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Practice notebook: Why Colts are confident in Anthony Richardson heading into NFL debut

Richardson was voted a season-long captain by his teammates last week. 

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Anthony Richardson spent the majority of his final day off before his NFL regular season debut at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, using the time to prep for Sunday's season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So the defining adjective for Richardson, head coach Shane Steichen said on Wednesday, is "focused" as he readies himself for the weekend.

"He was in here yesterday for I don't know, eight hours, getting ready for this game on his day off, grinding away," Steichen said. "So, he's prepared."

For Richardson, there was no question where he'd be during Tuesday's players' day off.

"Coming in on an off day, I think that's part of the job," Richardson said. "Putting in extra work, getting ready for the game because I know other people are putting in extra work. My teammates are putting in extra work because I see them in the building as well. It's just a matter of me doing the same thing and getting ready for Week 1."

Stuff like this only confirms why Richardson, even as a 21-year-old rookie, was last week voted by his teammates one of the Colts' seven season-long captains. His blend of confidence and humility gives off a wise-beyond-his-years vibe, and his emphasis on gaining the trust of his teammates and coaches through hard work has earned him respect throughout the building.

"He's very humble for a guy in his position," defensive tackle and fellow captain DeForest Buckner said. "Obviously coming in, fourth pick overall and then being named the starting quarterback. Some young players will get egos and start feeling themselves, but he just views himself as one of the guys and he's put that work in." 

While Richardson's teammates will look to him for leadership as a captain, the "C" on his jersey will also represent something else: The trust and confidence his teammates have in him. And that's something the folks who voted him a captain don't want him to forget as he navigates the challenges of his first season in the NFL.

"The guys view him as a leader and it's going to be a long season," safety Julian Blackmon said. "We understand there's going to be growing pains, but at the same time, he's got to understand that he's got guys behind him that have his back. I think that's the main thing. He's gotta understand, win, lose or draw, we're going to figure it out together."

None of this, by the way, has had anything to do with Richardson's eye-popping talent. Teammates, of course, notice that too. And it all paints a complete picture of why, heading into Week 1, the Colts are bought into their rookie quarterback.

"The way he comes into work every day and handles his business around the facility – just takes care of business," left guard Quenton Nelson said. "What he's done in the huddle with communication, getting the cadence right and everything has been great.

"Then on the field, just how special he is. He can run the ball, he can throw, he can do it all – and he's special."

Wednesday's practice report

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