The Chargers got on the field for the start of Phase Three of the offseason program on Monday and that gave head coach Brandon Staley a chance to watch quarterback Justin Herbert at the helm of the offense that coordinator Joe Lombardi has been installing this offseason.
Herbert called that change “a great opportunity to learn” after Lombardi was hired earlier this year and Staley’s comments suggest that the learning curve has not been an overly daunting one for the 2020 first-round pick.
“Justin’s a big part of the operation in terms of his command in and out of the huddle and I think that’s going to be a hallmark of how we play . . . I thought he was really impressive,” Staley said, via the team’s website. “There was one [play] in particular that I felt like really demonstrates that he’s got the capacity that you guys are all aware of from an identification standpoint of something we do defensively that we feel like is tough to pick up, and he picked it up practice No. 1. He’s off and running.”
There’s a big difference between the first day of OTAs and full-speed, full-contact football, so neither Herbert nor the offense as a whole is a finished product at this point. It’s a good starting point for the journey to that point, though, and last year’s performance should give Staley, Lombardi, and everyone else confidence that Herbert will hold up his end of things.