Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson is set to make his NFL debut in the team’s season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft won the starting job in a competition against Gardner Minshew this offseason.
The Colts know that 2023 is a rebuilding year, so they want Anthony Richardson to get some live, in-game experience. While they still want to win as many games as possible, this season is more about development, which is why he will be out there right out of the gate.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Anthony Richardson performs. He was considered a raw prospect who needed some time to develop after college. But, there is no denying the upside and potential that he possesses.
The Florida product is something we’ve never seen before at the quarterback position. He has a one-of-one blend of size, speed and athleticism, one of only two quarterbacks ever to get perfect athleticism scores during the pre-draft process.
While there is plenty of work to be done as a passer, Anthony Richardson will be able to impact the game right away with his rushing ability. The Colts will rely on that early and often, especially with star running back Jonathan Taylor out for at least the first four weeks of the season.
Anthony Richardson’s first game will be against the Colts’ AFC South rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson recently spoke about the rookie quarterback, making a wild NFL comparison for him.
“I mean, it’s tough. You think of him, you think of Cam Newton. These are big, physical, strong quarterbacks that can also throw the football. And they’re athletic.”
It is a challenge. So each quarterback who can…when you watch the tape, he can break arm tackles. And then he can run for 15, 20, 30, 40 yards and beat you with his legs. So, we’ve got to stay disciplined, obviously, defensively. We’ve got to be a good tackle football team against guys like this,” Pederson said.
Containing Anthony Richardson in the running game will be the key for opposing defenses early on in his career. While certainly capable of making some plays in the passing game, a lot of his impact early on will come as a rusher.
That makes him dangerous, as undisciplined teams are going to be giving up chunk yardage that fail to keep him in the pocket or tackle efficiently.