It’s been a long time, but Drew Brees was back in the building.
Technically, it’s a different set of four walls, since the franchise has relocated up the California coast since he last played for it. But Brees was on hand at the Chargers facility Wednesday for Los Angeles’ minicamp practice as a part of his transition into broadcasting.
Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reported an NBC Sports crew was also there for a mock production meeting.
Aside from being a starting quarterback for the franchise, Brees’ former position coach in New Orleans, Joe Lombardi, is now the Chargers’ offensive coordinator. And Lombardi’s biggest job in the coming season is continuing the development of 2020 offensive rookie of the year, quarterback Justin Herbert.
Brees said that while he hasn’t spent that much time around Herbert, he’s come away “really impressed” with the young QB.
“There’s no doubt, I think his physical tools are as good as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Brees said, via Fernando Ramirez of SI.com. “By all accounts, he’s a great worker. He’s got great leadership qualities, he’s got a lot of intangibles. So I think the sky is the limit for a guy like him.
“I love the fact that he’s in this offense with Joe Lombardi. Lombardi comes from the New Orleans Saints, was my quarterbacks coach for almost all 15 years there. So I think he brings a ton of knowledge and experience — not only coaching quarterbacks but also within the system that we ran. And I think he’ll be able to tailor-make that for Justin’s skills, and obviously the tools and weapons that he has around him.”
Herbert threw for 4,336 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year. Though tight end Hunter Henry departed in free agency, the Chargers signed Jared Cook to play alongside top receiving weapons Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.