Chargers’ Jim Harbaugh Doesn’t Hold Back On Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert, Jim Harbaugh, Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh seems thrilled that he has Justin Herbert at quarterback heading into his inaugural campaign with the club.

While discussing Herbert this week, Harbaugh lauded the signal-caller for his athleticism.

“The conditioning test was another eye-opener,” Harbaugh said, via Grant Gordon of “Just when you think he can’t go another rung on the ladder of my esteem, anyway, he finds another one. He smashed the conditioning test last Thursday. I mean, crushed it, like out in front with people trying to keep up with him. To the point, the athleticism and strength, really, he could play tight end here. He could play edge rusher here.”

Obviously, Herbert isn’t going to be playing tight end, and he certainly isn’t going to be taking on the role of pass rusher. So, Harbaugh is embellishing a bit here.

The point is that Herbert is freakishly athletic and could be in for a big year in his first season under Harbaugh’s direction.

Can Justin Herbert Silence His Critics?

Herbert is unquestionably one of the most talented passers in football, but he has his fair share of critics, and to be honest, they have legitimate gripes with him.

The 26-year-old has been in the NFL for four years now, and he has gone just 30-32 as a starter. He has made one playoff appearance, which resulted in a Wild Card Round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. To make matters worse, Herbert and the Chargers held a 27-point lead in that game.

Of course, you can’t pin all of the blame on Herbert for Los Angeles’ lack of success. For example, the Chargers have been a rather poor defensive team for each of the last three years. However, because Herbert is the quarterback, he will take the brunt of it.

This past season, Herbert missed the final four games due to a finger injury. When he was on the field, he threw for 3,134 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 65.1 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 93.2 in what was probably his worst season to date.

To make matters worse for Herbert, Los Angeles subtracted four of its top offensive weapons this offseason. The Chargers traded wide receiver Keenan Allen, released fellow wide out Mike Williams and saw running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Gerald Everett walk via free agency.

We’ll see if Jim Harbaugh can bring the best out of Justin Herbert in 2024.

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