COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Despite being the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year and making his first Pro Bowl last season, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert still he has room to improve before he starts his third season.
Herbert has focused on his footwork. There he put his attention on his show between seasons. And he has remained focused on that during the first week of training camp.
“I think I want to improve all the steps that are in the plays — three steps, five steps, seven steps — and be more fluid in the progressions,” Herbert said. “I’m still living the part of being young in the NFL. I have a lot to learn, but I can also improve a lot, I hope.”
Improving his footwork has been Herbert’s priority since he began preparing for the draft.
But last season he put that mission on the back burner as he caught up with coach Brandon Staley, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day.
Now that he’s more comfortable with the offense, Herbert has begun to focus more on his footwork.
Day — who is also the Chargers’ passing game coordinator — noted his improvement from training camp last year to preseason workouts.
“The evolution of the footwork has been great,” Day said. “The second year is when you already dominate the offense and you can focus on the fundamentals. It is working on the progression of what is best and knowing what his body does best, because he is a great quarterback. And then find a way to implement everything as we go along.”
The learning curve of how to operate center for Herbert is part of the process almost every quarterback has to go through when they come to the NFL, since almost every high school and college program operates a shotgun offense.
The learning curve can be steep and usually starts in the process before the draft and scouting combine.
Even while trying to get up to speed with the new offense, Herbert was one of the best quarterbacks last season. He tied Tom Brady with Tampa Bay for most games of at least 300 yards (9), was second in completions (443) and yards thrown (5,104) and third in touchdown passes with 38.
Herbert also has the most completions, passing yards, touchdown passes and total touchdowns in his first two seasons.