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Justin Herbert Finding Guidance in A Familiar Face


Being a rookie in 2020 is virtually – no pun intended – uncharted territory.

Whereas training camp would usually be a checked box in their offseason program schedule, it's become the first time they've gotten to take the field as members of their newest team.

For Justin Herbert, despite having no OTAs or minicamp, he did get an opportunity to work out with some of his teammates before camp began. But in order to further his development, he also turned to someone who came before him for advice on being a pro.

That person Herbert named was former Chargers and Oregon QB, Kellen Clemens.

"One of the guys that I actually ended up talking with was Kellen Clemens who played here a couple years ago," Herbert said. "He's one of those Oregon guys that has been so helpful and is a mentor of mine and I've really looked up to him. He had some great things to offer, a bunch of advice to give, so it was really good to speak with him."

As for that advice?

"He told me your career is never going to be always uphill," Herbert reflected. "There are going to be ups and downs and at the end of the day, you need to get better. You're going to make mistakes along the way. It's not about how high it gets or how low it gets. It's always about climbing back up and doing better the next day, and never letting your past mistakes affect your future. So he really helped me with that."

As a Duck alum and Oregon native and resident, Clemens had a front row seat to Herbert's college career. Back in the spring, he discussed what the Bolts were getting in the player now donning No. 10.

"I'm excited for the Chargers because I think they're getting a really good, solid player," Clemens said. "Obviously, he's got the size, he's got the athleticism. He's obviously smart enough when you look at his GPA. I'm excited for the Chargers because I think he's going to be a good fit.

"(Herbert) just does it the right way. You're never going to read his name in the papers for something like (if he) was out at 2:00 a.m. or in the wrong place at the wrong time. You're not going to do that with him. I've got a 10-year-old son, and when he starts to ask me, 'Dad, is this guy a good role model?' I'm trying to steer him in the direction of guys he can emulate both on the field and off the field. Justin was just one of those guys. You watch him in an interview, he's well-spoken. I still am in touch with people at the university and you ask (questions like,) what type of guy he is, is he a good leader? Is he a good teammate? How is he in the community? And Justin was unanimous and checked all the boxes of all of those (questions.)"

Herbert's taken the advice Clemens gave him to heart.

With camp now in full swing, he discussed the biggest thing he's learned so far and how it's a lesson he'll keep with him as his career progresses.

"Being a good quarterback does not come down to every single little play," Herbert said. "It's much bigger than that. It's always about putting your team in a position to win. You might throw an incompletion, you might throw an interception, but it's always about coming back on the next one and putting your team back in a position and making up for it and never getting down on a bad play or negative play. But it's always about limiting those and refocusing."

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