Jim Irsay makes clear: Fans won’t wait long to see Anthony Richardson play for Colts

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA;  Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson reacts after being
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson reacts after being / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay makes it clear that fans won’t have to wait long to see first-round quarterback Anthony Richardson get on the field.

If anyone was expecting Anthony Richardson, the fourth-overall pick for the Indianapolis Colts, to take some type of redshirt season and sit and develop a year in the NFL before getting on the field, team owner Jim Irsay is here to let you know that won’t be the case. Speaking with the media on Saturday, before the draft concluded, Irsay explained that Richardson will start doing his rookie season.

He told that to NFL reporter Judy Battista, when Irsay also explained that the Colts likely would’ve picked Anthony Richardson if they had the No. 1 pick as well. However, Irsay isn’t ready to give Richardson the starting job from day one. As far as that goes, the team owner is deferring to head coach Shane Steichen.

Irsay told the media, “It’s gonna be Shane’s call on whether or not (Richardson) is ready to start the opening game.” So it seems like Irsay is allowing Steichen to make the call of when he thinks Richardson will be ready, but also setting the expectations for that point to be at some time during year one.

Jim Irsay wants Anthony Richardson to start for Colts as a rookie

The reason Irsay is adamant about Richardson playing as a rookie is because “these guys have to play to get better,” according to Irsay. While that is true, it is a thin line between letting a young quarterback play and grow, and putting them out there too early and ruining them. Shane Steichen and the Colts have to be sure that Richardson is in the play-and-grow stage when he gets his opportunity.

The most important thing is surrounding Anthony Richardson with a supportive cast that will help him come along. Indy has the right running back with Jonathan Taylor, and also some promising weapons with Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, the entire tight end room, and the recently drafted Josh Downs. The biggest question mark, though, is the offensive line.

There isn’t projected to be much turnover on the Colts offensive line, and everyone remembers how bad they were last season. Richardson’s running ability will help him take less sacks than Matt Ryan, but he won’t be able to adequately develop if he’s constantly under pressure. If Irsay and the Colts won’t to get Richardson on the field early, the offensive line needs to drastically improve.

READ MORE: Grading all 12 picks for Colts in the 2023 NFL Draft