The Los Angeles Rams can now add “Must stop one of the best athletes in quarterback history” to their schedule, as the Indianapolis Colts have named fourth overall pick Anthony Richardson as the starter over Gardner Minshew. The Rams go to Indianapolis to face the Colts in Week 4, meaning L.A.’s defense will be one of the first that Richardson faces in his career.
Colts head coach Shane Steichen noted that the team has made the decision this early because they can’t hesitate to start tailoring the offense around what Richardson can do. Though nobody knows what to expect, Rams fans can at least hope that the Richardson offense needs time to develop and it probably does. Especially as a passer.
Colts name Anthony Richardson starting QB for regular season. pic.twitter.com/7SOHMKIyB2— NFL (@NFL) August 15, 2023
Anthony Richardson continues to be one of the most unbelievable and unlikely quarterback stories in NFL history, a true test of whether or not coaching can mold a player into playing the hardest position in team sports even when he’s never proven to play the position well above the high school level. Richardson is arguably a better athlete than Cam Newton and Josh Allen at a similar size, but he barely played during his first two years at Florida and then he barely completed 50-percent of his passes in 2022. There were a number of teams reportedly interested in taking him in the top-10 with the belief that they can improve his accuracy, just as the Bills have done to a degree with Allen, and Indianapolis decided to be that team at fourth overall.
Richardson could be a major success story, it’s just that there’s never been a quarterback who has been taken that high and proven less on a college field. Except maybe Trey Lance and that could also be why the Colts just named Richardson as the Week 1 starter.
It seems like the Colts saw what happened to Trey Lance, who is now entering year three with the San Francisco 49ers and expected to be third-string after barely playing in his first two seasons (2022 due to an ankle injury), and decided that Richardson has to take his lumps as a starter this year. Indianapolis head coach Shane Steichen was able to successfully help transform Jalen Hurts from a second round pick to being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL last year and a dual threat, which is what Richardson is obviously going to need to be as well.
It should be a fascinating matchup for the Rams young defense and vice versa.