INDIANAPOLIS–The Indianapolis Colts General Manager Chris Ballard put it simply on Thursday. He’s tired of losing.
“I’m tired of it. I’m tired of not being in the playoffs. That’s on me,” said Ballard at his end of the season press conference. The Colts finished this past season 9-8. The last time they made the postseason was 2020 when they lost in the AFC Wild Card Round.
Here are some of the things Ballard addressed when reflecting on the 2023-24 season. You can hear audio from part of the press conference here:
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1. Colts Quarterback Anthony RichardsonSource:Getty
Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson only played four games because of injury. Ballard was asked about how Richardson can do a better job of taking unnecessary hits that could lead to an injury.
Ever since Richardson was put on injured reserve in October, he says he’s been looking forward to the offseason and getting back on the field.
“I wanted to just take time to relax initially, but ever since seeing how things have played out, I’m all steam ahead right now. I want to go be in the playoffs, get those Super Bowl rings and just be great for this team,” said Richardson on Thursday.
Ballard says he can’t micro-manage the way Richardson plays, but he does want Richardson to protect himself.
“It’s a tough balance. I don’t think he’s reckless. I think Anthony is competitive. But learning when to get out of bounds and get down versus when to go for it. Those are things he has to learn,” said Ballard.
Ballard said he’s excited about Richardson’s progress and can’t wait to see what he does next season.
2. Colts Defense/Defensive Coordinator Gus BradleySource:Getty
The Colts were 28th in the NFL in scoring defense (24.4 ppg allowed) and 24th in yards allowed. Ballard was asked about the work of Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
“I think we had five or six new starters. It’s hard to develop any continuity if you don’t just play them. I decided to go young. We took our lumps, but I think it’s going to pay off down the line,” said Ballard.
Ballard says the biggest thing the defense has to improve upon is to stop giving up explosive plays, such as the 75-yard touchdown to Nico Collins against the Houston Texans.