Chargers HC Brandon Staley looking to leverage QB Justin Herbert’s mobility in 2023
With the 2023 NFL draft rapidly approaching next month, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has his eyes set on the future as he looks to shepherd his team to their first playoff victory since 2018.
But in his comments to the media on Wednesday, it wasn’t rookies that Staley was worried about. Rather, Staley seemed more concerned with how he might be able to better utilize quarterback Justin Herbert to make his offense a more formidable threat to opponents throughout the 2023 schedule.
When expounding on ways he could make the offense more dynamic in 2023, Staley told reporters that leveraging Herbert’s athleticism to move the pocket could provide Los Angeles a major edge. He pointed to the strategies new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore deployed as a member of the Cowboys last year with Dak Prescott under center, which Staley said were a prime example of what he was looking for next season.
“[Herbert’s mobility is] certainly a weapon we need to take advantage of,” Staley explained. “I think that’s been a hallmark of how they played in Dallas, was getting Dak [Prescott] on the move whether it’s under center, in the shotgun, changing the launch point, changing the timing and rhythm of the play to keep defenses guessing.
“I think it can access more parts of the field for you, I think it can protect your O-line, which is very important. That’s something that Kellen understands, as much as it’s about Justin, which it certainly is, it’s also about your O-line. These defenses nowadays, the rushers are so good you have a way to slow them down, oftentimes changing the launch point is one way to do it. We all know how good Justin is outside the pocket. Hopefully, we’ll be able to take more advantage of that.”
While Herbert likely won’t be mistaken for Lamar Jackson next season, his ability to present himself as an elusive threat on rollouts and in improvisational scenarios could put opposing pass rushers in the blender with the right game plans in place. His long stride and sneaky quickness are sure to vex defensive coordinators around the league over the course of the 2023 season if the Chargers’ coaching staff can do their part to put him in a position to execute properly, and if Staley’s comments on Wednesday were any indication, that’s exactly what his crew are intent on doing.