Justin Herbert emerged as one of the brightest young players in the NFL during his rookie season in 2020. The Los Angeles Chargers quarterback quickly proved he has what it takes to succeed professionally and was rewarded for his efforts by winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
Herbert, 23, was one of the few bright spots for a Chargers team that struggled to stay consistent last season. After taking the starting job in Week 2, the former No. 6 overall pick completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. However, the Chargers went just 6-9 during his time under center and finished third in the AFC West.
Although he set multiple NFL rookie records, Herbert called his first season in the league “a blur” when speaking with the media on Saturday. He also sounded disappointed with the team’s overall performance, so he expressed his excitement to get back out onto the field and improve in year two.
“It’s been a blur. It’s gone by so fast. It’s been a lot of fun,” Herbert 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.”
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) April 24, 2021
Herbert will have to adjust to new head coach and offensive system in 2021, after the Chargers parted ways with Anthony Lynn and hired former Rams assistant Brandon Staley earlier this offseason. Regardless of the moves around him, the young quarterback feels like there’s always something that he can improve upon.
“There’s a lot to improve on,” Herbert said. “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.”
The Chargers hold the No. 13 pick in this week’s NFL Draft and have multiple needs to address. Herbert has advocated for his former Oregon teammate, Penei Sewell, and Los Angeles desperately needs a new left tackle, so time will tell if the organization honors his wishes this Thursday.