Justin Herbert Hasn't Taken "A Single Snap" With The First-Team Offense

Despite taking Justin Herbert sixth in the NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers' QB job is "definitely Tyrod Taylor's to lose"

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
September 01, 2020 - 9:47 am
Justin Herbert Chargers

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Despite drafting Justin Herbert with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers have insisted that the rookie quarterback will back up Tyrod Taylor this season.

Anthony Lynn, to his credit, hasn’t allowed that decision to become a distraction.

“It hasn’t really become a story because Anthony Lynn has always said it’s going to be Tyrod Taylor as the starter, and that’s been the case throughout training camp,” Orange Country Register Chargers writer Gilbert Manzano said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Every time the first-team offense is out there, it’s always Tyrod Taylor. Justin Herbert hasn’t received a single snap with the first team, so that kind of tells you it’s not really a quarterback competition. It’s about letting Herbert develop for the future and be ready for 2021 or whenever his time is ready – or even this year. Who knows what happens with such a chaotic season? But it’s definitely Tyrod Taylor’s job to lose.”

Taylor, 31, hasn’t been atop a depth chart since 2018, when he started three games for the Cleveland Browns before getting replaced by Baker Mayfield. Taylor appeared in eight games for the Chargers last season but attempted just six passes.

Herbert, meanwhile, has looked great in camp – at least when the defense isn’t on the field.

“I think [the Chargers] have the right approach,” Manzano said. “Justin Herbert is one of those guys, when it comes to throwing sessions and drills, he looks fantastic. He has a strong arm, he’s a big guy, everything seems so smooth and fluid, good mechanics, good motion. But then we saw when it comes to scrimmages and 11-on-11 and you’re facing the starers with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and Casey Hayward and Chris Harris and, at one point, Derwin James – when his second-team offense is facing the first-team defense, he didn’t do too well. It was kind of like a deer in the headlights. They were attacking him a lot with a lot of blitzes. 

“But I think the coaches wanted that,” Manzano continued. “They want to throw a lot of pressure, throw the kitchen sink at Justin Herbert. That way he’s kind of ready early on. He has a lot to learn. But I think with these early challenges and these early tests, it’ll help him in the long run.”

The Chargers open the season on the road against Cincinnati on Sept. 13. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m. ET.