7:00 AM ET
COSTA MESA, Calif. — By now, it’s fairly clear what Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert can do with a football. If you want to see him smile, ask him to launch it 70 yards into the waiting hands of a teammate in the end zone or sling a slant to a guy crossing the field.
But if you want to see Herbert beam — really beam — have him cast a line in the ocean and reel in a 22-inch halibut. Then he’s just like a little kid, with a grin from ear to ear. He’s certainly happy about the touchdown pass, but he’s downright giddy when it comes to the halibut.
Herbert was named the Chargers’ permanent starter on Thursday after impressing coach Anthony Lynn with his poise, quick thinking and production (77-of-107 passing for 931 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions) through his first three games. Lynn also likes Herbert’s patience, something he learned by throwing line after line into the pond behind Albertsons on Coburg Road in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon.
It was so much a part of Herbert’s happiness routine that he formed a fishing club at