Justin Herbert was in diapers when Tom Brady began dominating the NFL.
Brady was just 24 years and six months old when he became the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. Today, the Bucs star quarterback is 43 years old and has seven Lombardi trophies in his growing collection. Not to mention, a lot of rings.
That’s why when asked on SirusXM NFL Radio who Herbert strived to emulate in his role as Chargers signal caller, his answer was simple: the greatest of all time.
"I think anyone should aspire to be like Tom Brady, to have as much success as he's had for as long as he's been able to do it," Herbert said. "I don't think there's anyone that's ever done anything like that before. To win, that's the ultimate goal of the quarterback position is to put your team in a position to win. He's been able to do that. He's a competitor, and he finds a way to win, and I think that's the best part about it."
While the two quarterbacks came up in very different eras, Herbert has quickly established himself as a franchise-altering QB. In his first season in LA, the former Oregon product had 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns with 10 INTs and completed 66.6 percent of his passes as the Chargers finished with a 7-9 record and missed the postseason.
Herbert was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first year as a pro and shattered multiple rookie records including passing touchdowns, passing yards per game, 300-yard games and completions.
The Chargers sixth-overall pick had an opportunity to face his childhood idol when Brady led the Bucs to their second-biggest comeback ever with a 38-31 win over the Chargers in October.
After the game, Brady praised the rookie QB who completed 20 of 25 passes for 290 yards and had three touchdowns.
“He was very impressive. He played great,” Brady told reporters after the game. “He’s got all the ability. He’s got a great arm. Moves really well. The team believes in him."
“He just said to keep your head up and keep playing,” Herbert told reporters.
Aiming to follow in the career path of a seven-time Super Bowl champion is a lofty goal, but at just 22 years old, the sky is the limit for the Herbert and the Chargers. He has high hopes for himself in 2021.
“I think I can keep learning about the game,” he said. “I think if I know more about defenses, coverages, pressures, all of that, I think that better helps our team, and I think if I can master the playbook and know exactly what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, so that when I get up to the line of scrimmage and I see a certain front, see a certain pressure, I’m able to get us into a great play.”