The LA Chargers made sure to kickstart training camp with the best news possible as the team signed Justin Herbert to a massive five-year contract extension. The deal was reported one day before camp began with day one of camp being dominated by Herbert's extension.
It was never a matter of if but when the Chargers were going to get this deal done with Herbert. Herbert has already shown all the makings of being a franchise quarterback and the Bolts would have been silly to prolong the process longer than the team needed to. It was as big of a no-brainer as there is in the NFL.
Herbert was understandably skippy for Wednesday's practice as he became a quarter-of-a-billion dollars richer and he started to resemble a different Chargers quarterback. First, it started when Herbert broke the team down after practice and sounded awfully familiar to Philip Rivers in the process...
If that was not enough, Herbert had to give fans another Rivers mannerism in his post-practice press conference with a well-placed "shoot" in the middle of an answer. To many, this was a subtle homage to the Chargers legend who paved the way for him.
Justin Herbert channeling his inner Philip Rivers is great for the Chargers
It goes much deeper than a simple "shoot" at a press conference. We are only one practice into the 2023 journey and there already seems to be a different energy with Justin Herbert. There is no doubt that he is an elite talent but his ability to be an outspoken leader has been tested in his three years.
Heck, his own teammates said to the media that Herbert lacked that same fiery leadership that Rivers had. It wasn't a knock on Herbert as a player but merely an area where he could grow as a quarterback. With how committed he is to winning, it wouldn't be surprising if Herbert is taking that to heart.
This is a quarterback who is confident in himself (can you blame him, he just got paid the highest annual salary in NFL history) and that seems to be making an effort to be a more outward leader. To take a page out of Rivers' book and use that same leadership style to rally the troops.
It seems small, and everyone leads in a different way, but Herbert becoming more like Rivers with how he handles himself could pay off massively for the LA Chargers.