Colts: Why Parris Campbell could improve with Jacob Eason at QB
By Mike Luciano
Training camp was supposed to be a time where Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell and quarterback Jacob Eason were going to make some minor adjustments to their respective games. However, due to the Carson Wentz injury, both of these players have been thrust into the spotlight.
Wentz will undergo foot surgery and miss 5-12 weeks after sustaining an injury last Thursday. This elevated Eason to the starting quarterback role, while rookie sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger will take over responsibilities as the backup. The Colts also brought in Brett Hundley to help out in the quarterbacks room.
Eason has plenty of positive traits working in his favor as a quarterback, but he came out of Washington with some major flaws in his style, and one season in which he was the No. 3 quarterback behind Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett might not have done a ton to fix those issues.
This is where Campbell comes into play. If Indianapolis wants to take some responsibility off of Eason’s plate and get him comfortable, Frank Reich needs to scheme up plenty of touches for Campbell, as a receiver with his set of skills could be the security blanket Eason needs in his first few starts.
Jacob Eason and Parris Campbell could link up frequently for the Colts.
If we know nothing else about Eason, you should be aware he has one of the strongest arms in the league from both a velocity and maximum throwing distance point of view. There’s no faster receiver on the Colts than Campbell, and they could take advantage of that by dialing up some deep shots and/or quick hits over the middle.
One of Eason’s big flaws is his accuracy and rushed internal clock in the pocket, as his ridiculous arm strength was let down by his inability to consistently deliver the ball in the right spots. The best solution for that is to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible.
Why not have Campbell pick up plenty of easy catches on screens and designed slant routes over the middle … while peppering in the occasional deep ball?
Campbell, in theory, could be a Tyreek Hill-esque playmaker that uses his speed to impact the game over the middle of the field and down the sideline, but injuries have made it hard for him to consistently suit up. Assuming he stays healthy, though, establishing a rapport with Campbell should be atop Eason’s to-do list on behalf of the coaching staff.
With an offensive coordinator in Marcus Brady who put up silly numbers in Canada by stretching the field in any manner possible, the Eason to Campbell connection could prove very fruitful if it’s further explored.