Justin Herbert is a very quiet dude, which is kind of what I love about him. He puts his head down, gets the work done and doesn't have anything flashy to say after. He's unfairly given shit for not being some sort of extrovert alpha chad like the media expects all quarterbacks to be, and this article shows how he's come to terms with that. There are a few parts of this profile that I really like, starting with him being probably the most polite player in the league. Mina Kimes, who wrote the profile, talked to some of his other teammates to get some perspective of our beautiful surfer king. Including Gametime alum FB Gabe Nabers:
Nabers says he has seen Herbert's temper flare up only once, when Nabers tried to abandon his grocery store cart in the parking lot. "The first time we went shopping, I was like, 'Eh, I'll leave it right here,'" he says, pantomiming a gentle push. "And he said: 'No. Take it all the way back.
I love this. The dude is a famous multi-millionaire that is still grounded enough to keep other players honest and polite. To me, the way people treat those in the service industry is the most telling way to find out about their character. And buddy, that character looks great to me.
His teammates describe him as a homebody, more keen on watching movies -- he loves Christopher Nolan films, especially "Inception" and "Interstellar" -- and playing board games than going out. During camp last year, when the rookies were quarantined together in a hotel, he insisted on buying a copy of Settlers of Catan, the Risk-like strategy game where players gather resources to accrue territory, for the group. Gabe Nabers, the team's fullback, says they played nearly every night. "He loves that game," says Nabers. "He'll do anything to win."
2 big things to like about this. As a movie guy, I love that he is a Nolan freak. That isn't super unique obviously, but I feel like a lot of pro athletes are freaks with media. Some don't watch movies or TV, some don't touch video games, and others stay off social media. Herbert himself doesn't have anything but an IG, which he admits in the article is run by others to do sponsor stuff. It sounds weird, but watching movies is a "celebrities, they're just like us!" sorta thing with big athletes.
The other big thing is that he is obsessed with Settlers of Catan. I can't think of a nerdier hobby for an Athlete to have, and I've seen footage of Gordon Heyward in Starcraft tournaments.
Herbert, who lives alone now (he recently adopted a cat, which he named Nova, after a weapon in the video game Call of Duty), doesn't dispute this characterization. "I like things neat," he says. "Things have a place, and they should be put back where they come from." His preference for order extends to the football field, where he loves feeling confident in his ability to sort through the mess on defense and Marie Kondo his way to a first down -- pre-snap recognition, in quarterback terms. One of his favorite moments as a rookie took place on a seemingly unremarkable play, when he recognized a defensive look from the Raiders, killed the call, then reloaded it after Las Vegas adjusted to his adjustment.
I'm definitely a little hesitant that he is a cat guy ahead of a dog guy. But naming his cat after a gas grenade from COD kind of equalizes it for me. Also, I like how he lets his need for organization bleed from his regular life into his real life. Having a QB that is so organized that he can point out and recognize any changes and know the appropriate adjustment is the tream scenario for a team.
Herbert is coming off the best statistical season by a Rookie QB in NFL history, and he's only just getting started
P.S. Shoutout to the great Mina Kimes for getting this much out of Herbert. Probably the only person I've seen besides the PMT boys to get past his hard shell.