The Indianapolis Colts did not win their first game under new starting quarterback Anthony Richardson, but in the loss to the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, Richardson did put on display the skill set that made the Colts so excited to select him with the No. 4 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.
Richardson completed 24 of 37 pass attempts against Jacksonville, totaling 223 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards and an additional score.
The rookie brings a much different look under center than what the Colts have traditionally gotten out of their quarterbacks in recent seasons, whether that be Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Andrew Luck, or even Peyton Manning. One player who would know best the difference between a player like Richardson and one like Manning is Manning's former teammate, likely future Hall of Fame wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
And he narrowed it down to one thing: the scramble drill.
"It's a whole different dynamic," Wayne said, according to 107.5 The Fan. "I'm assuming that was part of the draft process, his ability to extend plays and keep it alive. As a receiver, you have to love that. You aren't always going to be open on the first break. If he can keep the play alive and you can extend the play and do the scramble drill, that's where a lot of the big explosive plays come -- through scramble drills.
"Peyton [Manning] had zero of those. That's why we had to get open on the first time (smiles). Zero of that. Z.E.R.O. It was timing. But I will say to his credit, the ball was delivered on time and we just had to get there."
Manning, of course, is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and amassed a resume that would make Richardson and nearly any other quarterback jealous. He did it with his precise timing and accuracy, as well as his ability to adjust to defenses before and after the snap. He was among the best of all time in each of those areas, and that's what made him great. Richardson's athleticism is what can potentially make him great, and allow him to get away with things other quarterbacks might not be able to do.
How Richardson and head coach Shane Steichen are able to weaponize that athleticism within the context of the offense will set Richardson's floor, but whether -- and how well -- he develops his timing, accuracy, and knowledge of defenses could decide his ceiling as a player.