Justin Herbert is a Charger. Love it or hate it, Herbert is the center of the franchise for at minimum the next half-decade and is the most influential player for how successful the LA Chargers will be.
This might not feel like the true reality, yet, as many Charger fans are expecting and embracing a season with Tyrod Taylor under center. Head coach Anthony Lynn loves Taylor and he is perfectly set up to get a second chance at the role he had in Cleveland as the stop-gap veteran.
It did not work out so much in Cleveland, but that is beside the point.
Unless Taylor gets injured or is just playing awful, Justin Herbert likely won’t see the field much in his traditional year. He is going to take the route that Patrick Mahomes did of sitting behind a reliable veteran for one year before taking over the reins.
Herbert does not have to worry about following up one year of Tyrod Taylor. Instead, he has to worry about following up the decade and a half act of Philip Rivers, who has cemented himself as the greatest quarterback in LA Chargers.
Justin Herbert is not the first player to follow up an icon for the LA Chargers.
There are have been some notable players that stand out in the history of the LA Chargers — Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Junior Seau, Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner. That list could extend even further, but all of those icons had to be followed up by someone.
Heck, outside of Herbert and Rivers we are seeing another example of this live in action in Hunter Henry, who is following up one of the greatest tight ends in league history.
In chronological order from most recent to the oldest, here are the four players that had to follow up Tomlinson, Seau, Fouts and Joiner, and how they fared.