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Anthony Richardson, Colts offense pass offseason program 'stress test' ahead of training camp

The Colts' coaching staff put a lot on the plate of Anthony Richardson and the team's offense during OTAs and veteran minicamp practices, which concluded last week at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. 

The Colts' offense didn't come away from OTAs with a new POS system, but they did come away from a few weeks of springtime practice feeling good about the foundation they've set ahead of the start of training camp in July.

"We've put the offense kind of purposefully in some difficult situations the last few days and last few weeks of the offseason to kind of see what we're made of, see what kind of stresses us – a little bit of a stress test for you 'Bar Rescue' fans out there," offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said, borrowing a tactic – but maybe not Jon Taffer's theatrics – from the TV show. "Our guys have made some plays. Our guys have done a great job. Anthony (Richardson) has been leading them."

The intentional charge from Cooter and head coach Shane Steichen to challenge Richardson and the offense is the sort of thing a team can do when it has year-to-year continuity with not only its roster, but with its coaching staff. Center Ryan Kelly said he saw Richardson handle that stress test "really well," pointing to the continuity around him as a key reason why.

"That's certainly one of the pros about being this time of year is there's no consequences and I think he's done a really good job of that – I think the whole offense has," Kelly said. "I think that's what you gain when you get a majority of the guys back year after year."

And Richardson, who stayed engaged in Steichen's offense after undergoing season-ending surgery last fall, emerged from those weeks of practices armed with more answers he can find the Colts' scheme.

"As a coach I really like when the quarterback gives you opinions," Cooter said. "'Hey, okay this is a good play, but what if we did this with this one route?' Anthony's been doing that this offseason. It's been really cool to see. He's growing and getting better. Gosh, if you could see the notes he takes, everybody at home would be really impressed. So, we're proud of the work he's put in thus far and really excited about the future."

While Richardson was held back for the Colts' final practice of their offseason program last Thursday with a sore shoulder, he felt like he and the entire offense made significant strides in May and June – strides that will pay off when preparation for the 2024 season begins next month at Grand Park in Westfield.

"Last year around this time we were not where we are at now," Richardson said. "So I'm definitely grateful that they put all that on us. It's only going to make us better."

View the best photos from this week's Minicamp as the Colts close out OTAs and the 2024 offseason program.

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