The Indianapolis Colts have had one of the weirdest offseasons of any team in the NFL in 2023. Should the team be super excited about the arrival of head coach Shane Steichen and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson? Should they be super disappointed by the way the team is handling star running back Jonathan Taylor? Should they temper expectations or should they expect to be better than anyone really thinks?
More and more, the Colts are becoming one of the most confusing teams in the league, but one thing seems to be becoming clearer and clearer by the week: The Indianapolis Colts should be fun to watch in 2023, thanks largely to the ridiculous talent of rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Anthony Richardson putting his talent on display in the preseason
The Colts named Anthony Richardson their starter sooner than many expected them to, but there was really no need for the Colts to delay the inevitable. Shane Steichen was brought to Indianapolis to develop Richardson quickly and on-field reps are going to be more important for Richardson than letting Gardner Minshew putz around out there for a few weeks.
The Colts might as well put all their eggs into the Richardson basket and see what they’ve got.
And what we’ve all seen so far is more of the same of what we saw when Richardson was at Florida last year — insane talent that’s not really being reflected in the box score. Richardson completed 6-of-17 passes in the Colts’ most recent preseason win against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he added 38 yards rushing on five attempts.
But he should have been at least 7-of-17…
One of the reasons why the Colts were such an interesting fit for Richardson is the work Shane Steichen has done over the last 3-4 years with Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert. Steichen was tasked with helping get Justin Herbert ready for his first NFL regular season during the ultra-restrictive practice rules with the pandemic back in 2020, and he was tasked with basically revamping the entire Eagles offense for Jalen Hurts in 2021.
And in both instances, we saw how things went. Herbert and Hurts are legitimately two of the best young QBs in the game right now, and Richardson needs Steichen to be the QB whisperer for him as he enters the NFL as a player who many believe to be loaded with raw talent, but perhaps needing rapid refinement in order to succeed.
And that talent with Richardson is obvious. His skill set coming into the NFL should be treated somewhat similarly to that of Josh Allen coming out of Wyoming. Is he a bit of a wild stallion? Maybe, but Steichen will know how to tailor the offense to his traits so he can have early success without having to be flawless as a passer.
If only the Colts had a running back they could lean on while Richardson finds his way…