The Indianapolis Colts have a lot invested in rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Indy drafted the Florida Gators QB with the No. 3 overall pick and Colts owner Jim Irsay wants the rookie on the field as soon as possible.
“For Anthony, we know it’s going to be tough. But he has to play to get better," Irsay said on the Pat McAfee Show. "There’s no question."
While Richardson could see the field right away this fall, the Colts also brought in veteran Gardner Minshew, who already knows new Colts head coach Shane Steichen's offensive scheme well from their time together last season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last month Richardson acknowledged he's had some growing pains in camp, calling the process "a lot". This should come as no surprise. Richardson was electric at times in college, but he attempted just 393 career passes at Florida.
“I don’t want to get thrown out there and I’m lost, and the team is like, ‘Why is this dude out there?’ I just want to make sure that I’m on point with everything, and I’m doing my job the best way I can," Richardson said in June, via The Athletic.
Irsay told The Athletic in April that Richardson's development is "key to the franchise’s future" and "he gets better by playing." Fast-forward to the present and Irsay isn't budging from that stance. While Minshew may start Week 1, Irsay is bound to get his way eventually.
"Gardner could play better early on, him just being a veteran," Irsay explained. "But we have to get Anthony on the field. That’s Shane’s call when he decides.”
The Colts were 4-12-1 last season. Their chances of reaching the postseason won't be the greatest in 2023, which means the best strategy could wind up being throwing Richardson into the fire and seeing if he can cut it in the pros.