Northwest

Chargers new OC Joe Lombardi says ‘the sky is the limit’ for QB Justin Herbert

Northwest

Justin Herbert has quickly proven himself to be one of the NFL’s most talented young quarterbacks.

And now, he’ll have a Super Bowl caliber offensive coordinator to help him reach new heights.

The Chargers hired Saints QBs coach Joe Lombardi to be their offensive coordinator earlier this week. After multiple stints in New Orleans coaching future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in 12 of his 15 NFL seasons, Lombardi will be tasked with maximizing Herbert’s promising tools.  

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“He’s got a skillset that is elite,” Lombardi said in his Tuesday press conference. “It appears there’s nothing he can’t do. He’s got an incredibly strong arm, good accuracy, he’s very athletic, and it sounds like he’s a real smart guy that’s a good leader...

So, he checks all the boxes and the sky is the limit with a player like that.

- Joe Lombardi on Justin Herbert

Lombardi, the grandson of legendary Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, hopes to find a balance between the run and passing game, but he also accepts the fact that sometimes Herbert might need to just air it out.  

 

“When you have a quarterback as talented as Justin, you want to let him throw the ball when it’s appropriate — that’s for sure,” Lombardi said.

In Herbert’s first year as a pro, the former Oregon product lit up opposing defenses and proved to the naysayers that the Chargers picking him at No. 6 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft was no fluke. Herbert ended his record-breaking rookie season completing 66 percent of his passes for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns and scorched the NFL record books while he was at it.

Ultimately, the Chargers went 7-9 and fired Anthony Lynn, but they found their quarterback of the future in Herbert. It’s why newly-hired head coach Brandon Staley is so adamant about making sure the NFL Rookie of the Year frontrunner has the right offensive plan around him... not the other way around.

"I think that my vision for the offense really fits Justin and what he can do well and where we wanna take it, and how we wanna play and feature in his play and not being able to impose a system on him,” Staley said. “It's creating the system for Justin and uniquely shaping it to his skillset because he is unlike anybody in the NFL."