with Holmes pays off.