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Chargers News: PFF Urges Justin Herbert to Embrace Aggression for 2023 Success

The numbers say Herbert is among the 'safest' QB in the league

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has a cannon for an arm. He's displayed that in his time up in Oregon, and he showed that right away when he broke onto the scene in his rookie year in 2020. 

Herbert quickly established himself as one of the best QBs in the league in part of his big arm. It's great when the coaching staff gives Herbert the chance to sling the ball, but has he become too safe with the ball? 

Pro Football Focus columnist Dalton Wasserman broke down the numbers and showed where he ranks among the other QBs. 

Avoiding turnovers is one of the most important skills a quarterback can possess, but is Herbert too safe with the ball? Because since 2006, he ranks just 59th among 91 qualifying quarterbacks in big-time throw rate.

(via PFF)

In the big-time throw percentage since 2006, he ranks among guys like Davis Millis, Trevor Siemian, Taylor Jeinicke, and Mike Glennon. Not the exact company you want to be a part of. 

This may all seem confusing as Herbert is known for his cannon arm and big play, but when you look closely at the numbers, it's fair. 

Consider that in 2022, Justin Herbert led the NFL in checkdown passes during the regular season, averaged fewer yards per attempt and generated a lower big-time throw rate than Zach Wilson, posted a lower average depth of target than Jimmy Garoppolo and threw a lower percentage of passes past the sticks than Baker Mayfield.

(via PFF)

2022 wasn't the best of years for Herbert as most of his weapons missed an extended amount of time, and his best young offensive lineman, Rashawn Slater. The passing numbers for LA on 20-plus yard throws weren't ideal.

They had a passing grade of 83.2, which ranked 17 out of 32, and 10.9 yards per attempt, ranking 22. 

The good thing about Herbert is that he is avoiding turnovers. Nonetheless, Herbert has the tools to be ultra-aggressive without concern about turnovers because of the coaching and tools at his disposal.