The Los Angeles charger could have used it safely. Taking a 10-point lead with less than four minutes ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the team could have served and ran clockwise to finally end a four-game streak without defeat.
Having Justin Herbert at the center, however, changed the group’s math. In 3rd and 5th place at the 34-yard line of Jaguars, attack coordinator Shane Steichen ended the timeout by giving the rookie midfielder a pitch to receiver Keenan Allen, who had increased 8 yards and one New series of shots. Shortly thereafter, Herbert knelt on his clock to win his first NFL.
The decision – that a Herbert throw is as safe as a bet, even in the midst of a dive – is symbolic of how Chargers coaches the 22-year-old, who technically speaking, is not allowed are their boots yet.
Herbert was pushed into the position in Week 2 after Tyrod Taylor, who started Los Angeles signed a two-year contract that included a reported $ 11 million bail, had a lung puncture by a team doctor pain reliever injection before the match. In place of Taylor in a widely broadcast afternoon game, Herbert pushed Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to extra time, ran with a 4-yard touch on his first NFL drive and eventually ended finishes with better passer ratings (94.4 to 90.9) and more meters (311 to 302) than Patrick Mahomes, despite not being a winner.
The show unexpectedly leaned towards Herbert, who last spring was rated as the third best professional prospect in midfield, following first draft picks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, both of whom were Charismatic leader in college. Now, after throwing 1,542 yards in his first five NFL games, starting his career second only to Cam Newton in 2011, Herbert has established himself as a game-changing talent worth building.
Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout and NFL Network analyst who is a black commentator on Chargers’ radio shows, said: “There is nothing passive about how he plays. “Other teams try to protect their young defenders, try not to destroy their confidence.” Chargers Coach said, “‘run your stuff.” “
Herbert, who has no tendencies of hype, tried to reduce the attention he could attract.
“One of the great things I’ve been taught is not to let it affect me,” says Herbert. “Everything that I focus on is what has been said inside this building, either by my parents or my previous coaches. I did a great job staying away from noise. “
When Los Angeles draft Herbert Friday, the plan is that he will sit and observe Taylor for one season. Herbert had a 29-14 record at college and became Oregon’s second only midfielder to throw more than 10,000 meters and score more than 100 touches, despite a lack of large teeing off receivers, but he did not. have to take many risks at Ducks’ insulting heavily.
Herbert was the second tallest quad to be measured at the reconnaissance complex in February, and also one of the heaviest. But he ran 40 yards in 4.68 seconds, the fourth fastest time among midfielders, caught the eye of Chargers manager Anthony Lynn.
“For a man six feet tall, he’s very agile,” said Lynn. “In today’s NFL, with the speed of defense, that’s quite important. So a guy can do both, throw from pocket and move and stretch the game, which is quite a unique skill set for me. “
Herbert’s talent was a breeze for Chargers, who in addition to losing Taylor was left without their top speed runner, Austin Ekeler, and three attacking guides. In search of a spark, Pep Hamilton, Chargers quartet coach, and Steichen encouraged Herbert to play aggressively, run when needed, and throw to the receiver in narrow windows.
He has responded with the best midfield ratings in the rookie class (74.4, 12th best across all competitions) and emerged as a running threat that can keep the defense honest. Herbert had 121 yards of quick bursts and two touches of the ball in Week 7 and a highlight run on which he knocked out Damien Wilson, the Chiefs’ much heavier ratings, in a run-out.
Coach Anthony Lynn, who had previously said that Taylor would keep his job after returning from the injured reserve list, chose Herbert as the starter in early October, after he played three. battle.
“I want this to happen, and I’ve seen enough, and I want to go ahead and formalize it,” Lynn said.
However, Lynn still has to be wary of the rookie overloaded with too many fascinating attacks. He said that Philip Rivers, Chargers’ ex-midfielder midfielder, had been in the screenwriting with three different options for plays, too much to expect from a rookie. Instead, Herbert is asked to consider his first, second and third passing options in a single turn, based on his ability to read defense.
So far, Herbert has shown the ability to gamble safely with offenses entrusted to him, having a 67.4% completion rate and a four-to-one touch down ball.
Vic Fangio, the coach of Denver Broncos, who faced Chargers on Sunday, said: “He’s good at deep pitching, good intermediate, obviously he’s very athletic. “They did a great job coaching him and correcting their offense with his skill set.”
Another part of Herbert’s development wasn’t purposefully complicated: the time he left the field. Growing up in Eugene, Ore., Within a mile from his college stadium and with two brothers who doubled as his training partners in the off-season, Herbert tried try to recreate that cocoon in Southern California. Despite his $ 610,000 salary and $ 4.2 million in contract bonus, he shares a house with two other recruits, including one from the practice team. His diet hasn’t changed much either, still largely based on Subway sandwiches and Domino pizza.
What has changed, however, is Herbert’s growing roster of accomplishments and with it attention. Just don’t expect him to crow about it.
“I don’t think I’ve changed my game,” he said. “I think I’ve just grown and developed and I understand the game better.”