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#1 01/06/2023 15:53:20


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Justin Herbert opens up about his leader

While he makes it look easy, journey to the NFL has been anything but. As a high school junior, Herbert suffered a broken leg that ultimately limited his scholarship offers. At Oregon, Herbert suffered a broken collarbone that prematurely ended his sophomore season. Injuries aside, Herbert had to learn three different offseason schemes while at Oregon. And despite enjoying enormous succe s at Oregon that included a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, about his leadership po sibly played a role in Herbert being the third quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.Leaning on four principles he learned from his father who also served as his coach growing  Ron Santo Jersey up, Herbert hurdled those obstacles and is currently living out his childhood dream. As the starting quarterback for the team he grew up cheering for, Herbert enjoyed a highly decorated rookie season that saw him named Offensive Rookie of the Year. The 23-year-old has followed up last year's succe s with a strong start to the 2021 season. HIs early succe s has helped the get off to a 4-2 start. Los Angeles is coming off its bye week and will look to move to 5-2 with a win over the on Sunday.During the Chargers' break, Herbert sat down with CBS Sports to discu s his journey to the NFL, what sport he would play profe sionally other than football, and why he grew up a Chargers fan, among other topics. Herbert also spoke about and the importance milk plays in his life as a profe sional athlete.You had not one but two serious injuries during your prep and college careers. What did those experiences teach you about perseverance and overcoming obstacles?  "You learn a lot from not being able to play. Breaking a femur and breaking a collarbone and having to sit on the sideline and not being able to play, not be able to be out with your guys, is definitely tough. But you kind of find out what you have to do to get back. For me personally, I felt like I could be a good coach during those times. I might not be able to play, but I can see on the sideline. I could see the defenses they're in. Anything that I could offer to the guys that are playing so I could be a good teammate, I thought that was huge. Kind of having to deal with adversity like you mentioned, it's not easy. To wake up and to have to go to rehab to do those things to get back  Kyle Hendricks Jersey out on the field, you realize how important sports are to you."Leading up to the 2020 draft, there were unfounded questions regarding your leadership. As you continue to show, your leadership style clearly works for you. What would you say to others who don't nece sarily fit the stereotype that is typically a sociated with leaders, especially in the sports community?  "I think the most important quality of a leader is being themselves. Being genuine and not trying to be someone that you're not. For me, it was important to be the same, steady guy all throughout the time. Not get too high, not get too low. I think it's really important to be able to addre s your team and be genuine, because when things are good you need to be the same guy, and when things are bad, you need to be the same guy, too. You can never get too down. And I think that's one of the important parts of being  Yu Darvish Jersey a leader is being able to ride that wave out, and I feel like for me it was just being myself and going out and having fun."Along with football, you played baseball and basketball at the prep level. If football was off the table, which of the other two sports would you prefer to play profe sionally?"That's a tough question. I would probably say baseball. It was just so much fun. I just really enjoyed baseball, being out there with those guys and playing. It's a relaxing game, and you just go out and have fun. So, I'd say baseball."   Why were you a Chargers fan growing up?"I had some friends that were fans. I think I just wanted to be different. So, my brothers and I picked the Chargers, and that's when they had Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson. We were big fans of those guys."You grew up in Eugene (Oregon) which is the mecca of long-distance running. Did you ever get the running bug?"No, unfortunately I could never get quite get past a mile or two miles. I'm just not built for long-distance running (laughs)."  I specifically remember  after a dramatic win over the last year where you showed some emotion while talking about how you are getting the chance to live your dream. How hard is it to appreciate where you are while also maintaining focus on the day-to-day work a sociated with being an NFL starting quarterback?"It is really difficult. You go there and you realize it's a game, but you're playing against the guys that you grew up watching. You've got guys like and . I grew up watching those guys. Now that we're teammates, you have to find a way to work together. Even those interviews, talking to the guys that  Mike Montgomery Jersey you grew up watching and hearing about. At the end of the day, it's a game and you have to take a step back and realize that it's all for fun, and you get to have this great opportunity to go play football. I think it's been an incredible opportunity that I've enjoyed so much so far."You are part of a pretty accomplished quarterback cla s that also includes and . Do you follow what they're doing on a regular basis and what does it mean to you to be linked with those quarterbacks?  "They're great guys. Fortunately, I've been able to meet them a couple of times at the combine and at the Senior Bowl. They're stand-up guys and I root for them every week. They're great competitors. They're great leaders. So, I always try to catch up and watch what they're able to do, because they're pretty talented quarterbacks."What has been the biggest difference between your first and second NFL seasons?"I think experience. Just going through it and being able to play through all these reps and seeing these defenses. I think that's been super helpful. Last year I was new to this whole proce s and just trying to make sure that I got the play call right. But now it's more of seeing defenses and trying to play that game of che s that is football. Learning more about defenses, fronts, pre sures and all these things and spending time with our coaches to talk about that. I think the mental side of the game of football, I think I've gotten better."  What would winning a Super Bowl mean to you?"It would mean everything. That's the entire goal is to get to that point. We've spent so many weeks and months preparing and training for this, especially this past offseason. All the  Mark Grace Jersey guys came in and we had great OTAs, a great camp, a lot of hard work was put in and a lot of preparation. The guys every week show up and they give their best effort. I know that we're doing the right things to give ourselves a shot, but it's all about execution

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