Pep Hamilton getting to know Justin Herbert, and what he knows

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Pep Hamilton hasn’t met Justin Herbert in person yet, but he senses he’s dealing with something familiar.

The new Chargers quarterbacks coach told Jim Trotter of NFL Network that having coached Andrew Luck as a rookie with the Colts, that it’s important to set certain limits on a first-rounder.

“One of the things I learned from that experience was, sometimes you have to protect young quarterbacks from themselves,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton was talking about Luck’s penchant for taking off running and taking too many hits. With Herbert, he knows the short-term lessons will be teaching the first-rounder to narrow his focus, telling him often: “When you see a little, you see a lot. And when you see a lot, you don’t see anything.” Between that and teaching Herbert about the mechanics of working from under center, after he spent his entire college career at Oregon taking snaps from the shotgun, they’re still in the early stages of the education.

But since all of their conversations are by phone and videoconference, it’s hard to have a full spectrum of communication.

“At this point, I’m looking forward to getting more feedback from Justin,” Hamilton said. “Right now, we’re in lecture mode. Our sessions are interactive, but it’s more so testing him on the things that we’ve introduced and seeing, Does he have a recall? The answer is: Yes, he does. He’s a guy who can memorize a lot of information in the short term and in the long term.

“We already know he can really throw the football. I haven’t coached a quarterback that just had the natural release and spin on the ball that Justin has since Vinny Testaverde — a tall, linear guy, a long-levered guy who really just has a great release and can make all the throws.”

The Chargers just went through their virtual rookie minicamp, so Hamliton’s had a bit of a chance to find out about find out about the learning style, if not the throwing. When they’re able to expand, they might have a better idea how long it might take him to replace Tyrod Taylor atop the depth chart.

Pep Hamilton getting to know Justin Herbert, and what he knows originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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