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Chargers Introduce Ben Herbert as Executive Director of Player Performance


Ben Herbert Presser 1
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
 

The Los Angeles Chargers held an introductory press conference for Ben Herbert on Tuesday officially naming him the new Executive Director of Player Performance. In short form, he will be taking over as the new strength and conditioning coach. Herbert was not only granted the coaching job but will be in charge of the entire sports performance program for the players. Herbert's eyes lit up with glee when he stepped to the podium on Tuesday. Herbert comes over from the University of Michigan where he was also in charge of strength and conditioning under coach Jim Harbaugh. Herbert told reporters it took all but 5 minutes to have him convinced, insinuating that a call from coach Harbaugh was all it took for him to accept the job.


Ben Herbert Presser 2
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 



Who is Ben Herbert?


Ben Herbert is an extremely intelligent, data-driven strength and conditioning coach. He most recently spent the last 6 seasons (2018-2023) at Michigan under coach Harbaugh with the same job title, where he helped develop a plethora of current or soon-to-be NFL players. Michigan was never known for bringing in five-star recruits, they were known for bringing in three and four-star recruits and developing them. This helped Herbert and coach Harbaugh eventually lead the team to a national championship in the 2023-2024 season. This guy was essentially the epicenter for development when it came to durability and logging in the hours at the gym. He has helped 22 different prospects make it to the big stage at Michigan, with that number soon increasing after the NFL draft in a few weeks where we will see at least 4 or 5 more Michigan players find a new home. He also spent some time with the Arkansas Razorbacks (2013-2017) and 11 seasons (2002-2012) with his alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers. He has helped a total of 95 eventual draft choices with 12 first-round selections (and counting). Herbert lettered four times at the University of Wisconsin as a defensive lineman and still currently holds the school record for tackles for loss and sacks in a Bowl game.




 

The Press Conference


Herbert alluded to a variety of different topics regarding how he plans to attack the players' strengths and weaknesses in the gym. He gave five key components of the body that he will approach with more focus: neck, shoulders, hips, hamstrings and ankles. "You have to be proactive at training those areas of the body," Herbert said. He included topics that may be foreign to some like "lean mass" and how to make a player "harder to break". This wowed most Charger fans, simply because we have never seen a coach go into such specifics before with the public. Herbert noted that staying true to yourself with emotional control is pivotal for him. He added that he does this himself when he comes to work, no matter the circumstances he may have going on at home. He noted: "I have a wife, two boys, two dogs and a car with four tires. If I get a flat tire, I'm not going to take it out on you. I don't change emotionally. When I walk into the facility, who you know me to be is who I am."



 

How Does This Affect the Chargers?


There is a ton of excitement from Charger fans for the new member of the organization primarily because of the injury issues this team has faced in the last two decades. One could argue no team has had more bad luck with injuries than the Chargers have in the last 20 years. There are a variety of players who have suffered significant injuries in the last two seasons such as Justin Herbert, Rashawn Slater, Joey Bosa, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, J.C. Jackson, Jalen Guyton, and more. This is the team that is widely regarded as the "if they stay healthy" team. The reality of injuries is that they are not preventable. However, the Chargers' training staff has been undermanned for years. They have even been ridiculed by players in the past such as Tyrod Taylor, who had his lung punctured on accident by a team doctor which led to Justin Herbert getting the nod as their starter that day. Although injuries are something no NFL team can avoid, Ben Herbert has durability as one of his strengths. Michigan had a total of 134 players on their roster last season and only 2 suffered a season-ending injury under Herbert's program. Ultimately, this led to the same goal that they wish to achieve again, but this time with the Chargers: becoming a championship-winning team.



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