INDIANAPOLIS – How quickly things can change.
Jacob Eason is experiencing that right now.
All of a sudden, Eason has gone from the guy who had never put on a jersey for an NFL game to leading the starting offense of the Indianapolis Colts, with the possibility that job will continue into the regular season.
What does that mean?
If Eason really flourishes and shines, this job might be his for quite a while.
If Eason struggles, he might never get another chance to lead a starting unit.
Listening to Frank Reich, and you hear the head coach’s optimism in Eason:
“The job is Jacob’s right now,” Reich says. “He’s got to prove it. He knows that. He’s in the driver’s seat, so he’s getting the reps with the 1s and I’m believing that that’s going to work out the way we want it to work out.”
If Eason gets the starting call Week 1, it’ll be his first game action since 2019, playing for the University of Washington.
Since Eason started as a true freshman at Georgia in 2016, he’s been a full-time starter in just one season. He didn’t even dress/play for his respective teams in two of those five seasons.
Coming out of Washington in 2020, Eason had one major trait that had the Colts interest.
That being his right arm.
“What I liked about his arm talent is he can throw it on a rope, he can throw it long, he can throw with touch, he can change his speed on the ball and he can deliver from different arm angles,” Reich said.
It’s that unteachable aspect to playing quarterback that had the Colts taking Eason in Round 4 of 2020.
Questions about Eason revolved around his accuracy, nailing down of progressions and handling pass rush pressure.
Knowing how much Eason has improved on those things was very difficult to gauge last year, when his reps were so limited.
Answers to that should start to come as Eason gets more and more experience, plays in a preseason game and eventually experiences the regular season.
There are dozens of quarterbacks around the league who would do anything for the opportunity that’s here for Eason.
For now, the Colts are letting him prove himself.
“I think he’s making good progress,” Reich says of Eason. “These reps are invaluable. I had a good conversation with Jacob (on Sunday), ‘Hey man, it’s your show. Let’s go.’ He has to prepare like he’s starting Week 1. We don’t know if that will happen or not, but he’s got to get ready.
“We’re going to trust him in that process, support him and get behind him and just help him to continue to get better. He’s got the right mindset.”