Justin Herbert had one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history, headlined by breaking the record for most passing touchdowns (31) and total touchdowns (36), and throwing over 4,300 yards.
His efforts were acknowledged as he won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
All of that was under former head coach Anthony Lynn and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. With the operative being “former,” Herbert is already experiencing major changes early into his career.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is a believer the offensive coordinator change will affect the young quarterback.
"Worst thing that can happen," Arians texted NFL.com's Jim Trotter when asked the impact changing coordinators can have on a quarterback. "Learning NEW isn't ever good."
Arians knows a thing or two on quarterbacks going through coordinator changes. He’s had experience with some of the game's elite in Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, and now Tom Brady.
Arians’ thought on Herbert has even more credibility because he went through an adjustment period with Brady en route to the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl.
Early into the 2020 season, Brady struggled with the offense after 20 seasons with the Patriots. Proving adjusting to a new voice in the helmet can be difficult, even for one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the sport.
Joe Lombardi, the Chargers new offensive coordinator, is coming off a five-year stint working with Drew Brees as quarterbacks coach with the Saints, and before that was the offensive coordinator in Detroit assisting Matthew Stafford.
Herbert has already contacted Brees to gain some insight into Lombardi.
“He's got a skill set that is elite, and it appears there's nothing that he can't do," said Lombardi on Herbert. "He's got an incredibly strong arm, good accuracy, and he's very athletic. Sounds like he's a real smart guy that's a good leader. So, I mean, he just checks all the boxes, and sky's the limit with a player like that."
A change in coordinators isn’t always a negative, as quarterbacks such as Roethlisberger flourished under a new voice.
What may also help Herbert is he experienced an offensive coordinator change at Oregon, and thus this isn’t anything new for him.