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Anthony Richardson speaks. Key takeaways from the rookie QB’s year-end press conference.

Richardson plans to start throwing in February, and doesn’t intend to change his playing style drastically.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

As his first NFL offseason begins, Anthony Richardson reflected on the year that was with media members at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Thursday afternoon.

Of course, it wasn’t the season Richardson had hoped for. The No. 4 overall draft pick played in only four games and suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5 against the Titans.

Despite spending the season on the sideline where he watched his team narrowly miss the playoffs, the 21-year old was in good spirits during the press conference, flashing his toothy smile throughout.

“It’s been a great season for me,” Richardson said. “The injury definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I have to be healthy for the team and for everybody in this building, but it allowed me to slow my mind down a little bit, sit back and really learn the game a little bit. Despite only playing a few games this year, just sitting back and learning from Gardner (Minshew) and Coach Shane (Steichen) and just being in the building, it definitely taught me a lot of things this year. So, I’ll say it was a good rookie season for me.”

Richardson and Colts fans, alike, are optimistic and excited about the future. Let’s dive into some other key takeaways from the QB’s year-end press conference:

Recovery Progress

Richardson noted that his shoulder rehab is progressing well, and he’s pushing the trainers to do more. The young signal caller is clearly eager to get back on the field. So much so that he joked with the reporters that he started trying to teach himself to throw left-handed. He’s on schedule to begin throwing again (with his right arm) next month, and he plans to split the offseason work between Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

“I don’t think I have to change the way I play, (it’s) just being a little smarter when the time does come.”

This has been the big question on everyone’s mind after watching Richardson suffer multiple injuries to various body parts in just a month’s worth of NFL action. Does the young QB need to slightly or drastically curtail his physical running style to stay healthy in the NFL?

The answer, from Richardson, is basically no, though he admits that he needs to take caution in certain situations. But overall, it doesn’t sound like he plans to cut the quarterback runs and scrambles out of his approach.

“It’s just a matter of me being out there and learning when to get down and when not to get down,” Richardson said. “Some of the injuries were unfortunate, like my ankle getting stepped on, hitting my knee on the turf really hard - stuff like that that I can’t control. The ones that I can control, I gotta prevent those like me slowing up near the end zone and getting a concussion. That was completely on me… I don’t think I have to change the way I play.”

Impressions of Jonathan Taylor

Richardson got visibly excited when his All-Pro backfield mate was brought up. He’s clearly looking forward to teaming with Taylor next season. The two played just one snap together in 2023.

“Just watching him do what he does. Man, it’s amazing. I watch his highlights when I get home. Just watching him this last game, it was amazing because I can only imagine myself in the offense with him, opening up some things for him with my legs as well.”

Aaron Donald provided a welcome to the NFL moment

In a memorable game in Richardson’s rookie year, the Colts lost in overtime in Week 4 to the Los Angeles Rams. For Richardson, going up against Aaron Donald was an eye-opening experience.

“Man, that first half was very different for me. I never played anybody like Aaron Donald. Shout out to that guy. He’s definitely a beast. It definitely opened my eyes and showed me what the NFL is all about.”

The Colts trailed the Rams 20-0 at halftime before Richardson led an impressive second half comeback, forcing overtime at 23-23. Matthew Stafford connected with Puka Nacua on a game-winning touchdown, but Indianapolis’ rookie QB flashed major potential in the process. Richardson completed 7-of-18 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing score after halftime.

If you don’t get hurt, is this a playoff team?

“Yeah, for sure, no doubt. I believed that when I first walked through the door.”

You have to admire the confidence.

Here’s to a productive, healthy offseason for No. 5, and to many Colts playoff appearances ahead.