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Anthony Richardson 'in a really good spot' as important stretch begins in Colts' offseason program

Richardson and the Colts began the first phase of their 2024 voluntary offseason program on Monday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. 

Monday marked the first time Shane Steichen and the Colts' staff could coach Anthony Richardson – just in meetings, for now – since the 2023 season ended a little over three months ago.

The first phase of the Colts' voluntary offseason program, which began this week, consists of only meetings and strength and conditioning work, but even those meetings carry plenty of importance as Richardson begins laying the foundation for his second season in the NFL.

"It's big," Steichen said. "It's not new for him. He's heard the terminology. Going through those meetings right now, going through it, quizzing and he's all over it. We've got a good foundation going into this offseason and going into the season. So, it's been good."

The Colts are still about a month away from practicing during the OTA phase of the offseason program, which will conclude with a mandatory veteran minicamp in early June. But from both a physical and mental standpoint, Steichen emphasized Richardson arrived back at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this week "in a really good spot," owing to the 21-year-old dedication to learning and studying while rehabbing the shoulder injury he sustained in Week 5 of the 2023 season.

"His shoulder is feeling good," Steichen said. "He should be good to go for practices like we talked about earlier. He will be out there throwing, but we'll limit – we'll obviously monitor it, make sure we're smart with that but he's in a really good place."

The Colts have maintained since Richardson underwent surgery on the AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder last October that they don't need the 2023 No. 4 overall pick to be ahead of schedule, and that patiently following the advice of doctors and trainers would be paramount through the quarterback's rehab process.

To that point, as Steichen mentioned, the Colts will monitor and may limit Richardson as OTAs and minicamp get underway, knowing Richardson will be eager to pick up where he left off in October of 2023.

"He's a competitor," Steichen said. "I think most guys that are competitors that want to be great are going to want to push themselves. But again, we're just going to have to monitor it and then we'll go from there."

Richardson's teammates, whether it was last season or in seeing him in these early stages of the offseason program, are encouraged about the foundation he laid last year and the approach he's taking in 2024.

"One thing that I have noticed is his confidence is coming back," wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. said. "Obviously, he got hurt and had to watch all the other young QBs like C.J. (Stroud) and Bryce (Young) and Will (Levis) play. I can see it in his eyes that he is ready and he's ready for people to start talking about him too."

Center Ryan Kelly pointed to Richardson beginning to apply the lessons he learned while sitting back and watching as a rookie now that he's back in the building for the offseason program.

"He was having a great year and I think he was on a path to really learning and playing really well in this league," Kelly said. "I think having an early setback like that early in your career can somewhat be helpful — it's kind of frowned upon to talk about that — but you learn in those moments and in those first years if you have a substantial injury how to push through it, the adversity you're going to face in that time, whether it's mental, physical, I think you learn a lot about yourself and a lot about what you can do in this league.

"I think you've seen that so far, just the way he's attacked his rehab, the way he's attacked being present in meetings, learning from Gardner (Minshew II), whoever's in that room — now he's got (Joe) Flacco to be in there too — so I think it's overall, at 21, it's been very impressive to see his progression even though he had that setback early in the season."

These are early steps to take in mid-April – Steichen said coaches this week are refreshing how they want players to get in and out of the huddle – but, in Richardson's journey to get back to being the Colts' QB1, they're important ones for the young quarterback to take.

Highlights from Day 1 of the Colts' offseason workout program at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

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