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Sports Colts eager to see what second-year QB Jacob Eason can do with full offseason work

19:00  06 april  2021
19:00  06 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts have a lot of work to do at the quarterback position when they hit the practice field this offseason, whenever that might be.

Carson Wentz will get almost all of the attention, and rightfully so, as Indianapolis bets hard that Frank Reich can get Wentz back to the player he was before an ugly 2020 season made him available on the trade market.

But the snaps Wentz doesn’t take in practice are going to be just as interesting.

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Indianapolis has to find out what it has in Jacob Eason, the fourth-round pick who didn’t get many chances to prove himself in a truncated 2020 season. Under the NFL’s coronavirus rules, the Colts had just two weeks of training camp, rather than a month and a half, and Eason threw just 36 passes in those two weeks.

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a man standing on a baseball field: Quarterback Jacob Eason during Colts training camp, from their facility in Indianapolis, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. © Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star Quarterback Jacob Eason during Colts training camp, from their facility in Indianapolis, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

Any evaluation of Eason is premature at this point.

“It’s pretty incomplete,” new Colts quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich said. “I’ve watched him (in college) at Washington, I watched his training camp stuff. I watched some of the scrimmages he played in, and he did some really nice things. He obviously has a big, big arm, can make all the throws. … Until you see a guy play, it’s really hard to make an evaluation.”

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Eason spent most of his rookie season waiting and watching, learning from the examples of Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett.

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And although the young quarterback has high hopes for his sophomore season in the NFL after impressing the Colts with his work ethic and coachability as a rookie — Eason has already said he’d like to win the backup job, and the Colts have not signed a veteran backup to the roster yet — the Colts simply don’t have enough tape on Eason yet to rule out a veteran addition at the position.

“Mental reps are as good as anything, but going back to the having played part, they also have to do it on the field,” Milanovich said.

Eason spent most of his rookie season working with Marcus Brady, the former quarterbacks coach who will now serve as Reich’s right-hand man, replacing Nick Sirianni after his departure to Philadelphia.

Milanovich takes over as the Indianapolis quarterbacks coach .

He’ll have to take a different approach to developing Eason than the Colts will take with Wentz. With Wentz, Indianapolis is trying to get a player back to the skills that made him successful in the past; Eason is still being built from scratch.

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“You just have to use different ways to develop him, from mental reps to extra video, from after practice, staying on the field and going through scripts,” Milanovich said. “When Carson’s out there in practice, you’ve got those young guys right next to you, and you’re quizzing them as we go, hey, what’s the point, what’s the protection. I just think it takes time and reps.”

How many reps Eason will be able to get before training camp remains uncertain.

The NFL reportedly sent out a memo this week that hinted that teams should be prepared for on-field workouts this spring or summer, but the NFL Player’s Association has remained adamant that the league should follow the virtual template of the 2020 offseason.

Ultimately, though, the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccines and the return to normalcy that comes with it should give the Colts a lot more practice time in 2021 than they had in 2020, and that means a lot more reps for young players like Eason, still trying to prove themselves.

“It’s too bad for him that he didn’t get a little bit more opportunity as a rookie to kind of get his feet wet and see where he’s at,” Milanovich said. “I’m looking forward to working with them.”

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And the Colts are looking forward to finally getting a good read on what Eason can do.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts eager to see what second-year QB Jacob Eason can do with full offseason work

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usr: 2
This is interesting!