Connect with us


Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp Day 1: Herbert is Here to Stay!

Image: Jake Piccuito

It is that time of year once again! Los Angeles Chargers minicamp has begun! Day 1 of training camp is in the books, and there is a lot to talk about. From a massive extension to new faces, I take a look at what my biggest takeaways were from day one of the Chargers minicamp.

 Justin Herbert Locked Up for the Long-Term

One day before the start of the Chargers minicamp, Justin Herbert signed an extension that makes him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Herbert signed a five-year $262.5 million extension with $218.7 million fully guaranteed. Though it is more than Lamar Jackson‘s extension, I don’t believe it will be for long. Joe Burrow, whose extension will most likely eclipse Herbert’s, will probably be set to make $55-$60 million a year. However, I believe this extension is well-deserved.

I know people will argue that Herbert hasn’t won an MVP, won a Super Bowl, or even made a Super Bowl, and yet he is making more than any quarterback that has done those things. These are valid points, but they forget one thing. In the modern NFL, the success of teams hinges significantly on the exceptional abilities of their quarterbacks. Herbert has proven to be an exceptional quarterback even with injuries to offensive protection and weapons. In his first three NFL seasons, Justin Herbert has the most passing yards (14,089), most 300-yard passing games (22), and second most passing touchdowns (22) in NFL history ( This success was all done in the absence of a healthy offensive line and a lack of offensive weapons. Imagine what Herbert can do when those aspects are healthy and firing on all cylinders.

This year, with a healthy offensive line, young superstar Quentin Johnston, and a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore the stars are aligning for Herbert to take another massive leap forward and bring the Chargers to the promise land.

Are the Offensive Line Woes behind the Chargers?

This time last year the Chargers offensive line was undergoing all sorts of shuffling. There was uncertainty at right tackle, with Trey Pipkins III and Storm Norton rotating, ultimately Trey Pipkins III won the starting job. This year the line seems to be set. Going down the line starting at left tackle there is Rashawn Slater, left guard Zion Johnson, center Corey Linsley, right guard Jamaree Salyer, and right tackle Trey Pipkins III. The Chargers can avoid a major headache since they have established their offensive line and it eliminates any uncertainties.

I’ll need to observe the backups, especially in a padded session, before voicing any concerns about potential replacements. Salyer is a perfect example. His true potential wasn’t realized until injuries occurred. He certainly made the most of the opportunity he was given and now has solidified himself as a starter. I can say that from today I did not see any major issues with the backups techniques. Again, more can be said once they start really hitting each other in pads.

J.C. Jackson and the Defense

Another part of the team that’s full potential won’t be on display until the padded session, the defense looked to be flowing smoothly with their assignments. J.C. Jackson was a full participant on the first day of camp. He was even pumping up the crown as they chanted his name. The defense was flowing to the ball and not allowing anything easy for Herbert and the offense. In the 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions, the cornerbacks were holding their own against the starting and backup wide receivers. Jackson was at full speed and did not display any hindrance in cutting, running, or making a play on the ball. Jackson looked like his old competitive self. Again, I believe we will see what the defense is made of once the pads are put on. That is where the boys are separated from the men and players can set themselves apart.

Quentin Johnston Leads the Rookies

Quentin Johnston was showing why the Chargers made him a first-round draft pick. Though he only had a few catches, Johnston was finishing his routes and even making an effort to throw a block downfield. Johnston’s speed was on display and even seemed to have worked on his reaching to the ball on catches. A great sign for a talented young wide receiver.

The Chargers’ second-round pick, Tuli Tuipulotu worked with the second-team defense. Tuipulotu is one of the players I have to watch in this upcoming camp. There is a huge hole to be filled with the departure of Drue Tranquill, the teams leading tackler, who left for Kansas City this past offseason. Though it is believed that Kenneth Murray Jr. or recent free agent signing Eric Kendricks will fill this hole, don’t be surprised if Tuipulotu finds a way to meet the team’s needs.

What to Keep an Eye On

There are two major things Charger fans should keep an eye on, the push that the defensive line can generate and how the offense performs under Kellen Moore. Last year the Chargers’ defense, according to Pro Football Focus, was tied for the 27th-best defense in football. That is unacceptable given the star power this defense has. The player’s health was a major contributor to this result. Like any team, the Chargers must prioritize player health in order to realize the full potential of this stacked defense.

With Moore taking over play-calling duties, the Chargers 18th ranked offense should be much improved. Again, health was a major factor. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both need to be on the field consistently. Quentin Johnson should be a great contributor especially if health becomes an issue again at the wide receiver position.

I look forward to keeping you all posted 
on the day-to-day for Chargers Minicamp. 
Keep checking for
more sports articles and go to 
this link to keep up with my 
coverage during Chargers Minicamp.
Also, please follow me 
@PiccuitoSpace on Twitter. 
All pictures were taken by me!


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features