Chase Daniel is blown away by football IQ of Chargers’ Justin Herbert

Chargers quarterbacks Chase Daniel, right, and Justin Herbert on the field during camp.
Justin Herbert, left, has sought the help of veteran Chase Daniel, signed by the Chargers to be the backup quarterback for the NFL offensive rookie of the year.
(Associated Press)

Justin Herbert impressed the entire NFL last season with a record-setting rookie performance.

He has continued to impress a much smaller audience so far in 2021 and for reasons not related to anything on the field.

Veteran Chase Daniel said Herbert is “probably one of the smartest young guys I’ve been around … and not only football knowledge, but how to be a good teammate, how to be a franchise quarterback.”


Entering his 13th season, Daniel twice Wednesday noted Herbert’s humility coming off a season full of accomplishments worthy of bragging. He called Herbert “super humble.”

“Him and I have had really good conversations about his progression as a quarterback,” Daniel said. “I’ve told him, ‘Hey, listen, it’s obviously what you do on the field. But it’s so much more than that. It’s how you treat the guys in the locker room. It’s how you interact with the coaches. How you interact with the cooking staff. How you interact with the equipment staff. It’s everything that goes into it.’

“A lot of guys don’t understand that. It’s a lot of pressure, but he just handles it so easily. It just comes natural to him.”

Kenneth Murray Jr. already set a Chargers rookie record for tackles in a season, and the new coaching staff believes he is getting better and better.

Aug. 24, 2021

The Chargers signed Daniel, 34, in late March. He’s competing with Easton Stick to be Herbert’s backup.

Even though he’s 11 years younger than Daniel, Herbert already has started three times more games than Daniel has since making it to the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009.

Still, Daniel said Herbert approached him early for guidance — guidance beyond just the new offense the Chargers have installed. Daniel ran the scheme in New Orleans.


“I think he took to me pretty pretty quickly, and I respond to that,” Daniel said. “He sought me out. This is the offensive rookie of the year. The guy put up 30-some odd touchdown passes and seeking me out for advice. That showed me how humble he is and just how much he wants to learn.

“It wasn’t even about the offense. It was like, ‘How do you see the week going in season? How do you think I should best prepare? How do you do this?’ I have some advice, but he’s going to do what he thinks best. But I thought that was really cool.”

Pipkins struggles

While noting that he didn’t want to give Trey Pipkins excuses, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said the young tackle’s struggles Sunday against San Francisco could have been the result of something bigger than football.

“Trey had a couple reps I’m sure he wished he could have back,” Lombardi said. “I try to give him credit. He just had a baby. So maybe his mind was …”

The latest news and updates ahead of the Chargers ‘ road game against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night during Week 3 of the NFL preseason.

Aug. 26, 2021

Pipkins, who is entering his third season, missed a day of practice last week to attend the birth of his child. He returned to play all 67 offensive snaps in a 15-10 preseason loss to the 49ers.

His performance was uneven at best and included some obvious blown assignments. The Chargers’ quarterbacks were sacked five times and the team averaged only 2.4 yards in 22 rushing attempts.



The Chargers signed linebacker Nate Evans and waived defensive lineman Frederick Smith Jr. They needed another linebacker after Amen Ogbongbemiga suffered a shoulder sprain Sunday.