INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady this week spoke to local reporters via video conference. What did he have to say about rookie quarterback Jacob Eason's development heading into the bye week, as well as veteran Philip Rivers' ability to make in-game adjustments?
You can catch that entire session above, but here are a couple top takeaways:
» Brady is encouraged by the progress made by rookie quarterback Jacob Eason: Eason was taken in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft, and first and foremost had to battle it out with Chad Kelly for the No. 3 quarterback job heading into the regular season.
Eason was able to earn that spot, and now he's getting the unique opportunity to sit and learn from the likes of veteran quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett, as well as Brady, offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and head coach Frank Reich, who, of course, was a longtime NFL quarterback.
Eason isn't getting a ton of reps at practice — the first-team reps go to Rivers, while Brissett gets most of the scout team reps — but Brady said Eason is doing a good job getting on-field reps after practices and before games, as well as soaking in everything thrown his way in the meeting room.
"He's responded great," Brady said. "He's taking it all in and learning from both Philip and Jacoby, and then just in the quarterback room, from myself, from Nick, from Frank. It's a lot for him to take in, and then when I get him alone where he asks questions and bring them to me, you know, 'Why are we reading it this way? How can I eliminate this?' as part of his read. So he's taken it in well, and he's gradually just getting better."
Eason's arm strength — his No. 1 attribute coming out of Washington — has been clear, Brady said — "he can make every throw on the field" — but the rookie is also making clear strides in the mental part of the position.
"He's just continuing to grow both in just understanding the reads of the pass game, learning the protections, the calls, and then the run checks," Brady said of Eason. "So all of that, he's just grown each week, getting the understanding of the why, 'Why are we doing this? Why do we have to get out of this play?' So it's just a continuous process that he's going through."
» It's been impressive seeing Philip Rivers' in-game adjustments, whether it's pre-snap reads or moving on from mistakes: Brady grew up in San Diego, so he naturally has followed the Chargers over the years, which means he was already very familiar with Rivers' style and strengths when the team signed the veteran quarterback to a free agent deal in March.
Now that he's his position coach, Brady elaborated on everything Rivers brings to the table when it comes to in-game adjustments, particularly when he breaks the huddle and starts reading the defense before the snap.
"Seeing it here through practice and games, obviously there's a lot going on, there's a lot heard if you listen to the TV copies, changing protection calls, checking plays, communicating with the receivers," Brady said. "There is a lot going on, and he's doing a great job with that. I mean, he gets us into the right plays the majority of the time, and it helps us. It helps our success rate."
Even when Rivers makes the occasional mistake, Brady knows that his 17 years in the league has afforded him the ability to immediately know what he did wrong and how to avoid making that same mistake twice.
"It is a little different," Brady said about Rivers' ability to diagnose a mistake versus a younger quarterback. "When he makes a mistake, he knows why he made a mistake, whereas with a younger guy, you go through, show him the picture of why you can't do this or that. When he comes off the field, he knows exactly what he did wrong and why he made a mistake. So he's just as upset as we all are on offense, and that just comes with experience; he's seen so much, he knows what you can and can't get away with. And he puts it behind him and just moves on to the next, and that's what's great about him."