New Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton has yet to meet Justin Herbert in person, but the veteran assistant believes he has a pretty good feel for Los Angeles' top draft pick.
"I know that he's really smart, physically off the charts, and football is very important to him," Hamilton said following the team's virtual rookie minicamp over the weekend. "He wants more. He wants to know the why in everything you ask him to do. He wants to really understand and digest the conceptual reasoning behind different plays and what the defense is doing."
Hamilton, who has worked with quarterbacks as a position coach or coordinator on the pro or college level for all but four years of his 24-year career, has one of the most important jobs on the Bolts' staff: developing Herbert, who was drafted sixth overall with the expectation that he will replace the departed Philip Rivers as the face of the franchise and the leader of the offense.
Hamilton has experience with such situations. In 2013, he left Stanford to become offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, who wanted him to oversee the development of Andrew Luck, the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hamilton had coached Luck in college and knew him athletically as well as anyone. In Year 2 of their three seasons together in the NFL, Luck threw for 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns, numbers that rank as personal highs for his seven-year career.