Chris Ballard Makes Questionable Comparison Between Anthony Richardson And Former QB
The Indianapolis Colts’ front office has been looking like a dumpster fire lately. Owner Jim Irsay is feuding with player’s agents, the team is unwilling to extend or trade star running back Jonathan Taylor, and now Chris Ballard is adding some pretty flammable fuel.
Now, they’re depending on raw prospect Anthony Richardson to lead the team for the foreseeable future.
Despite possessing the qualities for success, Chris Ballard faced criticism from football enthusiasts for drawing a comparison between Richardson and a former franchise quarterback.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Ballard was asked if Jonathan Taylor‘s situation would have any impact on Richardson and his ability to improve as a signal caller.
“I don’t think it stunts his growth, no not at all,” Ballard stated. “I mean did it stunt Andrew’s [Luck] growth not having a special back?”
Andrew Luck was a special talent. He was supposed to be the franchise quarterback for the Colts for 15-plus years. However, the team never invested anything to protect him, so Luck retired at the age of 29 due to injuries.
Luck started his career with Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl honors. He then went on throw for 23,671 yards and 171 touchdowns; he had three Pro Bowl appearances in five fully healthy seasons. What made Luck so great was his clutch gene. During his career, the Stanford product had 20 game-winning drives and 16 comebacks.
You can see why people are upset by the Richardson comparison. Luck was a highly touted prospect who the Colts selected No. 1 overall in 2012. Although Richardson was selected fourth overall pick in the 2023 Draft, he didn’t have the same hype around him that Luck did. Luck was pro-ready from the start and Richardson still needs a lot of molding.
It’s also ignorant to think that a rookie quarterback doesn’t need talent around him to succeed, which is the exact reason why Luck couldn’t stay healthy. If the Colts stick to their old ways and are stagnant, Richardson could be in trouble.
Taylor will miss at least the first four weeks of the regular season because he was placed on the “Physically Unable to Perform” list. The All-Pro running back might miss the 2023 campaign if he is not fit enough to play by Week 6.
Not having him in the backfield leaves the Colts with Zack Moss (who broke his arm in camp), Deon Jackson, and Evan Hull. Richardson’s progression would be a lot easier if he had a special talent he could hand the ball to and eat up yards on the ground.
At Florida, Richardson’s success relied on the RPO (run-pass-option) system and his dual-threat abilities. He could read the outside defender and take the handoff himself, take it all the way to the house or hand it off to his back to chew up yardage.
Having Taylor in the backfield would be a lethal combo, and Richardson could rely on his legs more than his arm which isn’t the most accurate. Obviously, he has a ton of upside, but it’s going to take time. Having Taylor there would help the situation a lot.
What do you think of Ballard’s comments? Will Anthony Richardson be successful this season? Let us know your predictions!
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