Colts QB Anthony Richardson entering ideal situation to make Year 2 jump

ESPN’s Mina Kimes believes that Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Anthony Richardson can make a ‘big leap’ in his second NFL season.

“I really believe Anthony Richardson can take a big leap this year for a number of reasons,” said Kimes on ESPN’s NFL Live. “One, Shane Steichen confirmed last season what we all believed when he was hired from Philadelphia: he is a brilliant play-caller. Remarkably quarterback-friendly offense for Gardner Minshew despite some up-and-down play from the quarterback.”

Richardson’s first season was limited to only four games after a shoulder injury that required surgery ended his rookie year prematurely.

As expected, Richardson went through the ups and downs that come with being a first-time starter in the NFL. However, although admittedly, it was a small sample size, you could see progress being made and the big play ability he brings to the Colts’ offense, both on the ground and through the air.

But as Kimes importantly notes, it’s not as if Richardson has to do it all on his own. Along with what Steichen brings to the offense as a head coach and play caller, GM Chris Ballard has put a stout offensive line and quality skill position players around his young quarterback.

“I thought it was very encouraging to see that Colts offensive line play more like they did back in 2020 or so or before then, after some regression, which is, of course, meaningful for Richardson,” added Kimes.

“And then the group of skill players. One of my favorite picks in the entire draft was AD Mitchell going to the Colts. In part because of his upside as a true X receiver but also because of how he fits in with Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs. I view them as very complementary with Mitchell being the guy who can really take the top off a defense and win downfield. Everything is set up for Richardson.”

With only 98 career dropbacks, Richardson is still very much an inexperienced player when it comes to the NFL, and with that, there will likely be additional growing pains this season. To what degree, we will have to wait and see.

Ultimately, the Colts’ ceiling as a team in 2024 will be determined by Richardson’s play. As already mentioned, we know the upside Richardson brings to this offense, but again, he has the infrastructure around him to help him navigate the NFL season.

“I didn’t even mention Jonathan Taylor, by the way,” Kimes said. “He just has to take that leap, but I think he is entering a situation where he will be set up to do so.”

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire