We had sort of figured that out already, Jim. So who is Jacob Eason?
Eason’s head was on a metaphorical swivel. He was constantly going to his coaches and veterans to make sure he did the right thing. He would look out to throw the ball to a receiver, but he wouldn’t be there.
“It was difficult because the playbook’s so big,” Eason said. “You’re trying to figure out where the receivers are going to go, not where they’re going to start. You know, trying to figure out where you want to throw the ball, versus what you’re seeing on defense.”
“Last year I was a younger guy, I was still trying to learn the offense on the fly, I was trying to keep my head above the water in that aspect of it,” Eason said after Monday’s preseason practice. “This year I have more comfort in our schemes and our playbooks. So I feel like I can line guys up, I can tell them what to do, I can help them out when they run a wrong route, and that kind of thing.”
… To that end, a checklist emerges:
- Better completion percentage: Last year Eason was at 55.1 percent. Asked how to fix that, Eason points to a number of items: Looking at the rush, seeing what he’s supposed to see, not having his eyes in the wrong spot. “That all results in being late on the throw, or being off-balance, or that kind of thing,” Eason said.
- Better chemistry with the receivers. That comes mainly with experience on both side. Eason said he also did a lot of work this summer with his receivers, working on seeing when and how they were going to break, and be more in tune with their speed. The little things others may not think about. “The timing’s gotten better,” Eason said. “I’ve gotten more in tune with when they’re going to break on routes and stuff.”
- Reading and reacting to the defense. This also comes with experience, namely the 12 starts that Eason made last year, and the 370 passes. Eason said he spent time in the film room this offseason studying “each individual concept coverage-wise,” both with Georgia’s offense and the different types of defenses.
All well and good. But he’s still got an offensive line situation that raises questions and a fair amount of turnover in the receiving corps that means timing is as much a work in progress this season as it was last year.
That he recognizes his shortcomings is a start. That he’s making an effort to improve his game is necessary. You still have to think that his best friend will be a consistent running game, but that happens to be one important matter that’s out of his hands. We’ll see where it goes.