COSTA MESA – Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert doesn’t have a Twitter account because he doesn’t want to lose focus on his soccer responsibilities, but he occasionally updates his Instagram profile.
The star rookie posted updates on Tuesday from a brisket cooked on his Traeger grill to celebrate the Chargers’ victory against the New York Jets last week. Herbert called it a “victory breast” and said it would be a tradition after every Chargers victory.
It was his first successful time cooking a brisket. He had not finished cooking after the Chargers’ victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7 due to fire evacuation orders near Irvine.
“It was pretty good,” Herbert said Wednesday. “It was a good win and I look forward to having more in the future.”
Herbert doesn’t mind sharing updates on his hobbies, but he’s not on Instagram to scroll through photos detailing the many milestones he’s achieved in his rookie season.
To name a few, Herbert is the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to have played five games with at least three passing touchdowns in a season. He set a rookie record for most passing yards in a first half with 277 against the Jets, and extended his rookie record to seven consecutive games for multi-touchdown appearances.
Herbert is on track to break NFL rookie records for touchdown passes (27), completions (379) and passing yards (4,374) in a season held by Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz and Andrew Luck respectively. Herbert has 22 touchdown passes, 238 completions and 2,699 passing yards in nine games this season.
“Unfortunately I didn’t spend too much time online looking at those things,” Herbert said of his rookie records. “I think we’ve concentrated pretty well on what’s going on in this building. Staying focused on the game plan, our opponent, things like that. But I think it’s a sign of all the hard work we’ve put in as a team, so any achievement that an individual achieves I think is a reflection of the whole unit. ”
Herbert is on track to take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award along with many other weekly sponsored awards. He has won the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week vote six times and has just received the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week award for his performance against the Jets.
But Herbert’s teammates didn’t need the accolades and records to know they’ve found their star quarterback of the future.
Chargers tight at the end of Hunter Henry recalled nudging teammates in awe during training camp after Herbert’s impressive completion on the field with speed and power.
“We got a lot of glimpses during camp,” said Henry when he realized Herbert was a franchise quarterback. ‘I was like’ goodness gracious’. … I was like, ‘Wow. Not many guys can make that throw. And he keeps doing it throughout the week, even in practice.
‘I always watch some guys. I’m like, ‘There aren’t a lot of guys making that throw.’ He is a special talent. He’s only getting better. ”
Henry said Herbert is getting better at the line of scrimmage by putting players in the right places after reading defenses and making audibles.
“Even the little things that people don’t notice, he’s getting better,” said Henry. “It’s a lot that people don’t really realize; change the game, see the defense, see the protections roll down, see the cover.
“Maybe they bring something that we didn’t expect in that piece and they get us out of it. There are many instances that people don’t even know are happening in games. He’s doing a fantastic job. ”
Herbert has become so comfortable that coaches allow him to commit an offense, something he did heavily during his four collegiate years in Oregon. The Chargers did not go against the Jets.
Charger’s wide receiver Mike Williams said Herbert was very boisterous to the Jets and was impressed with how collected he was while running the no-huddle. Herbert threw for 366 yards, three touchdowns and had no turnover. Herbert and Williams connected for a touchdown from 39 yards.
“It’s crazy,” Williams said of Herbert’s improvements. “And it gets better every game and every year.”
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has benefited most from Herbert’s historic rookie season. Allen saw 19 goals against the Jets and set a franchise single-game record with 16 catches.
Allen has 81 catches, 835 receiving yards and six touchdowns this season.
“Thanks, Herbie,” Allen joked about his many goals last week. ‘It has been special. He is a special player. He has made a number of special plays. … He evolves into a great player. ”
Herbert makes drastic improvements on the field, but he takes baby steps with his grilling skills.
He was surprised how good his first “victory breast” turned out. His roommates and teammates Gabe Nabers and Nate Gilliam had the luxury of sampling the juicy meat.
“I was pretty surprised and I think the people who ate it were pretty surprised too,” said Herbert. “This was something surprising that I did.”
It started as a surprise how well Herbert played his rookie season, but it has become routine after nine starts.
BOSA DOES NOT AGREE
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa understands why he was flagged for rocking the passer against the Jets in the fourth quarter, but he doesn’t agree with the rule.
Defenders are not allowed to master quarterbacks. But Bosa said there was nothing he could have done in that situation other than wrap Joe Flacco by the legs.
‘I don’t know what to do about it. It’s the call, so I’ll have to try not to take it, ”Bosa said jokingly on Thursday. ‘But when I go down it’s literally the only thing I can do. I could try to wipe his leg and throw my shoulder out and he just steps on my arm and runs right past me.
‘But I do not know. It’s a bit ridiculous. Obviously you don’t want to hurt or take the guys legs out, but I thought I took him down well and rolled away. I have not played. I have not done anything like that. But the rule is if you master him, you can’t do that, so you have to sweep his leg somehow or something ridiculous. ”
Defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee), cornerback Casey Hayward (groin) and pass rusher Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder / chest) did not train for the second consecutive day this week.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga did not practice on Thursday and was listed with a knee injury and for a non-injury-related reason. Kalen Ballage (ankle / calf) walkback was limited for a second consecutive workout.