Last year, the Patriots went to L.A. and dismantled the Chargers and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, 45-0. As the Patriots prepare to return to SoFi Stadium to face the Chargers and Herbert again, New England coach Bill Belichick has high praise for Herbert.
“He’s really good,” Belichick told reporters on Monday. “I thought he was outstanding [in college]. He just really had everything you’re looking for. He’s very athletic. Good arm. A lot of poise. Played well in Oregon. Just a number of big plays. All the passes. All the throws, but extended plays, scrambles, could run the read-zone and all that.
“He’s as good a quarterback as I’ve seen come out here in quite a while, especially as it fits the pro game. I don’t think you’re going to find too many better than him. This guy is really an impressive player. I thought he was really good when we played them last year, and, luckily, we had a pretty good day, but I’m not counting on that again. I have a ton of respect for him. I think he’s going to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league for a long time to come.”
Although Belichick surely won’t say what comes next, I will. He has to be very glad that the Dolphins took Tua Tagovailoa over Herbert with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft.
It would be interesting to know whether Belichick would rather face Herbert twice per year in the division or, as it may happen as soon as this week, Deshaun Watson.