OTAs kick off on Thursday and the Indianapolis Colts players will have their first meaningful practice snaps under new head coach Shane Steichen. As the rookies and vets mix and the Colts begin to form a way too early depth chart, let’s take a look at the top storylines to track during these offseason workouts.
Anthony Richardson’s First Snaps
While the pads won’t be clicking until training camp, these snaps are still crucial to Anthony Richardson’s development. In OTAs, teams are permitted to play seven-on-seven and 11-on-11, giving Richardson his first look at NFL secondaries and defenses as a whole.
Even without pads, throwing Richardson to the wolves in practice is a necessary process in Richardson’s evolution. He may struggle, and there will be headlines if he throws an interception in practice, but even the mistakes will be a learning opportunity for the rookie quarterback. No matter the outcome of these practices, don’t rush to conclusions on Richardson. Give the kid some time to learn.
Colts Secondary Depth Chart
Yes, the Colts are several weeks away from training camp and preseason games where they will actually settle their secondary depth chart. But this week will give defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, a chance to see his new rookies in action against Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce.
Julius Brents is an obvious candidate to start on the outside, but Isaiah Rodgers and rookie Darius Rush will be battling for the other starting gig. Rush faced top-notch competition in the SEC and at the Senior Bowl, but his first reps against Pittman Jr. and Pierce will give a little insight into how much competition he’ll really be against Rodgers.
Steichen’s Command of the Team
Steichen was hired because of his work with Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles offense, but he was also hired because of his coaching style and leadership abilities. OTAs are meant to get the team into the swing of things and work towards mandatory minicamp, and eventually, training camp.
Steichen has his work cut out for him in terms of rebranding this Colts team from last year’s debacle, and these practices are the first step in earning the team’s trust and really implementing his offense.
While he will be working closely with Richardson over these next couple of days, the team will be looking to Steichen to set the attitude and the culture that will define this year’s Indianapolis Colts.