I think he isn't confident enough to kick it or make his own plays like he did last year.
He has the talent to do so, in spades, but the way they've been training him it's obvious he's got some idea that it's somebody else more senior's responsibility to deliver the ball by foot.
The thing is, he's getting more of it, and he's feeling the pressure to hand it off to the older players he's sort of probably in awe of (as you would be) instead of playing his natural style, you see it in young players all the time.
Would hate to have our essington play style destroying his natural style of footy that had him go at number 1.
Have no doubt he's the best short kick on the run bar Tippa in the team, has the most natural action and is a good decision maker. These are some of the hallmarks of his game we don't see, and I think it might be because of his rank in the team, let him off the leash I say.