Whether on the field or during interviews, Justin Herbert has never come across as a fiery type of guy. Stoic, serene and affable better describe the man who was born, raised and became famous in Oregon, an environmentally-focused state known to value those characteristics more than machismo and bravado.
Yet, while Herbert seems to personify his state in so many ways, his personality doesn't necessarily fit what all NFL franchises seek in a leader under center. Tom Brady's in-your-face demeanor or Patrick Mahomes' inexorable passion are more prevalent characteristics of what coaches desire in today's NFL quarterback.
For one of Brady's former coaches, Herbert's passive leadership seems to be at odds with what he's seeking. At least that's what Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting.
Jackson referred to an "alpha leader demeanor" when describing the kind of quarterback Miami Dolphins head coach and former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is seeking. It makes sense. Flores was a linebacker in college and a defensive coach his entire career. Those kinds of people typically gravitate toward aggression and aggressive personalities. If you watched Herbert play or heard him speak, that is antithetical of him.
This is not a knock on Herbert. Many quarterbacks have succeeded in the NFL with a more reserved personality. Eli Manning isn't called "Easy Eli" for nothing and he has two Super Bowl rings. Likewise, Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco is called "Joe Cool" because he doesn't get too high or too low. Herbert can succeed as an NFL quarterback without being something he's not. In fact, that's the only way he'll succeed, by being himself.
Many mock drafts have projected Herbert to the Dolphins, including Mel Kiper's. Herbert is a talented quarterback with just as many question marks as Tua Tagovailoa, the other quarterback being mocked to the Dolphins the most, coming into their NFL careers. Ultimately this seems to be about a personality fit, which matters in the NFL. If the Dolphins don't think Herbert's personality fits their system, it's better for both parties if they don't try and force an aggressive peg into a passive hole.