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VIDEO: What did AC predict about AR?

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Back in April, I had a good feeling that Anthony Richardson would be the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts for Week 1 of the season.

In today’s NFL, you don’t draft somebody in the top 5 without the expectation that he will start from the jump.

The Panthers wasted no time announcing first overall pick Bruce Young as their starter, so it only makes sense for the Colts to follow suit. 

On Tuesday, Colts’ Head Coach Shane Steichen officially named Richardson the starting quarterback moving forward and committed to him for the entire season.

The number four overall pick in this year’s draft has been in competition with free agent signee Gardner Minshew all training camp, but it only took one preseason game for Steichen to make the call.

In today’s media availability, Steichen explained that he made the decision based on his progress throughout camp and throughout his time playing against Buffalo on Saturday. “We need more reps. Keep getting him more reps, keep creating that chemistry with the ones. The more reps he gets, the more he sees. The more looks he sees, he’s going to be better for it,” according to Steichen.

Most quarterback competitions tend to last through the majority of the preseason and up until the start of the regular season, but with such an electric talent like Richardson, Coach Steichen wants to give him every opportunity to learn with the first team offense over the next month.  

As I said in April, Anthony Richardson is too good not to start Week 1. Shane Steichen brings a very successful offense from Philadelphia that is centered around a mobile quarterback, and the Colts’ rookie fits that Jalen Hurts mold perfectly.

Garnder Minshew is more than capable to lead an NFL team in the short term, as Steichen emphasized today, but this system is going to be built around the strengths of Richardson, so it makes too much sense not to put him in the QB1 position moving forward.

Making the announcement a month before the start of the regular season will also greatly benefit the locker room. The rest of the roster can stop worrying about the drama of who might start, and potentially pick sides, and now focus fully on developing chemistry with their unquestioned leader for the rest of training camp and into the start of the season. 

Colts’ Owner Jim Irsay made an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show last month and foreshadowed that the team needs to see Richardson early on, like their last two prized quarterback draftees.

“Peyton [Manning] is here and we are 3-13 the first year and that is a guy that played a lot of college games and was really prepared- as much as he could be for the league. So for Anthony Richardson, its going to be tough, we know that, but he has to play to get better… Gardner could come out and obviously play better early on, just being a veteran, but we have to get Anthony on the field,” Irsay stated.

This move makes too much sense for Indianapolis and now begs the question- what are the expectations for Richardson and the Colts this season?