Chargers' Justin Herbert: 'I Think Anyone Should Aspire to Be Like Tom Brady'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 19, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert warms up before an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is setting his goals exceptionally high after winning Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. 

Speaking to SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, Herbert said he hopes to follow the career path of seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (0:22 mark):

SiriusXM NFL Radio @SiriusXMNFL

What can Justin Herbert improve on in his 2nd season? Why is he excited about the future in Los Angeles? Hear what the Offensive Rookie of The Year told us... @Chargers | #Chargers | #BoltUp https://t.co/5y6Bz267TD

The Chargers star is certainly on the right path. 

Here's how his first season as a full-time starter stacks up against Brady's:

  • Herbert (2020): 4,336 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 66.6 completion percentage, 98.3 passer rating
  • Brady (2001): 2,843 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 63.9 completion percentage, 86.5 passer rating

It is worth noting the league has become increasingly more focused on passing offenses over the last 20 years—a trend that no doubt was aided by Brady's dominance. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB has topped 4,000 passing yards in 12 seasons to date. 

Yet much like Brady early in his career, Herbert understands that he's still figuring out the game at the pro level. It's a process. And one he's wholly committed to. 

"I think I can keep learning about the game," Herbert said. "I think if I know more about defenses, coverages, pressures, all of that, I think that better helps our team. And I think if I can master the playbook and know exactly what we're doing, why we're doing it, so that when I get up to the line of scrimmage and I see a certain front, see a certain pressure, I'm able to get us into a great play."

He already knows which players to study as he works on his pre-snap routines. It's the same quarterback who ended the year lifting the Lombardi Trophy.