Chargers WR Quentin Johnston reflects on rookie season, eyes breakout sophomore campaign

Chargers wide receiver Quentin Johnston is coming off his rookie season. A season in which he finished with 38 catches for 417 yards and two touchdowns.

Johnston recently spoke with Chargers Wire’s Gavino Borquez to talk about the opportunity where he and two other first-year players are inviting cruisers to score an unforgettable vacation getaway as well as his rookie campaign and what to expect in Year 2.

CW: Can you tell us about your partnership with Pepsi Zero Sugar and Carnival Cruise Line?

QJ: I’m excited to be partnering with Pepsi Zero Sugar and Carnival Cruise to kick off my rookie season. We are giving first-time cruisers a chance to set sail.

CW: How do fans enter for a chance to win the “Board a Rookie. Return a Pro.” Sweepstakes?

QJ: They can win the sweepstakes by visiting

CW: You’re now removed from your rookie season. Reflect on your first year in the pros.

QJ: Yeah, you know, everybody’s first season is kind of unexpected in a way just because this is the longest season. I thought my last college season was long just because we went to the playoffs and everything. But by the time that was over, we were still having NFL games, so a great learning experience with some great guys. Being on the field and then in the actual meeting room with Keenan. Guys like Mike. You know, day in and day out. It helped me elevate my game and just my mental knowledge of the game of football altogether.

CW: It seemed like you faced a lot of pressure, like most first-round picks do. But I believe expectations regarding rookies need to be tempered. What do you tell people that are that way? What are you looking to improve and what do you feel like you had a lot of success in your rookie season?

QJ: Just tell them once you’re drafted, you’re drafted. It doesn’t really matter where you get drafted you’re on the team and just be patient. I feel like a lot of rookies have different experiences and from my experience, it’s still football. But from college to the NFL, that’s a few levels up. Stuff like that takes time to get used to. I feel like, at this point, I have a full season under my belt. Starting to train with real professional guys day in and day out. Next season I feel like it will be more of my breakout season, and I’m very excited about it.

CW: Who would you say that you were the closest with and what was the best advice given?

QJ: Keenan Allen, for sure. On the field, you know he’s a great route runner. So just watching him come in and out of his breaks, especially starting camp. Just watching him and he’s doing it at a high level. He’d put me to the side and just start showing me how to tempo through certain routes and stuff like that. Off the field, stuff like film study, how to develop a routine when you’re away from the field so you can come back and refresh and have everything that you need to put your best foot forward the next day.

CW: How about former Chargers wide receiver coach Chris Beatty? He’s with the Bears now. He was your first positional coach in the NFL. What did you learn from him? What did he teach you? And what can you say about Chris?

QJ: Coach Beatty was a pretty good coach. He was my first NFL coach. That was a great experience with him. He’s been with a lot of teams and has coached a lot of good guys that I looked up to growing up. Guys like Tavon Austin. He would just tell me how those guys developed through the years and how I can develop, where he sees me at different points in the season. Hard coaching to set me up for this season coming up here, so I appreciate him for that.

CW: You’re having one of the most prestigious coaches in Jim Harbaugh coming in. I think people forget that you had a really good game against Michigan in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl, too. 6 catches, 163 yards and a touchdown. What can you say about Jim? What are you looking forward to?

QJ: Very, very excited to have him. He actually shot me a text a few days after he got the job, and then a day or two after that, we got on the phone and had a cool little conversation about everything. We did talk about that Michigan game when we played them. So that was that was a pretty fun conversation. He wasn’t too happy about that. But I’m excited for him coming off this success he’s been having and we’re going to do everything we can to make that translate for him and for us to the next level.

CW: What can fans expect from you in Year 2?

QJ: I have a full year under my belt. I will continue to listen and learn from the other guys in the wide receiver room. Continue to master my craft. So I can guarantee this will be my breakout season and I’m just going to have fun while I’m doing it.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire