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Training camp notebook: Anthony Richardson stacks 'solid' practices as preseason game vs. Bills approaches

Richardson rotated to the first-team offense on Sunday and had a "heck of a day," head coach Shane Steichen said. 


WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Colts, over the last two weeks, have praised how Anthony Richardson has kept a level head after making a mistake here or there during practice.

"He just kind of stays steady," wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. said. "He's a next play guy — 'so what, now what.' Whether it's good, whether it's bad."

It's worth re-visiting comments like that after Richardson put together back-to-back impressive practices over the weekend at Grand Park.

On Saturday, Richardson ran with the Colts' second-team offense and had a number of standout throws, including a red zone touchdown strike to tight end Drew Ogletree. On Sunday, Richardson rotated up to the first team offense and kept rolling, showing good touch on a deep completion to wide receiver Alec Pierce and a red zone touchdown toss to tight end Kylen Granson, among other plays.

The touchdown to Granson came in a specific situational drill: The offense was down by eight with no timeouts left, meaning they had to quickly get into the end zone and then hit a two-point conversion. Richardson dashed into the end zone for a successful two-point try after his throw to Granson.

"I thought he had a heck of a day today," head coach Shane Steichen said. "He was really solid. Made some big-time throws, obviously the two-minute drive threw a nice touchdown there in the end zone and then the two-point play that he ran in, it was good to see."

Steichen came away impressed not only by the plays Richardson made, but his operation of the offense in some of those fast-moving situational drills. That's important to note with the Colts just six days out from their preseason opener, when Richardson could face in-game situations that test his pre-snap operation of his offense.

Those games – starting Aug. 12 against the Buffalo Bills and continuing Aug. 19 against the Chicago Bears and Aug. 24 against the Philadelphia Eagles – will be critical in the Colts' evaluation of Richardson's readiness to play in the regular season.

"You have to get reps, with any player," general manager Chris Ballard said on the eve of training camp. "The more live-bullet reps – like we can go through camp and get every rep we can, but until you're in a game and you're actually getting those live-bullet reps, it's hard to really grow and get better."

For Richardson, though, he's now shown he can keep that level head when things are going well and when they're not going well. And with all the practice reps he's had, Richardson is continuing to build toward his preseason debut – and the next stage in his preseason development.

"You get repetitions and you do things more and more, you're going to get more comfortable," Steichen said. "I think he's gaining confidence in the system and gaining confidence with his teammates, and when you have that and you have the talent he has, it's usually a good thing."

News, notes and observations from Sunday's practice:

  • The Colts were in full pads for the second consecutive day. This week, the Colts will have a walkthrough on Monday, practice Tuesday, an off day Wednesday, practice Thursday and then fly to Buffalo on Friday. The emphasis, Steichen said, will be on getting players rested up and prepared for the game Saturday at Highmark Stadium.
  • Steichen said the Colts are still working through a plan for how much Richardson, Gardner Minshew and Sam Ehlinger will play against the Bills, and will make a decision on it later this week.
  • Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. reeled in a touchdown from Richardson during a goal-line 11-on-11 period early in practice.
  • Cornerback Jaylon Jones had physical pass break-ups in both 11-on-11 and seven-on-seven work.
  • Linebacker Shaquille Leonard had a pass break-up in seven-on-seven and showed some physicality in 11-on-11, while the Colts intentionally managed his snaps in full-team work after his debut in that portion of practice Saturday.
  • Minshew had an on-time strike to tight end Pharaoh Brown in seven-on-seven, connected with wide receiver Mike Strachan for a go-up-and-get-it completion in 11-on-11 and also hit wide receiver Josh Downs for a quick catch-and-run in 11-on-11.
  • Linebacker EJ Speed intercepted Minshew late in Sunday's practice.

Due to the potential for severe weather, the Colts moved Saturday night's practice indoors

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