LA Chargers training camp is underway and Charger fans in LA get to see Justin Herbert in person for the first time. Fans fell in love with Herbert in 2020 because of his record-setting season but no Charger fans got to witness it live... at SoFi Stadium, of course.
All signs are pointing to Herbert having a great second season in the league. While some believe in sophomore slumps, Herbert is getting better coaching, a better offensive line and an actual preseason with an entire season under his belt.
I simply do not see how Justin Herbert is going to get much worse after having the best rookie season in NFL history, especially when everything around him has gotten better. It would have had to be the biggest fluke season in league history, which is extremely unlikely.
It would be shocking to see Herbert regress in 2021 but that does not mean that he is without any challenges. There is one specific challenge that Herbert is going to have to face in 2021 that he did not have to address whatsoever as a rookie.
Justin Herbert is going to have to learn to operate with crowd noise when the LA Chargers are on the road.
It may sound trivial, but this is absolutely a real thing. Because of the situation with fans during the 2020 season, Justin Herbert has not had to face a true, packed house on the road. Sure, some of the teams he played last season did host fans, but he still dodged some major bullets.
The Chargers were on the road on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints. That so happened to be one of Herbert's best games, and while we don't want to take anything away from him, we have to acknowledge the fact that he did not have to deal with the raucous New Orleans crowd that disrupts even veteran quarterbacks.
Assuming things go as planned, Herbert is going to have to deal with crowd noise in 2021 and it will be interesting to see how he responds as a young quarterback on the road.
How will he respond to the thunderous Chiefs fans? Or the Baltimore fans against an already tough defense? What is he going to do if the road team, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers or Dallas Cowboys, have more fans in his home building?
Chances are it won't impact him much and he will be able to still do Justin Herbert things, but it is a variable that we don't fully have the answer to yet.
Luckily, the LA Chargers do not have the hardest of road schedules, which will help Justin Herbert het acclimated with a full NFL crowd.