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NFL: JUN 07 Indianapolis Colts OTA

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INDIANAPOLIS.”I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”

If Anthony Richardson dropping a Marshawn Lynch joke to break the ice at the start of his minicamp availability on Tuesday morning is any indication, I would say the rookie is pretty comfortable in his first month and a half on the job.

Once the laughing from Richardson and those in attendance simmered on Tuesday—and the joke was something Richardson told his mom he was going to do—the rookie QB got into business very quickly.

The speed of the NFL game hit him on the first day of OTAs: “Things have definitely slowed down. It was my first day practicing with the vets, it was way different from rookie mini-camp. I just see guys flying around. I pulled the ball on a zone read one time and the end was chasing me – he was like right next to me and I’m like, ‘Okay, this is different.’ So, it was definitely going fast but the next day I knew there was some progress and I was just relaxing and trusting what I was studying. But, it’s definitely slowed down for me.”

The margin for error in the red zone is no joke: “I’ve learned a lot. First red zone day, I realized how small the windows were and how fast the defense can react to certain things. One minute you think – ‘Oh, that’s an easy touchdown, I got him,’ and you throw it and it’s just a little late, the DB just reacts to it. I definitely have realized that the margin for error is definitely small. It’s just a matter of mastering my craft and being ahead of the defense whenever the time comes.”

Richardson continues to have a genuine curiosity about wanting to learn, and learn it all quickly, pestering coaches if he’s up to speed: “I talk to Coach Jim Bob (Cooter), Coach Cam (Turner) and Coach (Shane) Steichen about it all the time. I ask them, ‘Am I good? Am I behind on anything?’ I just have to remember that I’m a rookie. I want to learn everything; I want to know everything right now and I tell them I want to know everything but I can’t because I haven’t seen everything – I haven’t even played my first game yet. It’s just a matter of remembering that I’m a rookie but also making sure I can be the best rookie there is. That’s really it.”

While house hunting is ongoing for Richardson, he has been to a local Hibachi spot, along with some bowling (where he lost to Shane Steichen, but made it clear he’ll bring his bowling ball up from Florida for a rematch).

Part of Richardson’s summer plan, along with Gardner Minshew, will be to gather with some pass catchers in Florida for throwing sessions.

This sort of activity is mostly the norm for every NFL team coming up during the break from the end of the offseason program to start training camp.

But it probably matters more to the Colts group.

Yes, Richardson and Minshew are new to the team, but they will complete the offseason program on Thursday having thrown to many guys you wouldn’t peg near the top of the wideout depth chart.

When the media was out there for one OTA session each of the last three weeks, the Colts have not had Michael Pittman (hip), Alec Pierce (foot) or Josh Downs (knee) available in 11-on-11 periods. Even the tight end group has had some guys missing with Jelani Woods (hamstring), Drew Ogletree (knee) and Will Mallory (foot) also part of the observing group.

So, if Richardson and Minshew can get some additional time as the guys start to return to full-go, that’s huge leading into training camp at Grand Park.

It’s then in late July/early August when we will get further clarity on the QB picture for the Colts in 2023.

For now though, Richardson has already showcased a personality balance necessary to and reach an elite level of playing quarterback.

Once again, Tuesday’s media session for Richardson, which was the first time he’s had one since rookie minicamp a month ago, was a glimpse into how he’s wired.

Confidence. Check.

Comfortable. Check.

Acknowledgement of the work needed. Check

“I’ve seen my playbook a lot., and I think it’s going to be that way for a long time,” Richardson says.

Sounds like we know what will be on Richardson’s plate during this summer vacation.

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