The LA Chargers plan to start Tyrod Taylor over rookie Justin Herbert in 2020.
Head coach Anthony Lynn expects Taylor to be the day one starting quarterback, confirming the news Wednesday. While the Chargers selected Justin Herbert out of Oregon with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, they are smart to go with Taylor as the day one starter.
Why its too soon for Justin Herbert?
The former Duck, who completed nearly 67 percent of his passes for 32 touchdowns, six interceptions and 3,471 passing yards his senior season, enters one of the most chaotic offseasons in NFL history. Under normal circumstances, Hebert would have been given the opportunity to battle it out with Taylor during training camp and preseason. In this offseason, that would not be a smart move.
In 2020, NFL teams have had to shutdown facilities and alter OTA’s (organized team activities) due to COVID-19 precautions. For Herbert, this translates to significantly less time with his teammates to form chemistry in drills, less time to work out with the team to get him in NFL shape and significantly less time to understand the playbook and the team’s verbiage. Herbert would have been at a significant disadvantage if he were to be the day one starter for the Chargers.
With the current situation in place, this takes the pressure off of Herbert to be ready by Week 1. In this situation, he is able to develop and learn behind the scenes until he gets his chance. His chance may come later in the 2020 season due to performance or injury, similar to how Baker Mayfield became the starter over Taylor in 2016 for the Cleveland Browns.
Why Tyrod Taylor is perfect for Chargers
Taylor is the perfect quarterback for the Chargers heading into 2020. The 30-year-old veteran signal caller gives the Chargers a real chance to win this year. In many ways, he is everything they wished for from 2019 Philip Rivers. Rivers struggled last season with his immobility and costly turnovers. Those two areas are strengths for Taylor.
Taylor is a pass-first quarterback but he is not afraid to move the chains with his legs or use them to buy time in the pocket. When it comes to turnovers, he is very careful with the football. In three seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2015-17), Taylor’s touchdown to interception ratio was 51:16.
Taylor is far from washed. He can come in and help this football team win ball games. And the best part is he will be paired with Lynn. Lynn spent time around Taylor during the 2015-16 season as the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Bills. While Taylor was backed by a historic rushing game in 2016, he made plays when needed. The most important thing is he kept that team in games and rarely put them in positions to lose games. He was a serviceable game manager and with the weapons he has in Los Angeles, he could have a career year.
After all, Taylor did help lead the 2017 Bills to their first playoff berth since 1999. Taylor spent an entire season in Los Angeles in 2019 as Rivers’ backup. He has learned the system and spent time with the guys in practice. He can emerge as a leader for this 2020 squad, and with the weapons at his disposal, he has the potential to lead this team to the playoffs as a Wild Card.
For the immediate future, rolling with Taylor seems to be the smart move for the Chargers — one fans should agree with as well, since he gives them the best chance to “win-now” and allows Herbert a chance learn from him and properly develop into an NFL quarterback.