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Colts’ Steichen encouraged by Richardson, but sends important message to the QB

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 24: Anthony Richardson #5 of the Indianapolis Colts talks to head coach Shane Steichen against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen spoke on Wednesday and had plenty to say about his rookie quarterback’s play in last week’s 31-21 loss against the Jaguars.

Anthony Richardson impressed, becoming the first rookie QB in NFL history to throw for 200+ yards, run for 40+ yards, run for a touchdown, and throw for a touchdown in their debut.

Head Coach Shane Steichen was encouraged by the 21-year-old’s debut, telling WISH-TV Sports Director Anthony Calhoun that there were plenty of positives to take out of Richardson’s performance.

“Very encouraged. I thought he did a really nice job,” Steichen said. “He had some shots down the field and he was smart with the football… very encouraged with his first performance.”

Richardson found plenty of success on the ground en route to leading the team in rushing, but that did not come without consequence.

The fourth-overall pick came up limping on multiple occasions, including a play late in the game when Richardson was helped off the field by the training staff.

Following the game, even Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence gave some advice to Richardson about protecting himself.

Steichen liked what he saw from his mobile quarterback, but knows that Richardson will have to do a better job protecting himself if he wants to stay healthy.

“Fourth and five, we got down there, yeah go get it,” Steichen said, “but every other time, if you can get out of bounds, get out of bounds and be smart. There is a time and place for it, but you’ve got to be smart. It’s a long season.”

Even Andrew Luck took some time to learn how to slide.

Luck was notorious for lowering his shoulder and sustaining unnecessary contact when trying to extend plays, and it took a year or two before the former Colt started surrendering early and protecting himself.

That is something that former Colts’ coach Chuck Pagano said to Calhoun ahead of Richardson’s debut last week.

“You don’t have to do this thing by yourself,” Pagano said. “What I wish I would’ve done a better job of, especially with Andrew in those early years, is protect him from himself… if you’ve got to throw the thing away, if you’ve got to slide, then do it. It’s a long season.”

A quarterback with the duel-threat ability of Richardson isn’t easy to find. But for Steichen, he had a similar style QB at his last stop in Philadelphia.

Jalen Hurts led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance and finished the year as an MVP finalist under Steichen’s play-calling, leading all QBs in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Now working with a different mobile quarterback, Shane Steichen knows that Richardson protecting himself has to be then priority, but doesn’t feel like he is in more danger when using his legs.

“Most quarterbacks if they do get hurt, if you look at all the numbers, it’s within the pocket more than anything,” Steichen said. “[Richardson and I] have those conversations weekly about when to be smart.”

On Sunday at 1 p.m., the Colts will take the field in Houston for their AFC South matchup against the Texans.

At 11 a.m., you can watch the only hour-long Colts pregame show on WISH-TV. The Emmy Award-winning ‘Countdown to Kickoff‘ brings Colts experts on with AC and the WISH-TV Sports Team for an in-depth preview of the game ahead.

Analysts include former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, former players Ken Dilger and Marlin Jackson, as well as 93.5/107.5 The Fan’s Kevin Bowen, who hosts the sports radio talk show “The Wake Up Call” on weekday mornings.

WISH-TV will also host a postgame show immediately following the conclusion of the game.

For more updates on Shane Steichen and the Colts this fall, follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, and on Facebook.