It wasn't the offseason he planned for. After being drafted in the third round by the Falcons this year, left tackle Lamar Holmes expected to come into the offseason and OTAs and compete immediately for the starting left tackle spot.
An injury changed those plans a little and Holmes missed the entire offseason practice schedule as he rehabbed a foot injury. Missing that much time made him very excited to hit the field for the first on Thursday when training camp began.
"I can't lie; I was excited to get back out there," he said. "Earlier today when we came out here for walkthroughs, I was like a kid running around in the locker rooms. I'm just happy to be back out there."
Holmes is definitely a learn-by-doing kind of rookie, and while he appreciates the extra time he had to learn the playbook and watch from the sidelines, he would have much rather been on the field competing. He has noticed a difference immediately from watching to playing. He's grasping the concepts of the offense much quicker only a day into his Falcons experience.
Holmes doesn't have any major goals for his rookie season other than to help the team any way he can. Right now he sees the differences in the speed of the game but as the plays continue to stick to him, he believes he'll continue to adjust to the speed like a "second language."
He's back to good health and although he missed the offseason, he's confident his health and learning curve are appropriate for when the Falcons need him to be. Much like the adjustment to the speed of the game, he believes the time missed for the injury isn't something he can't overcome quickly.
"Give me a week or two weeks and before you know it I'll be getting back to myself, running around and doing a little better," he said.