Other than injury, thoughts of replacing Jacob Eason are silly

Georgia fans stand in silence as quarterback Jacob Eason leaves the game with an injury during the first quarter against Appalachian State Saturday. The extent of Eason’s injury has not yet been disclosed by Georgia. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

If Jacob Eason is too injured to play the next game, and that would seem the way to bet today, then there’s no debate about who Georgia’s starting quarterback is against Notre Dame.

But let’s be clear about something: There is no quarterback controversy. There should be no quarterback controversy. To draw conclusions about how well Eason has (or hasn’t) developed based on eight snaps and three passes of one game is beyond ludicrous … but, of course, made to order for the underworld of Twitter and message boards.

The only thing crazier is drawing conclusions about the readiness of Jake Fromm based on one win over Appalachian State.

Before expanding on those thoughts, here’s an update. Georgia not surprisingly went dark Sunday, the day after Eason suffered a left knee injury early in the game against Appalachian State. It’s not clear when, or if, coach Kirby Smart will provide any status update in the days leading up to next week’s game at Notre Dame. Via our Seth Emerson:

  • UGA spokesman Claude Felton told me he’s not expecting an official update today, though wouldn’t rule it out.
  • Kirby Smart addresses the media tomorrow at noon. If nothing is announced today that’s when we’ll get our next official update.
  • My own guess is that Eason won’t be able to play at Notre Dame. But until there’s official confirmation, guess nothing can ever be ruled out.
  • If it’s not an ACL – and apparently a field test ruled that out – then a sprained knee is usually in the range of a month, maybe two months. But sprains can be tricky to predict either way.

Here’s one view of the injury.

OK, some thoughts:

I understand there are people who have their doubts about Eason. He didn’t have a great freshman season and expectations were meteoric, to say nothing of unrealistic, going into last season. But there were a number of problems around Eason, not the least of which were: 1) a weak offensive line, giving him no time to read defenses and go through his progression; 2) a poor year by play-caller Jim Chaney, Smart’s hand-picked offensive coordinator.

By all accounts, including comments from Smart, Eason made significant progress in the spring, the offseason and pre-season camp, not only reading defenses more effectively but more quickly. Work habits improved. He matured.

Fromm, the newbie, was said to be impressive in the preseason. He certainly looked good Saturday, coming off the bench. Against a Sun Belt team. At home.

But Fromm is true freshman, just like Eason was last season. Even in the best-case scenario of him being more mature and/or a better leader than Eason out of the gate, it’s logical to assume he would have similar learning curve problems.

It’s extremely difficult for first-year quarterbacks to play on this level. There shouldn’t be a need to retype those words so frequently, but for some reason that reality doesn’t always sink in to SlobberingDawg66 while he’s pounding Cheetos on the couch.

If Eason can’t play because of injury, then there’s no decision to be made. I know the next question is going to be: What if Eason misses a month and Fromm looks great the next four or five games?

That’s a hypothetical I’ll address when it’s not a hypothetical anymore. I’ll let you battle it out on Twitter. But a lot more goes into decisions like that than just: Who has better passing stats? This isn’t fantasy football.

Hopefully, we’ll know more soon. I’ll also address some other issues Georgia needs to be concerned about moving forward in a column soon.

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. Episodes also can be downloaded from on-demand link on WSBRadio.com.

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Reader Comments 0

46 comments
Big Wally
Big Wally

They way some people are busting on Fromm, you'd think we lost the game. 

JKToole
JKToole

@Big Wally No one (who cares) is busting on Fromm. And at this point, it doesn't matter. He's the starter.

I hope Kirby is giving him 100% of the snaps this week with the first team O.

And I only hope Smart and Chaney were sandbagging.

JKToole
JKToole

@Wascatlady Notre Dame was 4-8 last year (beating Nev., Syracuse, Miami and Army) and beat Temple Saturday.

mic404
mic404

It's the old eye test, one guy looks confident (Fromm) and one guy looks timid (Eason). 

FlatTire
FlatTire

After reading some of the comments on the blogs it looks like we are going to the national championship

TOJacket
TOJacket

@FlatTire You're even more sarcastic than me,,,Buck Belue just said that the OL had better get it together...spot on Flat.

