Colts OTAs Check-In: Anthony Richardson's Hot and Cold Day, Minshew's Mentorship, More

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Colts OTAs Check-In: Anthony Richardson’s Hot and Cold Day, Minshew’s Mentorship, More


Did anyone see the videos on social media of crews changing out the “Welcome to Indiana” signs on the highways leading to Indiana? From a football lens, it makes perfect sense. It’s the start of a new era in Indianapolis. New coach, a new quarterback, and a new plan for the Colts.

Anthony Richardson’s Hot and Cold Day

With the new era of Colts football, they have a new QB, Anthony Richardson. When Richardson assumes the starting role, no one knows. Rookie Head Coach Shane Steichen split the first-team reps under center between Richardson and veteran Gardner Minshew this week.

But when Richardson got his looks, he reminded everyone of why he rocketed up draft boards during the pre-draft process. He also reminded us of why he was considered a project quarterback. According to those in attendance, Richardson had plenty of good and not-so-good plays this week.

The Athletic’s James Boyd opened his OTA takeaways column by illustrating a sequence in which Richardson nailed Kyle Granson on a pass down the left side:

Anthony Richardson dropped back during an 11-on-11 drill Thursday, surveyed the field and lofted a pass down the left sideline to new teammate Kylen Granson.


The throw was high enough to float over the outstretched hands of the defensive secondary, yet accurate enough to hit Granson right in stride en route to the end zone. It was the best play of the day for the Colts’ highly anticipated rookie quarterback and a reminder of what he’s capable of.

“[Richardson] made some big plays today on the football field,” head coach Shane Steichen said after practice. “He made some great throws, great decisions — some really next-level stuff I’ve seen over the last couple of days.”

There’s no denying that the ceiling is there for Richardson. That’s never been in question. He has every tool in the shed, and they’re shiny new expensive tools that you would drool over at the local Home Depot.

However, there were mistakes.

Boyd compared Richardson’s practice to his lone season at Florida, “Dazzling one moment and not so much the next.”

“Throughout a series of seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills, Richardson delivered a perfect pass to Malik Turner on an out route that was dropped, under-threw Turner on a deep ball that the wideout slowed down to catch and was nearly picked off across the middle by veteran safety Julian Blackmon. Richardson and Granson also appeared to miscommunicate on a play, leading to an errant short throw into the turf.”

Shane Steichen said that the slit of the reps with the first teamers between Boyd and Minshew was the plan. Steichen said that he wanted to see where Richardson was at in the infancy of this process this week.

“You’ve got a guy who is really talented and comes in and, shoot, you want to see where he’s at,” Steichen said. “So, let’s get him going early in the process and see where he’s at. So far, it’s been a good process and we’re going to continue to do that.”

But that’s not to say that he hasn’t liked what he’s seen from Gardner Minshew

Minshew isn’t there to be the future face of the franchise. Still, he is the best QB on the roster right now. In addition, Minshew and Steichen are not strangers. Steichen was Minshew’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia for the last two seasons. So, there’s a familiarity for the duo that made Minshew the perfect bridge between now and when Anthony Richardson takes the reins.

Colts tight end Mo-Alie Cox pointed out the benefit of Minshew’s knowledge of Shane Steichen’s offense on Thursday.

“It’s been a joy working with Gardner,” Alie-Cox said. “Funny dude, but he’s also smart on the field. You can tell he’s been in this offense because he sees what looks the defense is in, and checks to a certain play, different things like that. He’s gotten us a lot of good plays.”

Steichen says that Minshew has done “a hell of a job” (via J.J. Stankevitz) taking Richardson under his wing at practice and in the quarterback’s room. Regarding how long Richardson will be Minshew’s understudy, it’s a “we’ll see how it plays out” approach with the two QBs splitting snaps this spring. From there, they’ll make a plan for training camp. (Luis: It’ll be neat to see what happens in the QB competition when the Colts and Bears link up for joint practices this summer.)

Other Colts OTA Notes

  • Regardless of when Richardson takes over, he’s making a strong impression on his teammates this week:

  • Some cool shots of Thursday’s OTAs in Indianapolis:

  • If you haven’t checked this one out, I suggest you do!

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.