The Latest: Chargers’ Herbert is top offensive rookie

NFL

The Latest on the NFL individual awards presented Saturday during the NFL Honors TV show (All times EST):

9:20 p.m.

Justin Herbert is the latest quarterback to win The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ breakthrough star, chosen sixth overall in last April’s draft, is the second straight quarterback and the ninth since 2004, when Ben Roethlisberger became the first QB to take the award. Herbert also is the second Charger to win it; running back Don Woods was the recipient in 1974.

Not even a starter when the season began, Herbert stepped in during the Chargers’ second game when Tyrod Taylor was injured during a medical procedure. Herbert never looked back and set a rookie record with 31 TD passes.

”I think it is a testament to all the hard work we have put in as a team, the coaching staff and the players,” Herbert said. ”It’s been a tough year, but we put in a lot of good work, but just to be in the conversation (for the award) is an honor.”

Herbert easily outdistanced Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson in voting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. The margin was 41-9.

He particularly credited his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for his rapid rise.

”I would say it would have to be coach (Shane) Steichen and coach (Pep) Hamilton,” Herbert noted. ”Those two probably had the most in my development, being able to spend a lot of time with them and learning from them. I think that is what helped the most.”

Still, the Chargers went 7-9, losing a bunch of close games, and head coach Anthony Lynn was fired. Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley replaced Lynn.

”The next step for us is to continue to develop as a team, keep pushing forward, win more games and close out some of those losses that we thought we could have had,” Herbert said. ”But overall it’s just getting better, getting that locker room tighter, and keep doing a good job.”

The winner was revealed on the NFL Honors television show.

8:08 p.m.

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has won The Associated Press NFL Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Daboll not only helped Buffalo to a 15-4 record and a spot in the AFC championship game, he oversaw the rapid development of quarterback Josh Allen in his third pro season. Allen not only had a 107.2 passer rating, fourth in the NFL, but threw for 37 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, and completed 69.2% of his passes, a vast improvement over his 58.79% in 2019.

The Bills’ attack was bolstered by the addition of receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade from Minnesota. Diggs has his best season with a league-best 127 receptions for 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns, making the All-Pro Team.

”I think it is important to develop relationships with your players and make sure they understand you care about them not just as players but as people off the field, that is the first thing,” Daboll said. ”The second thing is those guys, they have a very similar mindset and personality, and they hit it off I would say off the field. They got together in Florida in the offseason along with the other receivers, tight ends, backs, started to develop a relationship there, and it continued to grow.

”You know, we meet a lot as a group, particularly in the passing game with the receivers, the tight ends, the quarterbacks, and we really try to let those guys’ personalities show as long as it fits in the framework of the offense. And I think with building relationships and meeting together and spending time together, I think that helps when you are on the field.”

Daboll’s creativity and teaching skills were directly responsible for those impressive numbers – and many others on one of the NFL’s most potent offenses. Only Green Bay with 509 scored more than Buffalo’s 501 points.

Daboll received 28 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He easily outdistanced Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley (5 1-2), who now is the head coach of the Chargers.

Having spent time in a variety of jobs with six NFL teams has contributed strongly to Daboll’s success.

”It has helped out a lot, all of my experience since I started out working on the defensive side of football to getting moved over to the receiver coach then to the quarterback coach, offensive coordinator, tight ends,” he said. ”I was able to be in the offensive line room sometime. All of those experiences dealing with not only different positions but different groups of guys has really helped out.”

The winner was revealed on the NFL Honors television show.

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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