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What Justin Herbert's Rookie Season Meant to Eugene


A trio of beat writers came together on "Chargers Weekly" last month to look back on Justin Herbert's record-setting rookie season. editor Rob Moseley, and The Athletic's Tyson Alger and Daniel Popper shared their favorite moments from the 2020 season, as well as what Herbert's performance meant to the city of Eugene, Ore., which is also the quarterback's hometown.

Moseley detailed the feelings among Ducks fans in Eugene when Herbert made his first start in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs:

"Well, I can only really speak to how people were connecting online, because obviously that happened in the midst of a pandemic. But, for those of us who are connected with Oregon, I think between the couple of games [former Ducks basketball star] Sabrina Ionescu played before her injury in the WNBA; between the game when Justin and Marcas Mariota both played together [in Week 15]; and then that game [in Week 2], that first game that Justin played, those were like three or four of the best days of the whole year given all the circumstances that were going on.

"There was more of a sense of community. We didn't get home games at Autzen Stadium. We haven't been getting basketball home games at Matthew Knight Arena. We haven't had these chances to connect in person. So, those three or four days were the best sense of connection that Oregon fans, generally speaking, got together – to just come together and cheer and be happy and just kind of immerse yourself in being a fan and kind of block out all the other circumstances, all the other craziness of 2020.

"… It was one of the most pure, fun sports days of the whole year, without a doubt. And in a year when some pretty good things happened for Oregon athletics, starting off with the Rose Bowl and both basketball teams won conference championships. But it was absolutely a day that stands out more than almost any other in the calendar year."

Listen to the full episode on or wherever you listen to podcasts.

In recent years the Bolts have found a wealth of talent in the pre-draft process at the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Take a look at some current Chargers then and now.

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