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Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman Jr. wants to be 'that guy' Anthony Richardson can trust as Colts begin 2023 season

Understanding the challenges that come with being a rookie quarterback in the NFL, one of Pittman's goals for 2023 is to take as much pressure off Richardson as he possibly can. 

Michael Pittman Anthony Richardson

Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. will, on Sunday, take the field with his fourth different Week 1 starting quarterback in his fourth season in the NFL. The difference, this time, is that quarterback is a rookie who'll be making his regular season debut.

And as Anthony Richardson takes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of Pittman's goals is to make the 2023 No. 4 overall pick's transition to the NFL as smooth as possible.

"Being a quarterback is probably the hardest job in sports," Pittman said. "And for him being so young, I don't want to make it more difficult. I want to make his job easy. Any way I can do that and take on more responsibility, I'm going to try to do that."

Pittman and Richardson have worked to develop a mutual trust for months – a process that's included an offseason trip to Miami and plenty of work during training camp practices. Pittman, too, has proven trustworthy to the quarterbacks with which he's played: Over the last two seasons, his 270 targets and 187 receptions are 10th in the NFL.

"It's more about being in the right spot at the right time for him," Pittman said. "Just being on my details and then sometimes, I've just got to make a play. It may not be the best pass, it may not be the best route. I don't run perfect routes 100 percent of the time. Sometimes I gotta make him right, sometimes he'll make me right."

The quarterback-receiver connection Richardson and Pittman have will only continue to grow as the Colts get deeper into the regular season. And, for Pittman, he hopes it's one where Richardson knows he can trust him to make a play in any situation.

"Just let him know hey, send it my way and if I don't catch it then no one's gonna catch it," Pittman said. "That gives him confidence to throw up those 50/50 balls — oh, maybe he is, maybe he isn't. No, he's just gonna throw it down there, make a play and that's just gonna build him up more. So just letting him know that I'm that guy for him."

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