Chilidawg
Chilidawg

Eason has been a big disappointment, and Fromm cannot throw the ball as hard or as far, but he is more accurate and will be a better QB. The question is whether Fromm becomes the QB now or do we continue to hope that Eason will improve.

FlatTire
FlatTire

If fromm can't throw the deep pass we are in real trouble. I was hoping to see that type of play called but vanilla seems to be the flavor of plays we like to run

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Chilidawg


How could he not be? I mean THE hype. THE next in a long line of dog saviors. Bust.

JKToole
JKToole

@Chilidawg Compare Eason's freshman stats to Drew Lock's. He's better in every category.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

"Bust" is soiling yourselves 0-31 in a highly undeserved playoff berth.

TideDawg
TideDawg

OH:IO feeling his oats after OSU beat........Indiana???? First team to first team Indiana stuffed OSU. OSU's depth won it in the second half.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@TideDawg How the heck do you think Bama beat FSU...besides the ST screw ups?

JKToole
JKToole

@TOJacket @TideDawg  A 26-game winning streak ended last January with one second to go against Clemson - one second. FSU's ineptitude partly sealed their fate. Alabama's defense throughly dominated FSU - after losing seven players to the NFL last year.

Give credit where credit is due. If your team does well it's because of coaching. If another team does well it's because of recruiting or depth. Recruiting is part of coaching, snowflake.

Saban and Pruitt's plan stifled the FSU staff, even when they pretty much knew exactly what was coming.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@JKToole @TOJacket @TideDawg  One second....you have to play the full 60 mins. in a game like that. Bama didn't. Once the ball was in the air that one second was like a lifetime.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

His point???

You once again have a grossly overrated team.

TideDawg
TideDawg

It's great, and rare, to have a quality backup like Fromm. Eason is still the No. 1, until he proves otherwise.

Railroadtracgang
Railroadtracgang

Well, you said all the right things Jeff. Still feels like you are wrong. But we are all just guessing. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Savior Skinny we hardly knew ye?


Question - Does RIcht (or any HC) have NCAA right to contact Chuck and Duck to discuss possibilities?

TOJacket
TOJacket

I finally saw the game last night on replay and Flat tire is right about the OL...looks a lot like last years OL...maybe a QB and OL controversy?

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

Agreed....The line was NO better than last year's...especially when you consider App states starting D line averages only 264lbs......

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Right you are. Not working. 0-31 showed us that.

_Aileen_
_Aileen_


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alamanac
alamanac

I agree that you  can't write Eason off after a few snaps but you also can't afford not to give Fromm a chance early if the offense is not moving the ball. I did not see the early series and Eason was already hurt when I started watching. Some leaders have a way to raise the confidence level and the level of play of the team. This seemed to be the case with what I saw Saturday as compared to what I have seen out of Eason the past year. Time will tell if Fromm is that special leader who can raise the team level of play but it would be foolish to stick with Eason if he is not moving the ball. 

lighteredknot
lighteredknot

Guess ole Fromm's education will be furthered come Sat.  Hope Eason gets phistoff and leaves for the west coast.  From will not be gong in with a secure lead and nothing to lose then.  Might really have a few palliations then, you reckon?

LLB1499
LLB1499

Well, I suppose the problem is that Fromm looked better than Eason has in the entire past year. While the coaching staff has expressed that Eason has looked better in practice, he is unable to execute in the game. You don't get a W for performance in practice. What matters is being able to win football games. Eason has proven himself to be a mediocre leader at best so far. There's nothing wrong with fans being behind Fromms performance yesterday.

RTPIV
RTPIV

Part of one quarter and you write him off? I agree that he didn't look good in those few plays, but let's give the kid a chance. He left his home and family to go all the way across the country, chose to be a Dog even after the coach he wanted to play for was fired. He stuck with us. The least we should do is stick with us.

I hope he doesn't judge us all by these fickle fans. He wanted to play in the SEC and part of the allure is the fanaticism of fans. Sometimes that fanaticism is unrealistic and unforgiving, unfortunately.

JKToole
JKToole

@RTPIV Eason's freshman stats are better than Joe Montana's and compare to Dan Marino's.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@RTPIV: "He stuck with us. The least we should do is stick with us."

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You probably don't mean what you typed there.