The Indianapolis Colts ended their quarterback competition after one preseason game.
"Honestly, I was shocked," Richardson said Tuesday of being named the starter, per WISH-TV. "I've been grinding, putting in the work to try to get the title, but it's not really all about the title. I'm just trying to make sure I'm ready for the team, despite being labeled as QB1 I've still got other guys in that room helping me to get to that standard. I'm forever thankful for them."
Indy entered training camp rotating the first-team duties between Richardson and veteran Gardner Minshew, who signed a one-year deal with the team this offseason. Making the announcement early allows the Colts to focus on developing the No. 4 overall pick in the final weeks of camp and last two preseason games.
The decision also allows Steichen to tailor the offense to Richardson's dynamic dual-threat ability.
At 6-foot-4, 244 pounds, Richardson entered the NFL with an enticing skill set. He's got a cannon for an arm and home-run ability with his legs. However, he started just 13 games at Florida, with 12 coming in 2022. He needs all the reps he can get.
In Indy's first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills this past weekend, Richardson threw an interception on his first drive. Under pressure, the QB flung a wayward pass that was picked off after receiver Isaiah McKenzie admittedly did not adjust properly. It was a learning experience for the rookie QB, and Richardson settled in from there, flashing playmaking with his arm and legs. He uncorked a beautiful deep ball that Alec Pierce dropped to negate a potential touchdown on Richardson's final series of the day.
Richardson's footwork needs development, but he has the physical tools to be an electric signal-caller. He sports a beautiful deep ball and is at his best tossing vertical routes. It's the underneath tosses he must calibrate moving forward.
The Colts will smartly let him learn on the field.
"As of right now, I think I'm ready. But who am I to say if I'm ready or not?" Richardson said, per the Indy Star.
Indy drafted Richardson high in the first round because of his incredible upside. There will likely be growing pains in 2023, but it's the right move for the Colts to ride the young quarterback out of the gate.
After shuffling through veteran QB after veteran QB in the aftermath of Andrew Luck's retirement, Indy finally landed a young signal-caller who can become the face of the franchise. Starting him from Day 1 and allowing growth under fire was always the correct move. That the Colts didn't insist on prolonging the competition with Minshew for the rest of camp is a shrewd move by the coaching staff.
Want to follow these storylines and more? NFL+ gives you the freedom to watch live out-of-market preseason games, daily coverage on NFL Network, the best NFL programming on-demand and much more! Plus, NFL RedZone is now part of NFL+ Premium! Learn more about NFL+.