WESTFIELD, Ind. — Jacob Eason spent almost all of 2020 taking mental reps and watching film of someone else, whether it was Philip Rivers or Jacoby Brissett. There were benefits to that, certainly, and Eason and then-quarterbacks coach (and now-offensive coordinator) Marcus Brady worked to maximize those.
But now that Eason has had four full days of practice reps at training camp, including with first-team offense on Friday and Saturday, the 2020 fourth-round pick is eager to use tangible experience to grow within the Colts’ offense.
“It’s watching yourself, it’s seeing your decisions, your progressions, your progress,” Eason said. “It’s a lot different watching someone else do it, you can’t really always see what they’re thinking, but you can talk about it. But when you’re doing it, you know what you were thinking, you know what you were seeing, you can make those self-corrections.”
Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said Saturday there’s no new information on Carson Wentz, who injured his foot during Thursday’s practice and missed Friday and Saturday’s practices at Grand Park. But however the reps come for Eason, he’s aiming to take advantage of them while keeping his focus narrow over the next few weeks of camp.
“Just getting your feet wet, getting back into the swing of things, getting in and out of the huddle, seeing the defense, seeing key coverage guys and all that, it’s been good,” Eason said. “I’m getting a lot of reps, getting a lot of improvement, feeling more and more comfortable every day. Just want to keep building and staying consistent, that’s my biggest thing right now. I want to come out here consistently and have good days and keep stacking good reps.”
Tucked away on Jalen Morton’s bio from his college days at Prairie View A&M is this little fun fact: He can throw a football 100 yards.
The arm strength possessed by Morton, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Colts in February, has been noticeable throughout camp. But 100 yards, like he’s a quarterback in NFL Blitz 2000 running “Da Bomb” and throwing end zone to end zone?
“As you get further and further back you don’t really realize how far you are,” Morton said.
So will we get to see Morton make a 100-yard throw?
Either way, Morton’s arm strength allowed him to zip a few passes into tight windows during Saturday’s red zone-oriented practice, including a strike to Dezmon Patmon in the back corner of the end zone in seven on seven work.
2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger said he’s learned heavily on assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier to get him up to speed with the Colts’ offense as he immerses himself in his first NFL training camp. Ehlinger said Frazier, who’s been with the Colts since 2018, has helped him with “literally everything.”
“Extremely knowledgeable, extremely intelligent,” Ehlinger said of Frazier. “He knows the offense inside and out because he was with coach Reich last year. Really smart guy so I know I can call him with whatever, so we’ve been meeting a lot.
“… (Frazier’s helped me by) introducing the playbook, the tendencies that happened in the past with plays, the way that Carson likes to run things, the way coach Reich sees things, just the things that I wouldn’t be able to learn by myself by just reading a piece of paper. Because I can read it and understand it, but he gives great insight.”
Ehlinger’s goal is to have a plan every time he gets to the line of scrimmage, which is a little different than college, when he could trust one of his talented receivers at Texas would just get open.
“That’s what separates the good from the great quarterbacks is they always have a plan at the line of scrimmage,” Ehlinger said. “Because a lot of people can throw the ball, but if you don’t have it up here, you can’t play.”
Brett Hundley signed with the Colts before Saturday’s practice, but he said the process of getting him on board began earlier in the week — so before Wentz suffered a foot injury late in Thursday’s practice.
The Colts are Hundley’s fourth NFL stop, following the Packers (2015-2017), Seahawks (2018) and Cardinals (2019-2020). The 28-year-old was the only quarterback on the field for the Colts Saturday with starting experience in the NFL, having come in nine games in 2017 in relief on an injured Aaron Rodgers with the Packers.
So what do the next few days look like for Hundley in Indianapolis?
“A lot of coffee. A lot of tea, I’m a tea guy,” Hundley said, “and just trying to pick up this offense.”
But since this is Hundley’s fourth team, he has a better idea of how to focus his energy over the next few days to get up to speed quickly.
“You can’t try to learn this whole offense in a day. It’s way too much,” Hundley said. “Really focusing in on what I need to know now versus what I can learn later on, and emphasizing that is pretty much what I’ll stick to.”
- Linebacker Bobby Okereke has been everywhere in the early part of training camp, and had his second consecutive day with a pick-six in 11 on 11 work. He also had an impressive pass break-up in seven on seven.
- Linebacker E.J. Speed added an interception on a tipped pass.
- Running back Jonathan Taylor ripped off an explosive run for the second straight practice and looks as good as he did at the end of the 2020 season.
- Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. had a strong day and made a number of plays in the red zone.
- Wide receiver Parris Campbell had an impressive snag on a 50/50 ball in an early 11 on 11 period.
- One more about a receiver: Rookie Mike Strachan made two excellent plays in the end zone, first high pointing a pass for a touchdown and then running a crisp route to get open for another score.
- The Colts are off on Sunday and will return to practice Monday at Grand Park.
“I saw him go through some really good reads, really good progressions, throw some good balls today. I think he threw on time today. From my point of view, I think he’s doing well, he’s progressing well.” – Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on Jacob Eason