Anthony Richardson swooped in to Indianapolis on Friday, shaking hands and saying hi to folks around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The whirlwind continued for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, who flew back to Florida later Friday and will be back in Indianapolis next week ahead of rookie minicamp.
Richardson was joined in Indianapolis Friday by his manager, Vernell Brown and his wife, Emiliana Brown; his agent, Deiric Jackson; his close friend ("that's my brother," he said) Emmanuel Fort; his stepdad; his mother and his younger brother.
And when the 20-year-old Richardson moves to Indianapolis, he won't come alone – the Browns, Fort, his mom, stepdad and brother will make the move, too. It's all part of Richardson's plan to grasp the opportunity in front of him and mold it into the outcome he and the Colts hope it'll be.
"It's definitely going to keep me grounded," Richardson said. "They've been with me my whole life helping me get here to this point. Just making sure I have them in my corner, keeping me grounded and letting me remember who I am as a person, and not just about my ball and why I'm doing it. I do it for my family. I do it because I want to be great. So, it just keeps me grounded and lets me know what I'm working towards."
To get there, Richardson and the Colts will, collectively, have to put in the work. But the quarterback and the coaching staff feel like a strong match; something clicked when the Colts sent a contingent to hold a private workout with Richardson in Florida ahead of the draft.
Head coach Shane Steichen barked out specific reads, going so far as to play defense against Richardson's throws. Quarterbacks coach Cam Turner laid a detailed roadmap for how the Colts wanted the day to go. It was demanding; it was different.
And both parties realized: How Richardson wants to be coached, and how the Colts planned to coach him, were the same.
"That's what I need," Richardson said. "That's what I want — people that's going to push me like that because I want to be better. I want to get better every day. And I know for a fact that those guys can do that and push me. We can achieve great things."
If the first question that needs to be asked about Richardson's development is "is he coachable," the answer – based on what we've heard from Steichen, general manager Chris Ballard and now Richardson himself – is a resounding "yes."
And Richardson's mature-beyond-his-years ability to balance confidence with humility should only help him grow as a member of the Colts.
"I worked hard, I put the work in, and obviously I showcased that I can be a huge talent," Richardson said. "But there's a lot of things I can clean up. Growing up, I always thought about Tom Brady, the way he worked — you know, he has seven rings. People say he's the greatest, but I've always heard that he's constantly trying to get better day by day. And I thought about, how can a guy that great try to get better every single day. I haven't done the things he's done. And I'm like, okay, I can definitely get better. If that guy is getting better, I can get better myself.
"So it's just a balance of knowing how confidence you are in yourself, but also know being smart enough to understand that you can get better and you're not perfect."
After a hectic few hours in Indianapolis, Richardson headed back to Florida, the place he's called home his entire life. Pretty soon, though, Indianapolis will be Richardson's home.
But his focus in the next few days won't be on packing for Indy. He'll hit the practice field at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center next weekend for rookie minicamp, rocking No. 5 and getting his first opportunity to show his new teammates and coaching staff what he's all about.
"That's not really important to me, you know, packing that stuff up," Richardson said. "The most important thing for me is making sure I'm good and I play well. Making sure I'm confident when rookie mini-camp comes so my teammates can believe in me, trust in me and know that I've got their back and they're going to have my back."
View photos of Florida QB Anthony Richardson, selected fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts.