Chargers QB Justin Herbert calls rookie year 'a blur,' eager to 'master the offense' in Year 2
The start of Year 2 is still several months away but Justin Herbert, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, is already eager to build off his impressive Year 1.
As Chargers’ season ticket holders toured SoFi Stadium for the first time during an open house on Saturday, L.A.’s bright, young star quarterback took a moment to field questions. When asked to recap his sensational rookie season, Herbert’s reply made it evident that he’s not spending too much time dwelling on the past.
“It’s been a blur. It’s gone by so fast. It’s been a lot of fun,” he told NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti. “Obviously, it was a tough year. Didn’t win as many games as we would’ve liked. I think we got the talent, I think we got the guys, the staff members. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
After being inserted into the starting lineup in Week 2, Herbert churned out spectacular plays on nearly a weekly basis en route to setting numerous rookie QB records. But, like many rookie signal-callers before him, the 2020 sixth overall pick exhibited his share of growing pains.
First-year Chargers coach Brandon Staley has spoken throughout the offseason about his desire to work with Herbert and help him develop in 2021 and beyond. The 23-year-old QB spoke candidly on Saturday about the facets of his game he’d like to refine.
“There’s a lot to improve on. I think if I could master the offense, if I could go to the line of scrimmage and have a plan of exactly what we’re going to do. I think I can always work on footwork as well, stepping up in the pocket, getting the ball out quickly. There’s a lot of stuff to cover,” Herbert shared.
While Staley and his staff work to position the franchise cornerstone for success, Chargers brass will keep looking to make upgrades around him. After spending ample money towards improving the O-line during free agency, the club’s next chance to add pieces will be next week at the 2021 NFL Draft.
The consensus opinion regarding L.A.’s selection at No. 13 points to the team drafting a left tackle to fill the hole Staley spoke strongly of earlier this month. While a reunion with college teammate Penei Sewell would be ideal in that regard, the belief is that the stud tackle won’t be available when L.A. is on the clock.
Still, Herbert wasn’t shy about revealing he’s lobbying for the team to find a way to draft the former Oregon Duck.
“I’m doing my best. He’s an incredible player. Whenever you get a tackle like that in the draft, he can change your program,” he said. “Always a big fan and I’m an even bigger fan of the way he is off the field.”
Whether the team drafts a tackle in the first round or not remains to be seen, especially considering GM Tom Telesco challenged that take on Friday. Regardless of how their draft board shakes out, the Chargers will certainly put some energy towards getting Herbert some more help as he looks to take another leap next season.
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