The 2021 NFL season could be a big one for Chargers QB Justin Herbert. He’s coming off a historic rookie season which included him winning Offensive Rookie of the Year and is now learning a new offense under first-year head coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Joe Lombard.
Corey Linsey, Herbert’s new center, is going from snapping to the reigning MVP in Aaron Rodgers to a young quarterback in Herbert.
“He's learning a new system just as much as I am,” Linsey said. “I guess I know a lot more of the run game and some of the pass coming from Green Bay, but we're both learning together and that's the most important thing to remember … From when I was here earlier to right now, it seems like he's picking it up really, really fast. We're communicating at a high level right now and it can be better for sure, and it will be, but anything I can offer from the past, (I will.)"
Learning a new offense is nothing new to Herbert. He’s done it at Oregon and is now doing it at the pro level. Adjusting to new schemes is part of the job, especially at quarterback.
Jared Cook spent the last two seasons with the Saints, and in his first training camp with the Chargers, he called Herbert a “smart quarterback” and had more praise for him.
“What I see from him is the corrections that he’s making aren’t big ones. The little ones that he makes, he picks up on them fast and it’s not a repetitive correction thing,” Cook told reporters Tuesday. “Which is what you see out of a lot of young guys - those mistakes that you gotta get rid of. I don’t see any of that from (from Herbert). “He’s been on it, man….He’s been on it.”
The expectations are high for Herbert after his debut season and he has the receivers to help him and the team reach new heights. For them, it’ll come down to execution and how quickly the new offense can be learned.