Skip to main content

Quarterback Anthony Richardson looking for balance between physical play style and avoiding unnecessary hits ahead of 2024 season

Before Richardson's rookie season was prematurely ended in Week 5, he'd accounted for seven touchdowns.

AR Play

Ahead of the 2024 season, quarterback Anthony Richardson isn't changing his playing style despite being hampered by injuries in his rookie year.

"Staying true to myself, that's what got me here," Richardson told the media on Thursday. "The way I play, that's what got me to this level. So, I don't want to get to this point and try to switch it up and try to change, you know? The people in this building wanted me to be me. So, me trying to change that, I don't think it'll really benefit us in the long run. Of course, I can be smarter from time to time, just playing the way I play, that's why they got me on this team, that's why they wanted me on this team."

During his time at the University of Florida, Richardson showed off his ability to pick apart defenses with his strong arm and wear them down with his legs too.

So, when the Colts took him with the fourth overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, excitement was rampant to see how he would adjust to the pros.

Prior to suffering a season-ending injury to his right shoulder in Week 5, Richardson already produced a few memorable moments.

In Week 2 versus the Houston Texans, it only took Richardson one quarter to rush for two touchdowns. In Week 4 against the Los Angeles Rams, he scored three second half touchdowns before the Colts ultimately came up short in overtime.

While he did not get the chance to showcase what he could do over the entire season, Richardson said he doesn't think that was the case because he was playing recklessly.

"Some of the injuries were unfortunate like my ankle getting stepped up on, hitting my knee on the turf really hard - just stuff like that, stuff that I can't control," Richardson said. "But the ones that I can control, I gotta prevent those. Like me slowing up near the end zone and getting concussed. That was completely on me. Then getting tackled [against the Tennessee Titans], I couldn't really prevent that. I was tryna brace myself for it, but unfortunately, my shoulder did what it did. I don't think I have to change the way I play, just be a little smarter when the time does come."

While general manager Chris Ballard agrees that Richardson was not intentionally trying to put himself in harm's way, he said the 21-year-old has to learn how to avoid hits when possible.

"It was a little like this with Andrew [Luck]," Ballard said. "Where I'd tell Andrew, instinctively when you get in the game, you react to whatever your instincts take you to. So, to tell him, 'Hey, look, you got to get down or you got to get out of bounds.' And Andrew's like, 'Chris, my instincts and my competitive nature just takes over.' And then the same thing happens with Anthony. I don't think he's reckless by any stretch and I didn't think that Andrew was either. I think they're competitive. But learning when to get out of bounds, when to get down versus when to go for it - those are going to be things you just kind of have to learn."

As Richardson continues to work on that balance of wanting to use his six-foot-4, 244-pound frame to fight for extra yardage and playing it safe, he said in the end his primary goal is to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

"I can't try to run through everybody," Richardson said. "If it's first-and-10, get what I can get and get down, get out of bounds, get to the sidelines, do what I can do. But if the game is on the line, I gotta go out there and compete. It's just a matter of being smart for myself and the team. I'm gonna try to do that for sure."

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.