Changing coordinators isn’t anything new for Justin Herbert

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Justin Herbert has seen this movie before.

In his second season as a Los Angeles Charger and as a professional football player, the former Oregon quarterback is going to have to learn an entirely new system.

Usually, this means bad news for young signal-callers in the NFL. It’s difficult enough to come in from college and learn a playbook that’s probably three times as big. But then to have to learn yet another playbook so quickly in one’s career sometimes means the end of that career.

NFL.com columnist Jim Trotter used former Cleveland Browns head coach Bruce Arians and his new quarterback Tim Couch as an example of how is can all go wrong.

Arians had spent the previous three seasons as quarterbacks coach in Indianapolis, where he helped Peyton Manning develop into one of the game’s top young stars. There was no expectation he would make Couch the next Manning, but there was hope he would transform the former University of Kentucky star into an efficient performer who, at times, could lift those around him.

Problem was, the damage had already been done. There had been too many failures, too many absorbed hits on sacks and pressures and too many voices in Couch’s ears.

Arians was Couch’s third offensive coordinator in three seasons and the former Kentucky superstar didn’t last long after that.

Herbert’s career trajectory most likely will not end up like Couch’s because changing coordinators should be old hat for him. He went from Matt Lubick as a freshman to Marcus Arroyo and Mario Cristobal as a sophomore to just Arroyo as a junior and senior. That’s three coordinators in four seasons and it worked out.

So going from Shane Steichen to Joe Lombardi in Los Angeles shouldn’t be that big of a deal. What will be a bigger deal is that the Chargers find some protection for Herbert up front, which to their credit, it seems like finding offensive linemen is a priority with draft picks Rashawn Slater from Northwestern and Nebraska’s Brendan Jaimes.

Only if Tim Couch had been so lucky.