Eason, and a reason to believe

Ian Boyd, in praise of Jacob Eason, pretty much knocks down the major issues that plagued Georgia’s offense last season.

Poor pass protection?  Check.

For the offense, this looks like a busted play, and it’s not really clear what they were trying to run. Somehow the Dawgs made a positive gain, thanks to Eason just barely getting this toss off to Chubb releasing down the field.

Poor protection and overall execution on the part of the offense regularly put Eason in the role of improv artist. His heralded ability to throw the ball on the move was often all that stood between the Dawg offense and disaster. At times, he even flipped disaster into success, averting pressure and making long completions.

Lack of support from the receiving corps?  Check again.

Beyond their shaky protections, Georgia lacked scary receivers on the outside for Eason to target with his big arm. That it made it hard to effectively attack the middle of the field with more talented options like Nauta or Isaiah McKenzie, because defenses were loading up between the hash marks.

Nauta averaged eight yards per target and McKenzie 9.9, but outside receivers Terry Godwin and Javon Wims averaged only 6.3 and 5.8 yards, respectively. The combination of Eason’s arm strength and anticipation and UGA’s tight ends and running backs should’ve created lots of opportunities outside. It didn’t work out in 2016.

None of which is to say that Eason is a finished product.  Boyd notes more than once that he has to get smoother and faster with his progressions, but as the spring game showed, his success in 2017 will still be largely tied to the help he gets from his surrounding cast.

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42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

42 responses to “Eason, and a reason to believe

  1. ASEF

    It’s kind of amazing to me. As smart as discussions of football have become, with analytics in the one side and great blog resources on tactics on the other, QBs are still venerated/disparaged under the old watercooler rules. Clearly, QB play, especially in college, is largely derivative. Yes, it’s the most important position on the field, but it’s also the most sensitive to other factors beyond the QB’s control. Exceptional performance at the other 10 positions (plis coaching) will make average look great. Exceptionally poor performance will make great look average.

    But so many conversations about QBs still tall about them in vacuum. Weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Excellent…again.

      Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      When you consider how long it took advanced metrics to be accepted for baseball and the fact that people STILL discuss players who don’t excel in a post-season series as if they are chokers, it’s not that hard to understand. Ultimately, there are those who are more rational in their analysis and those who are more emotional. Some fans will say Matt Ryan actually played a good game in the Super Bowl overall, and others will call him a choke artist because he fumbled and his team blew a 25-point lead.

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  2. Macallanlover

    No matter how you spin it, if Eason cannot see all the receiving options better, and hit them on a semi-regular basis when they are open, it will all be on the running game to deliver offensive success. Even with UGA’s immense talent at RB, that is difficult if the defense doesn’t respect the passing game. The poor OL performance last year showed having good RBs isn’t enough against a strong defense. Add an unimaginative OC and you have the potential for more offensive constipation in 2017. I think we will improve enough (given a stout defensive unit) to win the East but the need for QB and OL improvement will determine if we win convincingly, or will be able to compete in Atlanta. I felt more confident before G Day about those areas but left with some concern on both.

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    • Greg

      Agree for the most part….based on what I watched (spring game), he looks like the same ole Eason to me. He locks on to one receiver (primary) sometimes & misses the secondary receiver that may be open….or the 3rd guy. He missed the open RB swinging out in the flats plenty this spring, as well as last year. He also holds the ball too long, resulting in sacks or broken plays.

      From my seat, Fromm sees it… and gets rid of the ball. He looks for that 2nd and 3rd guy if the primary is covered, hits his RB in stride (checking down)… it all happens very quickly and he is more accurate. He looked like the more polished QB out there, I don’t care who he was going against.

      Eason has the size and big arm, but I think that Fromm has the “it”. He may not be ready now, but he looked like the “more ready” spring game. A good QB who can do all of this makes the entire offense look better…even the OL .. :>)

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      • The Dawg abides

        Well Eason was recruited mainly by Richt, and Fromm by Smart, so there’s your proof who the better option is. I believe someone’s mentioned on here before that Richt had the number three class in the country at the time he was let go though. / I’m just yanking your chain man.

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        • Got Cowdog

          Killing me, Dawg. 🙂 UGA has what appears to to be quality QB depth for the next five (6?) years for the first time that I can remember, and here we are splitting hairs on who got ’em here. Throw in a couple of young, talented tackles and we could have something special.

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      • YES! This is exactly what I’m seeing. 90% of the time, Eason locks on to his receivers and maybe sees his second read. I don’t understand how this is still a problem for him. I think Fromm is a little better about this, but it’s a little too early to tell.

        The other difference I sense is the leadership. I don’t think Eason has “it.” Remember those articles from a couple months ago about Kirby’s exercise with the players each writing down what they expected of a particular person? Eason seemed surprised that his team expected more/better leadership from him. Are you kidding me?? That’s the #1 (non-skill) quality a QB needs. In contrast, people have been talking about the high level of Fromm’s leadership since day 1.

