Herbert’s rookie campaign was an anomaly with how bad the offensive line played at times. Bottom line, rookies don’t usually do what Herbert just did. To think he didn’t even have a full offseason due to Covid restrictions, he went toe-to-toe with the Champ in his first career start. Mahomes actually needed a 4th quarter comeback and OT to beat the young Herbie. Obviously, we know about the countless QB Records he just broke. Had he played week 1 he would hold the Rookie yards record, finishing less than 50 yards short of Andrew Luck with 1 less game. General Manager Tom Telesco knows what needs to be done and that’s to protect the future. The Chargers have added some ‘Hogs’ up front to protect Herbert. Hogs with experience I might add.
Herbert was sacked 32 times his rookie year. Linsley is coming off his best season in the NFL, earning All-Pro honors. In addition to Linsley, Telesco brought in Matt Feiler to a 3 year, $21 Million deal. Feiler’s versatility make him a very solid pickup. In 2019 he was the starting left tackle for the Steelers and last year he moved to left guard. Staley will probably use him on the inside with the Chargers. The 3rd Offensive Linemen brought in by Telesco is Oday Aboushi who Head Coach Brandon Staley is very high on. Linsley, Feiler, and Aboushi have combined for 181 NFL starts. Throw the Left Tackle Bryan Bulaga, who has started 121 games between the Packers and Chargers, and this O-Line can be very stingy. All eyes will be on the Number 13 pick in the Draft. They’ll most likely address the Left Tackle and the guy responsible for protecting Herbert’s blind side for the next decade, we hope. Will it be Rashawn Slater from Northwestern or Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech? Or will Herbert’s former teammate Penei Sewell slip to 13? We’ll see!
In his first season a lot of his plays were made with his legs. Herbert extended so many plays with pure athleticism. Forced to make so many quick decisions. Most of them worked out because he’s got an absolute missile for an arm. But, what if Herbert had a chance to stand up in the pocket to wait for Mike Williams to beat his man in single coverage? Or giving Keenan Allen, the NFL’s best route-runner, a few more seconds? The Chargers also have two very fast Wide Receivers with Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson.
The talent level at the QB position in the AFC is remarkable. To find a franchise Quarterback in this league is easier said than done. Look at the Browns, who finally have their man, the Dolphins, who might have their man. Both Organizations went decades without having a ‘face of the franchise’ type of guy. For the Chargers, Rivers stepped in for Brees and Herbert stepped in for Rivers immediately. Unfortunately, the Chargers have let great quarterback play be overshadowed by colossal 4th quarter meltdowns!