WESTFIELD, Ind. — Video review seldom lies. It reveals the good, the bad and everything in between.
That was the case as Shane Steichen spent Sunday breaking down Anthony Richardson’s NFL debut the previous day against the Buffalo Bills.
On the road, at hostile Highmark Stadium, in front of an announced crowd of 70,036, there was good, bad and a lot in between.
Steichen reiterated the message he delivered after Richardson’s contribution to the Indianapolis Colts’ 23-19 loss to the Bills was 7-of-12 passing for 67 yards, one interception, a 39.2 rating and 7 yards on two rushes.
“You know what, I really liked is the poise he had, the command he had,’’ Steichen said.
That poise was put to the test after Richardson’s third pass was intercepted by Bills cornerback Dane Jackson. Everyone took the blame — Richardson, intended receiver Isaiah McKenzie, Steichen; miscommunication everyone agreed — but it was the rookie quarterback who had to deal with it.
All Richardson did was put the early hiccup behind and lead the Colts on a pair of effective drives.
The first — eight plays, 35 yards, two first downs — stalled when rookie Evan Hull was stuffed on two short-yardage runs at the Bills 41. The second began at the Indy 7, reached the Buffalo 10 and ended when Matt Gay yanked a 28-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Steichen was pleased.
“You know, you throw an early interception. How’s he going to respond to that?’’ he said. “I thought he responded tremendously.
“Came back, had two good drives. I thought he did a really good job for his first time out.’’
It would have been markedly better if Alec Pierce had held onto Richardson’s perfectly-delivered pass for a 34-yard touchdown at the right pylon, veteran tight end Pharoah Brown hadn’t been penalized for holding on a Richardson run to the Bills 5 — instead of second-and-3, the Colts were pushed back to a second-and-18 at the 20 — and Gay, the high-priced free-agent kicker, hadn’t had the point-blank misfire.
“I was really pleased with the way he played, really pleased,’’ Steichen said of Richardson. “He showed signs of coming along.’’
From the offseason work, to training camp, to Richardson’s first true NFL experience against the Bills.
“It was good to see,’’ Steichen said. “He did a lot of good things.’’
But there were bad moments that also will serve as teaching moments, for Richardson and the entire team. Richardson’s inaccuracy issues surfaced on a few occasions.
“The corrections are the biggest thing you have to clean up,’’ Steichen said. “There’s always little things throughout the game: alignment stuff, technique stuff.
“Get those corrections taken care of first and foremost, but obviously praise them when they do a good job.’’
After the game, Richardson spoke at length about savoring the moment. He might have been the first player on the field at the then-empty stadium.
“I’ve never done that before,’’ Richardson said. “I just went out there and I looked. I took like 10 laps around the field and just experienced it, just enjoyed it and imagined all the fans being there. I had to soak it in at first.’’
Then, game on.
“Yeah, I felt good,’’ Richardson said. “First drive, I threw an interception and I’m like, ‘Hey, only thing that can get worse is fumbling the ball.’ I’m like, ‘OK, no more interceptions for the rest of the game and try to put up points.
“It was fun, just playing football again.’’
No decision on starting QB
Steichen refused to commit to a starting quarterback, either for Saturday’s preseason meeting with the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium or the Sept. 10 opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I haven’t made a decision yet,’’ he said.
The expectations are for Jonathan Taylor to return to Grand Park Sports Campus this week. The veteran running back opted to continue his rehab from a right ankle injury away from the team last week.
“Yeah, yeah, he should be back this week,’’ Steichen said. “Do I know the exact date he’ll be back? No, but he should be back.
“Once the medical staff clears him, he’ll be back out there.’’
The Colts are back on the practice field Tuesday, then have a pair of joint workouts with the Bears Wednesday and Thursday.
General manager Chris Ballard’s most notable free-agent acquisition was Gay. He signed a four-year, $22.5 million deal ($5.625 million per year) that made him the NFL’s second-highest-paid kicker behind Baltimore’s Justin Tucker ($6 million).
Gay’s first kick as a Colt was his errant 28-yard field-goal attempt. He later converted his only PAT attempt. Backup Lucas Havrisik pushed a PAT wide right following Darius Rush’s 52-yard TD return with an interception.
“Matt is our kicker,’’ Steichen said. “Obviously those guys know we’ve got to be better there in those situations kicking.’’
Linebacker Segun Olubi exited Saturday’s game with a concussion.