Colts’ Jim Irsay Breaks Silence on QB Anthony Richardson’s Starting Chances

Anthony Richardson

Getty Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke to the media about the chances quarterback Anthony Richardson starts at the beginning of the 2023 season.

Throughout the NFL draft process, analysts and experts started the narrative that quarterback Anthony Richardson may need to sit and learn from the bench to begin his professional career.

But that’s not the approach Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is taking.

In front of the media on April 29, Irsay shared that he thinks quarterbacks learn by playing rather than from the bench.

“You get better by playing,” Irsay said. “Training camp, and preseason games, and being in the quarterback room, that’s all great, but you get better by playing, and it’s something that’s really important, because again, his development has so much to do with the franchise’s future.”

Irsay Adds QB Decision is Shane Steichen’s ‘Call’

The Colts owner had a lot to say about how the team plans to develop Richardson and the team’s thought-process from this year’s NFL draft. That’s always noteworthy with Irsay because of his reputation as a meddler over the past couple years.

But Irsay made it clear that who plays at quarterback to begin the season will be up to head coach Shane Steichen.

“It’s going to be Shane’s [Steichen] call, if he’s ready to start the opening game,” Irsay told the media.

But of course, the Colts owner still appeared to indicate who he would start if the quarterback decision were up to him.

“These guys gotta play to get better. Everyone knows that.”

Colts’ Starting QB Options Heading into Minicamp

Indianapolis won’t have a shortage of options behind center when minicamp begins in June.

The Colts signed veteran Gardner Minshew, who started two games under Steichen while with the Philadelphia Eagles, this offseason. Minshew is better suited as a backup, but he can start in the short term if need be.

Indianapolis released veteran Matt Ryan, but the team still has Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger on the roster. Both started multiple games for the Colts during the 2022 season.

Clearly, Foles and Ehlinger aren’t the long-term answer for the Colts behind center. That’s obviously Richardson after general manager Chris Ballard chose him at No. 4 overall.

But like Minshew, Foles and Ehlinger could start if the Colts don’t want to rush Richardson.

How each signal caller performs during minicamp, training camp and the preseason will definitely impact the decision. But starting one of the veteran quarterbacks, at least to begin the season, would be the more prudent choice.

Once the Colts start Richardson, there’s no going back. At that point, it will be his team, and then patience will be key, as he develops his raw talent.

“I have to imagine, if he plays the whole season, it’s going to be tough,” Irsay told the media. “It’s going to be more difficult than easy.”

One thing is for certain, the Colts have tied their future to the quarterback from Florida. All of the franchise’s decisions for the rest of 2023 must be made with Richardson’s best interests at heart.

“Him developing into an outstanding quarterback in this league is going to determine where we go, how far we go and how long we go,” Irsay said. “Everything’s going to be based around that. That’s going to be the primary reason for starting him opening day, is you get better by playing.”

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