Colts Name Rookie QB Anthony Richardson As Regular Season Starter, And Now Comes The Hard Part

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Anthony Richardson is the Indianapolis Colts new starting quarterback.

That’s not a prediction or speculation but rather the words right from coach Shane Steichen’s mouth. The coach told reporters as much on Tuesday morning.

Richardson will be the starter for the Colts regular-season opener on Sept. 10.

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 12: Anthony Richardson #5 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass the ball during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on August 12, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)

The announcement means Richardson beat out backup and former NFL starter Gardner Minshew for the job. That is not a surprise.

Anthony Richardson Impressed Everyone

Richardson was drafted No. 4 overall in the April draft to be the face of the franchise. He has impressed teammates, including Pro Bowl guard Quenton Nelson, with his work ethic and leadership qualities.

Nelson, not often effusive about anything, has been exactly that about his new quarterback.

“I’ve been really impressed with him, the way he comes into the building every day, just his work ethic and poise in the huddle as a rookie has impressed me a lot,” Nelson said. “The growth I’ve seen from OTAs until now, you can tell during that time he was at home, he was studying, he was working out, calling the plays in the huddle and stuff.

“I’m really happy where he’s at.”

What Happens Next For Colts

And now here’s what is likely to happen next: Richardson is going to struggle, folks. He’s a rookie who played only 22 games at the University of Florida, most of those in relief until last season, and is going to make rookie mistakes.

It’s going to be rough at times.

The Colts expect that.

But the Colts don’t have another choice. Despite his lack of experience, Richardson is undoubtedly the team’s most talented QB. So he will also have occasional moments of brilliance in 2023.

The point of playing him is to close the gap between the mistakes and the brilliance by adding the necessary experience. And as that happens, the Colts expect more consistency.

It’s hard to argue with the logic.

Richardson Among Starting Rookie QBs

Richardson is not the first of the 2023 rookie quarterbacks to win a starting job. The Carolina Panthers have not officially named Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick, as their starter but, well, he’ll be their starter.

The Houston Texans are expected to do the same with C.J. Stroud but have not yet done so.

Richardson got his first NFL start on Saturday in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. It didn’t go great.

He completed 7 of 12 passes for 67 yards and 1 interception. Steichen called Richardson’s limited outing “efficient” and took the opportunity to blame others, including himself, for the lack of production.

“I thought he had great poise,” Steichen said, “I knew we had the early interception. That’s my fault. We’ve got to do a better job communicating on that one.”

The message the Colts are sending with this move is clear: Anthony Richardson is their quarterback but he needs experience.

So they’ve named their starting quarterback to begin gaining that experience as soon as possible.

Follow on X: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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