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5 Takeaways: How Justin Herbert Views the Future of the Chargers


Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert spoke to reporters Monday morning as the Bolts cleaned out their lockers.

Here are five takeaways from Herbert's postseason media availability:

1. Input from QB1?

The Chargers are looking for a new head coach and general manager after making front office changes in mid-December.

Herbert said Monday that the turnover at the top was a "really tough situation" after the Bolts Week 15 loss.

But with a fresh start on the horizon, Herbert said there's a chance he is in contact with the Spanos family going forward.

Herbert said he is willing to offer his own input however he can to make sure the Chargers get both hires right in the coming weeks.

"I know that they're working on that and we have complete faith and trust in the front office to do their job and they've done a great job so far," Herbert said. "Hopefully I'm able to talk with them and offer whatever advice I have.

"Having been in the league for four years, I hope that I'm getting better with understanding and seeing things the way they are," Herbert added.

Herbert, the unquestioned face of the Chargers franchise, signed a multi-year contract extension in late July that ties him to the Bolts for years to come.

And he knows there's a certain status that comes with being the leader of the Bolts on and off the field.

"They have been great with me so far over the past four years and I'll continue to do my best at quarterback," Herbert said. "I understand that's my position and that's my role and with it come other responsibilities."

Overall, Herbert said Monday he has complete faith in the Chargers ownership group going forward.

But he won't be afraid to offer his two cents to the conversation if needed.

"We've got complete trust in them and if they came to me and they needed my viewpoint, my perspective, I'd love to offer it," Herbert said. "But like I said, I believe in them. They've done such a great job taking care of us as players.

"We believe in them and however they handle this process, we're going to be here and we're going to do everything we can to support them 100 percent," Herbert added.

2. A quick turnaround?

The Chargers finished the season with a 5-12 record and currently hold the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Herbert said Monday that the Bolts season was simply a disappointment.

"We have to be better and we have to be honest with ourselves watching this film," Herbert said. "That's one of the good things about having that time [this offseason], we can really be honest with each other.

"We know that we got the right guys in here to be able to work together and make this thing go, but it's on us to be better because of it," Herbert added.

Eventually, the Bolts will hire a new head coach and general manager, and that group will shape the roster however they see fit.

But Herbert also made it clear Monday that he doesn't view the state of the Chargers roster as some long-term rebuild.

"I think you're able to see that in a year or two. That's our hope for this place," Herbert said of a timeline on a turnaround. "We know it wasn't good enough this year and that's on us as players. There's things we need to address and get better at.

"But there are the right guys and the right mindset here," Herbert added. "We have to fix little things but I'm really looking forward to what we're able to do this offseason and getting back to it."

3. How's his finger?

Herbert suffered a pair of finger injuries during the 2023 season.

He sustained a fractured finger on his left hand in Week 4 but played through the injury. But a fractured finger on his throwing hand in Week 14 against the Broncos effectively ended his season.

Herbert said Monday that he tried his best to actually return against Denver on December 10.

"When I went back into the locker room I threw a couple of footballs trying to grip it and I just couldn't move that finger at all," Herbert said. "I ended up just doing my best for those two, three throws and I unfortunately couldn't throw.

"So, they were recommending that I sit out," Herbert added. "I got the surgery a couple days after we got it cleaned up."

Herbert said there wasn't much discussion after doctors recommended surgery.

"I was told that I needed it," Herbert said. "I was told to have a normal, functioning finger I needed to have the surgery."

Herbert's disappointment of missing the Chargers final games of the season was evident on his face.

"It hurts not being able to play," Herbert said. "That's the toughest part of going out there and seeing your teammates, guys you've battled with all year and not being able to do what you'd like to do for them, to go out and play.

"I think it's awesome to see the way they fought and the way they battled and came together for these last couple of weeks," Herbert continued. "It could've been real easy for a lot of them to shut it down and quit, but these guys stuck together.

"It was awesome watching [Easton] Stick go out there and play and battle and compete. I thought he did a great job stepping in," Herbert added. "There are obviously things we can do better, but watching them fight and compete, I gained a new appreciation for that."

4. Any offseason limitations?

A year ago, Herbert underwent offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. That procedure sidelined him for the early part of Organized Team Activities.

Herbert said Monday that he won't need any offseason surgeries this time around, whether that's on his fingers or anywhere else on his body.

"No [offseason procedures]," Herbert said. "Never ended up getting one on the left hand, that one healed up pretty well so I'm hoping that one will check out.

"I know I'll get that one [left hand] checked out when I go back up to [the doctor] too, but that one turned out pretty well, too," Herbert added.

Herbert sounded optimistic Monday that he'll have a normal offseason.

"I think that's kind of the goal, get that thing [right finger] better, make sure we're good to go and as soon as we are, it's a normal offseason hopefully this year," Herbert said.

Does Herbert have a timeline of when he could start throwing again?

"I would assume maybe a month or so," Herbert said. "Just doing everything I can to make sure the bone is healed up. We've done a good job in the treatment room so I'm sure that's something in the next couple of weeks we'll re-address."

5. Another OC change?

Herbert underwent multiple offensive coordinator changes while in college at Oregon.

It's been a similar story with the Chargers, as Kellen Moore was the third offensive play caller in his helmet in four seasons.

Herbert on Monday talked about what another possible OC change would mean to him.

"It's a tough situation and I think Kellen has done such a great job," Herbert said. "I wish that we could've done more for him, and that's the tough part about playing football, but I really believe in Kellen, I believe in these guys.

"I know that the front office, like I said, they're going to do everything they can to make this thing right," Herbert added. "We got 100 percent faith in them and whatever route they end up going, we're going to be with them all the way."

Herbert noted that changes on a coaching staff are something most players deal with across the NFL.

"It's football, it's part of the job," Herbert said. "That's up to us to be able to figure that out and keep going with it."

He later expanded on making adjustments to a new OC, noting how he adapted while at Oregon and ended his senior season on a high note.

"Experiences like that are always helpful. You can look at it two ways: it can hurt you or you can learn from it," Herbert said. "I think having gone through that, we had a great group of guys in that locker room that stuck together.

"It could have gone much worse but us for us stick together and ride that throughout … we ended up winning a Rose Bowl our senior year and that was huge," Herbert added. "That's just part of the game of being a professional and going about your business. It's up to us to understand the playbook, it's up to us to go through it and make sure we're dialed into it."

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