No one seems to know when Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson will line up under center for the first time next season.
There are rumors that the Colts are preparing as if he will be their Week 1 starter, which would be a major surprise given the conversation surrounding him going into the NFL Draft. After all, are 13 college starts enough to prepare a young quarterback for the challenges of facing an NFL defense? The evidence for that is not encouraging.
Mitchell Trubisky, who was taken 2nd overall in the 2017 Draft by the Chicago Bears, also had 13 starts under his belt when he entered the league. While he would have some success in his 2nd year, he would end up flaming out with Chicago, and now serves as the backup to Kenny Pickett for the Steelers. Other quarterbacks who entered the league with a lack of starting experience also paint a cautionary tale. The late Dwayne Haskins only started 14 games in college, J.P Losman only had 15, while current 49ers QB Trey Lance had 17 starts to his name. The jury may still be out on Lance due to injuries, but overall, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned.
Then there is the question of putting Richardson out too early, and potentially damaging him forever. The best example of this is David Carr with the Houston Texans back in 2002. The Texans, then an expansion team, made Carr the first overall selection, and the first draft pick of the new franchise. Carr would be sacked a league-record 76 times during his rookie season, and would never come close to living up to his potential as he floundered on poorly constructed, talent-deficient teams.
The Colts, of course, are not an expansion team. The offensive line played poorly last season, yes, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they surrender anywhere close to 76 sacks, especially with the presence of All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson. They also have far more weapons than those early Texans teams ever did, even if they could still use some more firepower.
There is also the argument that a player is best served learning on the job. Colts fans need no reminder that Peyton Manning started every game as a rookie, and threw 28 interceptions while doing so. Needless to say, things turned out alright for him.
Ultimately, what it boils down to is can Richardson handle the pressure? If the Colts think putting him out there could irreparably damage his psyche and confidence, Gardner Minshew should be the starter come Week 1. If, however, they think Richardson can handle it, and by all accounts he seems like he has the right mindset to, they should start him and let him grow on the job.
During Thursdays edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to both Bob Kravitz of The Athletic and Mike Chappell of CBS4 and FOX59. Both of them spoke about whether or not they would start Richardson in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season. Listen to those conversations and more below, and tune in to The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6 on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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