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10 Insights: What Are Joe Lombardi's Thoughts on Justin Herbert?


Here are 10 insights/quotes from this week's media availability with all three Chargers coordinators:

1) Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on Justin Herbert:

"He's very smart. He's very competitive. He’s a perfectionist. You can see why he was so successful last year. He wants to be great and he wants to do everything perfectly. I'm excited to keep moving forward in the process with him. He's fun to be around. I'm sure it's frustrating for him. He drops back, and then he just kind of holds the football because we're not throwing it. I can't wait to see him start letting it loose. This process is going to be very good in the long run, just as far as learning and everything. Looking forward to seeing him go full-speed."

2) Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill on the defense competing off the field:

"In the classroom, we're trying to create that. We use Kahoot! [game-based learning platform] a lot. We're trying to test their knowledge on what they retained from the day and see if they can spit it back at us. Those guys get competitive in those modes. It was amazing to just see after the first day we did it. We just did a test run on Chargers history, and at the end of that, [S] Derwin [James] was pissed. Right there, you just know that you have a competitive group. It doesn't matter if we were on the field or not; we try to put them in those competitive modes and you saw it on day one. Just to make note, so guys know, Nas has pretty much won all of them."

3) Chargers special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II on the rookies contributing on special teams:

"All of the rookies, from our number one pick — he's on field goal — to our undrafted guys, they've all been contributing on special teams so far and they've all been in all of the meetings and have been paying attention. Those guys, I think, because they've played it, there's some carry-over. I might say a term, and they might say, 'OK, that's what we said in college. [OLB] Chris Rumph, he's just like that. He played at Duke, so he's a high-level kid, but he can convert it. Those guys are converting it. [LB Ben] Niemann, he played at one of the top, I would say, schools for putting our special teams players; Iowa. You can see it in the drills. He's a one-rep guy; he doesn't need a lot of reps. All of the rookie class, they've really been good at absorbing the things that we've been putting in. I think that they can all contribute at some point."

4) Lombardi on Herbert learning new offensive systems:

"I think it shows that he has a lot of 'figure-it-out-iveness,' if that's a word. He's able to learn quickly and apply things quickly. He's done it over and over again. We're throwing a lot at him right now; not even so much offensively, but all of the looks that he's getting defensively. It's been a fast four days of practice. But, every day, I think that we all get a little bit better. You definitely see that intelligence, that instinctiveness and that work ethic that is going to lead a guy like that to be successful in some difficult circumstances."

5) Hill on safety Nasir Adderley:

"He's healthy. He's moving around. He asks great questions in the meeting. He's able to take the meeting to the field. You see a leadership role from him. He's taking control in the back end, making all the adjustment calls. We're happy where Nas is at right now and we're going to continue to put him in spots where he can express those things so that he can develop those things as we move forward."

6) Swinton II on players working to have a role on special teams:

"I come from a schoolteacher and I tell them this all the time: 'If you come to me with a question, make sure you're just not bringing me an apple. Make sure it's a specific question.'"

7) Lombardi on wide receiver Mike Williams:

"There's no reason why he cannot be majorly productive. I've been impressed with him mentally so far, getting lined up and knowing what to do. As much as this offense will resemble New Orleans, he plays the 'X' and the ball has always kind of found the 'X' receiver in this offense.

"… We have a lot of good players and we're going to try to use them all. How that ball production falls out at the end of the season, I'm not sure. I think everyone will be happy, as long as we're getting first downs and scoring points. I see a big role for him. If I were a betting man, I'd bet on nice numbers coming from him on the stat sheet, that's for sure."

8) Hill on rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.:

"When you know his background, you know he's been brought up the right way. He's been coached very well, whether that's been at high school or at the collegiate level, you can tell that from day one. He's eager to learn. He's always in [Secondary] Coach [Derrick] Ansley's hair and he's asking the right questions. You know what brings the excitement out when you watch Asante. He's an instinctive guy. I think he understands matchups. I think he's going to excel because we're going to allow him to see in this scheme, but he's everything you want from a guy stepping in from day one."

9) Lombardi on wide receiver Keenan Allen:

"Not a lot's going to change, as far as his production. He's such a talented guy. He's such a smart guy. He's such an instinctive receiver. There are so many different things that you can do with him, playing him in so many different roles. He can learn multiple positions. It's such a luxury, as a coach, to have a player that talented, that smart, with that much feel. He's going to be, obviously, to no one's surprise, a huge part of what we're doing here."

10) Hill on linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr.

"Obviously, you notice his athletic ability, his size. I think he has a great command at the linebacker position, but we want to put him into positions where he's using his skillset. He's able to run sideline to sideline and he's big enough to plug it up in the middle. We see that he's a flex guy. We want to try to use all those attributes to really get him going in this scheme."

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