        (I might be reading into it too much, but I don’t like Eason’s body language after a busted play. Eason’s shoulders drop and he turns away from the LOS and the rest of the team. I want to see him clap the receiver on the shoulder, look him in the eye, look downfield, and start assembling the team for the next play. That seems rare for Eason outside the two-minute drill.)

        It reminds me a little of Stafford/Murray. Stafford had the better arm and raw talent. As soon as he was gone, though, a lot of comments starting coming from players about the improvement in leadership once Cox (and then Murray) took the helm.

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      • Uglydawg

        Will you at least acknowledge that you understand that the two faced entirely different defenses? Fromm had much less pressure, did not face a single (maybe one?) scholarship defensive back, and had the better receivers for the Spring game. This has been said over and over and over again. Do you realize the difference in those two defenses? Do you realize that not running Chubb and Sony..and the defense knowing that, and knowing you were throwing almost every single down…that they could just play pass first and go after Eason? It was an unrealistic situation and he did pretty good. Fromm will be a good QB, but he didn’t face much competition during the Spring game. Their stats mean zero-point-zilch.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    WR coach Coley and OL coach Pittman are gonna have to find a way to upgrade their player’s performance. Maybe we have better talent than last year and maybe we don’t. But the 2017 season, at least for the offense, hinges on these two coaches getting (a lot) more production from the players they coach.

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  4. David K

    Let him play from a shotgun and Eason’s play will drastically improve.

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  5. So many questions still. Right now there is nothing that makes me expect a better offense than last season and we still have the same OC. As always, though, as the OL goes so goes the offense.

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  6. I want to take his one paragraph on Fromm and condense it into a rich broth and slowly sip it until it’s gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patrick

    From a stats standpoint, does a specific target have to be assigned to each incompletion?
    If so, seems like it would skew the outside guys since majority of throwaways sail out of bounds.

    Like

  8. One thing that did stick out to me from spring is that Eason still throws the occasional crappy loose spiral. Those are tough to catch. I don’t understand how he can still be doing that, and it worries me.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      We don’t have a ‘real’ QB coach to teach Eason fundamentals. The vast majority of Chaney’s career was as an OL coach. Maybe the new analyst Jay Johnson can help in that area.

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  9. anon

    He is way too inaccurate—-✔️

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    • Uglydawg

      Good grief. If you’re sure about that, it would be your duty as a UGA fan to drive over to BM and let coach Smart know about it.

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      • Uglydawg

        Referring to Greg’s post above about how Fromm outplayed Eason in the Spring game.

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        • Greg

          LOL!!….don’t let it upset you, it is just my opinion….nothing personal. I also think that if they switched teams (1st team versus 2nd), Fromm would have still looked better (probably would not have had all those drops). Time will tell, again….he may not be ready now, but he is closing the gap imo. The Dawgs need a leader, I think Fromm will eventually be more of one. The best thing that can happen, is that they both get better….. I really don’t care who starts, just win baby!

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  10. Mike Cooley

    No snark intended here but what evidence do you have that Fromm is closing the gap on Eason?

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    • Greg

      Good Lord….go back & read again…and read the original post too. I said it was of my opinion…..and that is based on what I saw. Statistically he was better of the two & he did not even play a full 4 quarters. He definitely sees the field better and does not hold the ball as long. He checks down & looks for the 2nd, 3rd & 4th reciever much better. He leads better, more vocal on the field & he moves better. He comes from a HS team that runs a very similar offense, he looks more polished. His team put more points, the team moves the chains better…..Did you watch the game???

      I am not with them every day, so I honestly can’t say who the better of the two are….just as you can’t. Just on that day, it is of my opinion that Fromm
      was the better QB. I do not see much improvement from Eason so far. I believe there were 4 or 5 freshman QB that had a better year last season (nationally). He has a big arm, good size and a year’s experience on him but to me, that is about it. It looks like Fromm will spread the ball more and get everyone involved than Eason. It has been mentioned before….but he reminds me a lot of AM. I don’t give a rat’s ass about who the starting QB is, I just want the best one, the one that wins….

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  11. Mike Cooley

    I don’t care who plays either as far as being wedded to one or the other. I just wanted to see what you knew other than a G Day performance that informed your opinion. I see the answer is, nothing.

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  12. Mike Cooley

    OK. You’re right. G Day is always a good indicator of what is going on with our quarterback situation. Great insight.

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    • When you say G-Day QBR, you’ve said it all. 😉

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      • Greg

        Well….hell. It is the only thing I had to base it on . That 1 day, it is of my opinion that he was the better of the two….that day. That may not be the case when fall rolls around. Certainly you have opinions too, right (Smart vs. Richt, maybe)? By your remark, I am guessing you do not agree…..SO, tell me why you disagree…

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  13. Mike Cooley

    Lol. That’s right.

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  14. Mike Cooley

    I don’t know why I’m still talking about this. Lol. I guess for starters it isn’t comparable. Fromm was working against half the field and the defenders were all bench warmers. That matters. The second thing is, it’s G Day. As you said, it’s all you have to go on and a scrimmage in which one guy was limited to one half of the field against backups leads you to believe Fromm is closing in on Eason. It’s just odd that you were so easily convinced.

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