Fantasy Alert: Chargers' Offense to Run Through Justin Herbert, per HC Brandon Staley

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 4, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws a pass during an NFL football practice Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

New Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley is handing the offensive keys to Justin Herbert.

"I wanted our offense to run through Justin Herbert … I wanted him to make it work and I think that's what's been fun to sort of get started," Staley said on The Athletic Football Show.

Staley, who served as the Rams' offensive coordinator before crossing L.A. aisles, said he understands the importance of having a quarterback who can handle making adjustments at the line.

"I think that ultimately, those are the most dangerous quarterbacks you defend, where the quarterback becomes the system," Staley said. "Studying the great players that have played that position and guys I've looked up to from a coaching standpoint like Jimmy Johnson, Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Mike Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh; Bill Parcells, is a guy that since I was a little kid I've always admired, their quarterbacks have all played really, really well.

"And they've had continuity with their head coach and they've had continuity with their systems. I think that that's something a defensive coach can provide, and hopefully I can provide it to our team. Not just to Justin Herbert, but to our team, (provide) that other side, that extra education that hopefully can sort of complete their thinking and help us be the team we're capable of being."

Herbert had an ascendant rookie season, throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He was not given the type of autonomy Staley envisions under former coach Anthony Lynn, with former offensive coordinator Shane Steichen handling the plays. Steichen is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, so Herbert will be in a completely different system than the one he performed well with in 2020.

From a fantasy perspective, it's impossible to tell whether giving Herbert more responsibility will lead to an MVP-level triumph or cause him to take a step backward. It's all a matter of a quarterback's capability, and that varies from player to player.

Herbert's nonetheless safe to be drafted among the first 10 quarterbacks in 2021, regardless of his system.