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Indianapolis Colts Training Camp

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INDIANAPOLIS It is time for Anthony Richardson to ramp things up a bit.

With the arrival of Colts OTAs this week, the expectation is Richardson will take part in his first 11-on-11 work, in a practice or game setting, since his rookie season ended on October 8, 2024.

Private quarterbacks coach Will Hewlett is one of the few people who already has a pretty good idea of what Richardson will look like in his return from season-ending right shoulder surgery.

“Regardless the limited amount of play, (Richardson) was able to get enough under the belt to really build a confidence,” Hewlett, who has worked with Richardson for multiple offseason says. “I think there’s a certain aura about him this time coming back, not that he could ever question could he able to do it before, but he went out there and did it, and did it at a high level. I think he was really excited about some of the progress.

“This offseason, in spite of coming off an injury, I think he was feeling pretty good about where it was a going. Obviously, there going to be those question marks as you come back from a surgery. Are those things going to work as you come back returning to throw? But I think we are many steps forward from where we were last year.”

In Hewlett’s work with Richardson exiting Florida, a major focus was on improving his velocity usage, in terms of when to use the variety of speeds on his throws.

Hewlett is pleased with the progress there, with continued detail on wanting to “tie his feet to all his progressions” as they fine tune a few lower body things for the second-year quarterback.

“There was that narrative coming out of Florida—couldn’t throw the ball without hitting the dirt,” Hewlett says. “He was inconsistent. And obviously that wasn’t the case.

“He worked extremely hard in perfecting his craft. There were some things he had to tighten up. He paid attention to small details and made massive progress from last offseason. So we just picked up form last offseason with some limited volume and throwing in the return from injury.”

For Richardson, he has shared with Hewlett that he wants to work on the “Brock Purdy throws over the middle” moving forward.

A fan favorite of that type of throw did come last year in the Rams game, when Richardson delivered a strike down the steam to Josh Downs.

In running the QB Collective in Florida (Hewlett has worked with other quarterbacks including: Caleb Williams, Brock Purdy and Gardner Minshew), Hewlett heard the narrative on Richardson entering last year’s draft process

Runner first. Thrower second.

It’s not something Hewlett agreed with.

“I don’t think Anthony should be lumped into a category of a guy who should run before he passes,” the QB trainer says. “I do feel like he is as good in the pocket as we’ve seen in terms of coming out of college, in quite some time, with his ability to navigate through pressure.

“He just happens to be one of the freakiest athletes in the world. So, it would be a determent to the Colts to not use him in the run game.”

Chris Ballard would certainly nod at this assessment.

The Colts GM walked away from Richardson’s 173 rookie snaps believing the uber athlete can be a legit thrower in this league.

Now, with OTAs here, we are going to get our first glimpse at Richardson post-shoulder surgery.

And those closest to him are eager to see it in unfold.

“Big things in store for that man,” Hewlett says of No. 5. “He’s gifted and just a great person, among other things. So it’ll be fun to watch.”

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