INDIANAPOLIS – If you want to fall in love with Jacob Eason, it’s easy to dial up his highlights and get lost in the arm.
That aspect to Eason’s game was a massive reason why the Colts drafted him in 2020.
“Yeah, he does have a gun for an arm,” Reich admires, when asked to explain some of Eason’s areas of improvements.
While the arm is easily Eason’s greatest strength, Reich is quick to point out specifics areas of improvement for the new Colts quarterback.
There’s a physical, and mental, aspect of Eason’s game that surrounds the Colts wanting to improve his 59.8 percent career completion percentage at Georgia and Washington.
“We are always going to be working on improving accuracy,” Reich says. “I think his accuracy is solid. It can get better and it has to get better. That’s usually a byproduct of footwork and how you think in your progressions and how fast you get it to the right. We will work hard on that with fundamentals and technique with the footwork that we want and sync that up. But then also the mental part. Accuracy is not just physical, it’s also mental. You have to be going the right place with the ball. That helps your completion percentage, too. So we will work with that. The other area that we will continue to work on is just pocket awareness. When you have the arm that he has and you can throw from the pocket the way that he can, you just want to continue to work on those little subtle movements in the pocket, pocket instincts and pocket awareness. For a big guy, he’s pretty athletic. So how do you turn some of that athleticism and arm talent into big plays? Those are a couple of things we have identified that we are trying to develop.”
Entering the 2019 season, it was no slam dunk Jacob Eason would even enter the NFL Draft that spring.
Eason was in a battle just to win the starting quarterback job for the Washington Huskies.
But soon after Eason had a few ‘did you see that’ moments in the month of September, the Colts decided it was time to commit resources to digging into the background of the big-armed underclassmen.
In-person character checks came from Director of Player Development Brian Decker and Assistant General Manager Ed Dodds. That doesn’t happen for just any underclassmen, who plays some ho-hum position.
Nope, the Colts were curious to learn more about a potential future quarterback option.
When the 2019 season ended, and Eason declared for the NFL draft, the direct contact with the Colts ramped up.
Colts offensive line coach Chris Strausser used to be on the Washington coaching staff, so he tapped into his connections to find out more about Eason.
Nick Sirianni and Reich both had one-on-one time with Eason, too.
Reich’s questions had a football flavor to them, in terms of protections and concepts, and relating that to what Eason did at Washington. But Reich also wanted to get to know Eason better, asking about his family, how he was raised, his college experience and even a psychological test.
For virtually every underclassmen, a lack of consistency is what contributes to them not being chosen as high as they thought would happen.
That’s true for Eason, and he knows it.
“I think a lot of that is really me trying to working on my consistency,” Eason says. “A lot of the things I’ve been working on are lower half to make sure I hit those throws when I’m taking those shots more consistently. The accuracy involved, the footwork, the subtle moments in the pocket – there’s a ton of things I’ve been working on these last couple months to get ready for the next level and I think it’ll translate well. I’m looking forward to getting into this playbook, diving into Indy’s offense and trying to get all the help I can to better my own career.
“I’m just super fortunate to be in this position and there’s a lot of work to go. I’m super excited to get started.”