Justin Herbert “fired up” to play for Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh

The Sporting Tribune's Fernando Ramirez writes that Justin Herbert is excited about teaming up with Jim Harbaugh.

LOS ANGELES — There has been excitement around the NFL as Jim Harbaugh has returned as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The talk around the NFL is about the team-up between Harbaugh and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Chargers quarterback’s first reaction over his new head coach on former teammate Chase Daniel’s podcast was “Chasin’ It With Chase Daniel & Trey Wingo.”

“Fired up,” Herbert said. 

Daniel said on the podcast that when the news first came out, he texted Herbert and told him he should be excited.

Herbert has never had a head coach like Harbaugh. 

“He’s done such a great job at the NFL level college level,” Herbert said. “He’s had success wherever he goes, and he’s a competitor. He wants to win and I’m really excited play for him.”

Consistent success is something that the Chargers haven’t had since the late 2000s. 

In 2022, they made the playoffs but lost a 27-0 lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last season was even worse after a 63-21 blowout loss to the Raiders, head coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco were fired.

Herbert had injuries to both hands while the team spiraled and finished with a 5-12 record.

“It’s one of those things, we have to be better,” Herbert said. “We have to learn from those mistakes and sometimes you have to go through things like that to know better and to learn and to grow from that.”

That is when owner Dean Spanos set out to hire Harbaugh, the most significant coaching hire since Marty Schottenheimer.

Harbaugh set out to hire an Avengers style coaching staff, which he did. He also hired a quarterback coach that was very familiar with his quarterback, Shane Day.

“Shane has been one of my favorite coaches of all time,” Herbert said. 

During the two seasons under Day, Herbert had his most successful seasons, throwing for 9753 yards, 63 touchdowns, and completing 67% of his passes.

“His understanding of the game, the way he treats that quarterback room, the way he gets his prepared,” Herbert said. “He’s a true professional and you can kind of talk to that as well, how prepared he is each week and how much he understands about the game. He’s an incredible person too. So to have a guy like that in your corner to fight for you, and to teach you and to help you grow.”

There are some question marks regarding the roster, as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joey Bosa, and Khalil Mack are set to make over $30 million each, with the Chargers being a little north of $25 million over the cap.

Obviously, those decisions are on GM Joe Hortiz and Harbaugh, but Allen has been Herbert’s most important teammate. Their connection has been that of a healthy marriage.

In 13 games this season, Allen had 108 catches, 1243 yards, and seven touchdowns. 

“He hasn’t dropped off at all, and to have a guy like that who’s so friendly to the quarterback that understands defensive leverage, how to attack it, where to get open, he really understands a soft spot just sit down and zone and to have a guy like that it makes my job so much easier,” Herbert said about Allen.

Herbert knows what it is like not to have Allen in the lineup, as he missed seven games in 2022 with a hamstring injury while Herbert was dealing with a rib injury. 

The hiring has Herbert excited, which he should because the Chargers quarterback hasn’t had great coaching so far. Harbaugh has unfinished business in the NFL, while Herbert has a hunger to win and win consistently.

Harbaugh has brought in his quarterback coach, now he has to find a way to keep his go-to receiver. 

“He’s definitely one of the most underrated receivers that I’ve ever been played with,” Herbert said. “I think he’s the top guy is going to be Hall of Famer, and it’s a true honor to play next to him.”