During the eight training camp drills, there was much to watch for Justin Herbert, the Chargers’ Pro Bowl quarterback, who is entering his third season with near-unlimited expectations.
One thing JC Jackson noticed is that Herbert keeps throwing the other way.
“He didn’t really throw to my side,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if he’s scared or what, but Herbert hasn’t sided with me yet.”
Jackson laughed after sharing his observation, then added, “Herbert’s a great guy. I love practicing against him. I can’t wait to see what he does this year.”
In March, the Chargers signed Jackson to a five-year contract worth up to $82.5 million with a $40 million guarantee. His 25 interceptions since 2018 are the most in the NFL.
Jackson had his first pickoff at camp Friday when he secured a ball thrown by Easton Stick.
After four seasons with New England, Jackson joined a Chargers defense that will include two accomplished veteran pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.
Jackson said he’s never played with such an impressive duo coming off the edge. He suggested that the presence of Bosa and Mack might allow him to further exploit his already elite skills.
“I think I can do more turnover with these two guys playing quarterback,” Jackson said. “Well that should be fun.”
The Chargers ranked 21st with 11 interceptions last season. Jackson has had nine and eight interceptions over the past two seasons, respectively.
“There’s no pressure,” Jackson said when asked about his new contract. “I just feel more excited. … This is not new to me. You’ll see what I bring to the table and to this team as the season begins.”
As for Jackson’s observation about Herbert, defense coordinator Renaldo Hill smiled and dismissed the idea of the Chargers quarterback avoiding one side of the field.
“Justin is confident too,” Hill said. “Well, I don’t know if that’s it. JC is a big, strong guy. It’s a presence over there. But I don’t think Justin is afraid to throw the ball anywhere.”
The Chargers returned to practice after being off the field Thursday. Some takeaways from their 90+ minute session:
- Woods, a Baylor third-round pick, had a rough day. Hill explained that the rookie is still processing a defense that many veterans have described as complex. “We threw a lot at him,” Hill said. “You can see sometimes in his rotational stuff where there’s a little pause.” Still emphasizing Woods’ potential, Hill said his game will improve as the season approaches and coaches could trim down the playbook for him can make better use of its strengths.
- Veteran Sebastian Joseph-Day and rookie Otito Ogbonnia both hit passes at the line of scrimmage along a defensive front the Chargers believe has been significantly improved over a year ago.
- Kicker Dustin Hopkins made all eight tries in team practice after struggling earlier this week.
- Cornerback Bryce Callahan on what makes wide receiver Keenan Allen such a tough cover: “Just his route going. He’s really dodgy. … he has some voodoo on his routes, let’s put it that way.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/chargers/story/2022-08-05/chargers-justin-herbert-jc-jackson-cornerback-interceptions Chargers’ Justin Herbert not throwing to J.C. Jackson’s corner