Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn Says if Healthy, Tyrod Taylor Is the Team’s Quarterback
The Chargers have a 24-hour rule on their team that no matter what happened in their previous game, they are only allowed to think about it for 24 hours, then it is time to turn the page.
That's what head coach Anthony Lynn did during his Monday afternoon press conference.
He stepped up to the podium and told the media that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was "recovering well" after missing Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed the game due to "complications" with the pregame treatment that Taylor received for his chest pains.
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert stepped up and showed out on Sunday. He threw for over 300 yards and added two touchdowns (one throwing and one rushing). After the game, Lynn said that their leader under center was Taylor.
On Monday, he reiterated it.
"If Tyrod Taylor is 100%, then he is our quarterback," said Lynn.
But that doesn't mean that Lynn wasn't impressed with the rookie quarterback.
"Don't get me wrong," he said. "I thought what Justin did; I thought he came in and gave us a chance to win. But there's a lot that you don't know that we didn't get done with Justin on the field. He's a backup for a reason. He's a rookie, and there's a lot that he needs to learn about this game."
It wasn't all perfect for the rookie quarterback. Towards the end of the third quarter, Herbert moved to his left, had daylight to run for a first down, but decided to throw it to receiver Keenan Allen and the Chiefs intercepted it.
"Well, you know there's a way to win in this league against an opponent every single week there's a different way to win," explained Lynn. "Those are things that he's learning, you know getting that first 2 yards getting that first down taking about three more minutes off that clock keeping the defense on the field you know that that would have been huge, but he made the mistake, and he will learn from it."
That is a keyword "learn." That is what the team wants their rookie quarterback to do. Fans are notably not happy taking to social media to beg the head coach to start the young quarterback the rest of the season, but that is not Lynn's style.
He believes in Taylor as the starting quarterback. Lynn wants to win the turnover differential. He has said it all offseason. Lynn said it last week again, before playing Kansas City. He mentioned that the team had 17 giveaways while only two takeaways against the reigning champs.
In week one against the Bengals, Lynn highlighted after the game that they got two turnovers, gave it away zero times, and won the football game. On Sunday, the Chargers turned it over once, didn't get any turnovers, and lost.
Lynn believes in Taylor.
"I know what to expect from him and what he's going to get done," Lynn said. "If Tyrod can't go and we have to go with Justin, I am perfectly content with that. I know we can win with either quarterback. But the veteran quarterback right now gives us the best chance to win. It's not like we won the damn game [Sunday]. We lost last time I checked."
Lynn also believes in Herbert. He saw what the young quarterback did on the field on Sunday. He knows his rookie can play.
"I'm really excited about Justin," said Lynn. "That's why we took him at six. I think he's going to be an outstanding quarterback. But I want to put him out there when I know he's ready."
The Chargers haven't needed to draft a quarterback in the first round for 16 years….16. They want to get this right. They want to hand the keys to the quarterback when he is ready to drive for the rest of his career. They don't want to give him too much or overwhelm him.
That is why Lynn hired quarterback's coach Pep Hamilton to get Herbert ready to play.
During Monday's press conference, Lynn mentioned that the quarterback playing on the other side Patrick Mahomes sat for a year. He said that Mahomes probably learned sitting behind Alex Smith.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with a rookie quarterback coming in sitting his fair share instead of throwing him into the fire and letting him learn on the go," explained Lynn. "I know John Elway did that. Peyton Manning did that. They took a lot of abuse (early in their careers), but those guys were strong minded. They overcame it, and they are Hall of Famers. Not every quarterback can do that. Not saying Justin can't. If we have to go with Justin, then that is what we are going to do. But right now, Tyrod hasn't done anything to lose his job. It wasn't his fault he wasn't on the field yesterday. We'll just see how it goes from here."
Lynn was asked about his starting quarterback's confidence level because of what happened in 2018, while Taylor was the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. In week three, Taylor was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield has started since.
"All I know in Cleveland with Baker came on, and they don't win a lot of football games," explained Lynn. "You know this, this young man, he was totally disappointed it wasn't on the field to help his teammates last night, but he's very confident young man, so I'm not I'm not worried about his confidence."
There were a lot of questions about Herbert coming out of college. Whether he was "an alpha male" or "could he command a huddle." Well, the young quarterback took this opportunity and proved that despite whatever label they want to put, he belongs in the NFL.
Running back Austin Ekeler compared him to the former quarterback, who was under center for the last 14 straight seasons.
"He was making checks that I've seen Philip (Rivers) make, which I was pretty proud of him," explained Ekeler. "Checking out of plays and recognizing defense. Just doing his job. I thought his leadership was well."
It is still unknown what Taylor's status is for this upcoming game against the Carolina Panthers at SoFi Stadium, but if the rookie puts on a show yet again, it could be hard to deny that maybe his time is now.
After the loss to the Chiefs, Chargers defensive back Desmond King took to Twitter to note his frustration about his playing time, “Is there a reason I’m not on the field? Some people want to know” and “I’ll continue to do my job but I’m going to need answers real soon.”
“I think everyone in our building knows if they need answers where to go get those answers,” said Lynn. “They might not like the answer they get. But they know where to go get it.”
He said it was “disappointing” that the defensive back took to Twitter to voice his frustration. Lynn said he hadn’t spoken to King, yet.
King hadn’t seen the field except on special teams until starting safety Rayshawn Jenkins went out with a groin injury. The Iowa product was an all-pro in 2018 but had a shaky 2019.