“He Has To Play To Get Better” | Colts Owner Jim Irsay Says Rookie Quarterback Anthony Richardson Needs To Play Sooner Than Later

In search of a franchise quarterback since former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck abruptly retired prior to the 2019 season, the Indianapolis Colts drafted Florida Gators athletic specimen Anthony Richardson with the No. 4 overall pick.

But, as with most rookies, and especially at quarterback, Richardson is gonna struggle as he learns to play the position at the NFL level. 

Even with veteran Gardner Minshew on the roster and very capable of keeping the team afloat, Irsay sounds like he wants to see Richardson under center sooner than later. During a stop by “The Pat McAfee Show” on Monday, Irsay was his usual loquacious self as he talked about the state of his franchise. 

Irsay Says Richardson Needs To Play 

When you draft a quarterback as high as the Colts chose Richardson, that usually means he’s playing early. First-year head coach Shane Steichen has been given the keys to turn Richardson into the franchise guy they believe he can be, but even Irsay knows that won’t be easy. 

“As you guys know, Peyton Manning’s year we were 3-13, the first year. And that’s a guy who played a lot of college games and was really prepared as much as he could be for the league. So, for Anthony Richardson, it’s going to be tough. We know that, but he has to play to get better.”

“I mean, there’s no question, Gardner Minshew could come out and obviously play better early on, just him being a veteran, but we have to get Anthony Richardson on the field. And that’s Shane Steichen’s call when he decides to do it.”

How Richardson Stacks Up Versus Manning And Luck

As it pertains to the difference in college experience between Manning, Luck and Richardson, it’s not even close. Manning started 45 games, going 39-6 and passing for over 11,000 yards and 89 touchdowns, both Volunteers records. Manning’s 39 wins are the most-ever by a starter in SEC history.

Luck went 31-7 during his time at Stanford, giving him the highest winning percentage in Cardinal history. He passed for over 9,000 yards and 82 touchdowns while under center in Palo Alto. In year one in the NFL, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.

Richardson is short on both experience and playing quarterback from the neck up. While at Florida the 6-foot-4 and 245 pound Richardson started just one season in Gainesville, going 6-7. In his career he passed for over 3,100 yard, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, a very small sample size, to say the least. 

While the experience and numbers are far different, the Colts firmly believe Richardson is their franchise guy going forward. 

But when will he be given the keys? If it were up to Irsay it might be to begin the 2023 season.  

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