Jacob Eason‘s first season with the Indianapolis Colts was spent mostly in the background in what became a de facto red-shirt season for the former University of Washington quarterback.
But with Philip Rivers retired and Jacoby Brissett now in Miami, Eason will have a chance to factor more heavily into this year’s plans in Indianapolis. Eason is penciled in as the presumptive backup to new acquisition Carson Wentz at the position.
“I was learning the mental last year but I wasn’t getting a lot of the reps,” Eason said, via J.J. Stankevitz of the team’s website. “I think with, yes, understanding the mental and now getting the reps, I think those two together will help me be able to show these coaches and these guys some things that I can do. And obviously, ton of room for improvement, always continuing to grow and look to get better.”
Third-string quarterbacks just don’t get many chances to take reps in practice. Sure, they may throw in drills early on and get the occasional rep in team periods, but it’s hardly an environment where significant development can occur. With no preseason either, the chances to make a significant impressions of a rookie just wasn’t all that possible.
What Eason could do was absorb all the mental aspects of the game and the offense so he’d be ready to hit the ground running this year. It’s a process that Eason believes has paid off.
“Look, I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’ve got a ton of room for improvement. But I feel like last year and going into this offseason, I’ve taken strides and going out there in OTAs now I have a better understanding this year I have last year,” Eason said. “Granted, it is Year 2 versus Year 1 so it should be that way, but I feel a lot more comfortable going into this preseason.”
Wentz is also coming off a putrid season last year with the Eagles that saw him become one of the worst full-time starters in the league before getting benched in favor of Jalen Hurts midseason. If Wentz can’t be salvaged by Frank Reich in Indianapolis, Eason might get an opportunity to play as well.