INDIANAPOLIS –.The smile couldn’t be wiped off Anthony Richardson’s face.
As Richardson puts it, finally, “the politics” of draft season are complete.
The days of training for a track meet (the Combine and Pro Day) are gone.
More than 6 months removed from his last practice at Florida, Richardson took to the practice field on Friday afternoon in Indianapolis for his first ever NFL practice.
“I just had a big old smile on my face all day,” Richardson said on Saturday, recapping his first rookie minicamp practice.
Shane Steichen seemed pleased by Richardson’s first NFL work.
“I thought he had a heck of a day (Friday), for the first day being here.”
Right now, with just rookies in the building, Steichen has already seen the back-flipping charisma of Richardson on display.
“He’s got a great presence,” Steichen said of the 4th overall pick. “He’s got a great bounce and he’s always smiling, always got great energy, enthusiastic.
“When you have that, I think players around him will feed off it.”
Richardson said things finally started to feel “normal” this past Monday, some 96 hours after being drafted by the Colts.
When Richardson hit the practice field on Friday, it was obviously different, especially for a guy who played both his college and high school ball in the Gainesville, Florida.
From a technique standpoint, Richardson pointed out a specific example on what is different for him in this offensive system.
While Richardson was drilled to take a 3-step drop out of the shotgun at Florida, it’s a 5-step drop out of the gun with the Colts. That, on-top of re-tooling some footwork (“speeding it up” is how Richardson described it), are big focal points as he tries to improve his accuracy.
As you’d expect, Richardson called the Colts playbook he’s had for a week “bigger” with “lengthier” play calls than at Florida.
Richardson had a good amount of line of scrimmage responsibility at Florida, so that adjustment, especially with protections, shouldn’t be too immense for him.
“He’s done a nice job taking in the information we’ve given them slowly,” Steichen said of Richardson. “We keep stacking those days and keep going, but he’s done a nice job.
NFL rules mandate Colts rookies must head back home for a few days following the rookie minicamp, before returning the following week.
So, Richardson and the entire rookie class will be present for the 10 OTA sessions and 3-day minicamp left in the offseason program.
This weekend is a glorified orientation of sorts of life in the NFL.
“Really, for me, it is honing in on learning the system,” Steichen explained. “And then footwork wise, it’s really about the concept that we’re drawn and we want to take a five step drop we want to take a three step drop right here, where are your eyes? How do we want this ball? Do we want it from with an arc over a linebacker? It’s man to man coverage. We’ve got to throw that thing firm with no arc.
“We’re just working through those things now.”
For more details on Richardson’s first NFL practice, head here.
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