When the Indianapolis Colts entered training camp, the quarterback battle between Gardner Minshew and Anthony Richardson was named as a major storyline to watch. However, it was never going to be a true battle between Richardson and Gardner Minshew; the battle has always been between Richardson and his readiness. Indy drafted him to be the franchise quarterback, so when he’s ready to start, he’s going to, regardless of Minshew’s performance.
Throughout the first two weeks of camp, it’s been clear that the Colts are working hard to get Richardson prepared to start as quick as possible. During the second week of training camp, a theme that emerged was that Richardson was taking the majority of the first-team reps. That shouldn’t be viewed as the rookie having a hold on the starting job, but just one of the ways Indianapolis is preparing Richardson.
Anthony Richardson taking starting reps is apart of his development
One of the biggest knocks on Richardson was his lack of experience. He only had one season as a starting quarterback in college, and since the young QB needs to develop quickly, getting experience is the best way to do so. Giving Richardson the No. 1 reps is Indy’s way of accomplishing that in practice. It allows the young quarterback to work with the top offense, and also go against the top defense. Regardless of how he’s doing, it’s valuable experience that’s helping him grow.
The next step, of course, is the preseason. The Colts haven’t shared an official plan yet for how much people will play, but you can expect to see a lot of Anthony Richardson. Indy needs Richardson to grow as much as possible, working out growing pains before Week 1 arrives. While growth is a continual process that will take place throughout Richardson’s career, Indianapolis is trying to facilitate as much growth as possible so that Richardson can be under center in Week 1.