Ryan Leaf explains what Colts must do to ensure Anthony Richardson won’t be a bust

Ryan Leaf, who knows all about being a highly-drafted quarterback, recently shared some advice with the Indianapolis Colts and Anthony Richardson.
June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) works
June 14, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) works / IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2023 NFL season nears, fans are anticipating the debut of the top rookie quarterbacks. A rookie quarterback who has received a lot of headlines is Anthony Richardson. The dynamic QB that was selected fourth-overall by the Indianapolis Colts has been a frequent topic of discussion as everyone tries to figure out when he’ll make his first start.

When team owner Jim Irsay recently reiterated his desire for Richardson to start as a rookie, another round of conversations started up for Richardson. One of those conversations came on a recent episode of Good Morning Football, as the table discussed what to make of Irsay’s comments.

One of the hosts that day was Ryan Leaf. Leaf knows all about being a highly-drafted quarterback and having massive expectations. He used his time to give some advice to Richardson and the Colts. Leaf explained that Indy must have a plan for Richardson, not only a plan of how they want to use him and get him up to speed in the NFL, but a plan for when Richardson fails as well.

Ryan Leaf says Colts must have a plan for when Anthony Richardson fails

This wasn’t Leaf wishing the worst on Anthony Richardson or criticizing him; it was simply him being honest about the rookie quarterback experience in the NFL. Leaf explained that pretty much all rookie QBs will have a moment of failure as they’re trying to adjust to the league. The ones that make it are the QBs whose franchises have a plan to bounce back from the failure.

Leaf admitted that the Chargers didn’t have a plan for him, and he certainly didn’t have a plan for himself, as he never really failed in football prior to joining the NFL. The lack of a plan is part of the reason why Leaf’s career didn’t meet expectations. If Richardson wants a different fate, the Colts must have a plan.

As far as what a plan looks like, Leaf explained that the Colts have to be intentional about creating an environment where Richardson is finding personal success, whether the team is winning or not. He compared it to the 2022 Chicago Bears. Chicago was losing a lot, but Justin Fields was making a lot of plays, and everyone entered the offseason with optimism. If the Colts have a year like that, and Richardson is very clearly improving, it would be a positive season, regardless of how many games they win.