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Jim Harbaugh calls his performance coach Ben Herbert "the best I've ever seen"

The Chargers have started their offseason program, and the first phase of the program is largely the work of new Executive Director of Player Performance Ben Herbert.

Jim Harbaugh brought Herbert with him from Michigan, where Herbert was Harbaugh's strength coach, and gave him the fancy new title because Harbaugh believes Herbert is integral to what the Chargers are going to do.

"Ben Herbert is huge in this Phase One," Harbaugh said, via Chargers.com. "When I say baseline training, I say finding out where everybody is, where is their baseline, where they need improvement on. Just here to engage. One thing about Herb is you know he's going to be there every day and you know he's going to be ready to train guys and have the energy to train anybody that's there. There's nobody that combines the cutting edge, scientific, with the old-school discipline strength and conditioning coach like he does. He's the best I've ever seen or been around as a player or as a coach."

Herbert tells players that his goal is "making you harder to break" by strengthening the areas of the human body that are most stressed in football.

"We've been together going on six years. We're like that in terms of the philosophy, just doing anything and everything for the players," Harbaugh said. "That's the overarching thing, the way we see it. Getting good at football, making them the best version of themselves on and off the field. . . . We're trying to make that combination because you can train yourself to be better, stronger, more agile, more flexible, more lean, muscle mass, less fat. We've had a lot of similar ideas about football and bottom line, trying to get better at football."

Veteran tight end Hayden Hurst said after the first day of offseason work with the Chargers that he's never seen a strength coach do the kind of baseline testing that Herbert did on Day One, and that he's excited about Herbert's passion for helping players develop their bodies to avoid soft tissue injuries. A healthier Chargers team may be a better Chargers team under the leadership of Harbaugh and Herbert.