By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick is always one to talk up opponents, regardless of whether or not they actually deserve the praise. Sometimes, though, Belichick ratchets things up to another level.

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Monday was one of those times, as Belichick was asked about the next opposing quarterback on the Patriots’ schedule, Justin Herbert.

The second-year Chargers QB has been excellent since getting his first opportunity ahead of schedule last year, earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

On Monday morning, Belichick was asked what has made Herbert so successful so soon in his NFL career.

“Because he’s really good,” Belichick answered. “Yeah, he’s really good. I thought he was outstanding [coming out of college]. He just really had everything you’re looking for — he’s very athletic, good arm, a lot of poise, played well at Oregon, just a number of big plays. All the passes. All the throws, but extended plays, scrambles, could run the read-zone and all that.”

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Belichick then took the praise to the top level possible.

“He’s as good a quarterback as I’ve seen come out here in quite a while, especially as it fits the pro game. Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to find too many better than him,” Belichick said. “This guy is really an impressive player. I thought he was really good when we played them last year, and luckily we had a pretty good day. But I’m not counting on that again. I have a ton of respect for him. I think he’s going to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league for a long time to come.”

It’s not often that Belichick will make such a prognostication on another team’s player, but Herbert has clearly checked a few boxes that have the coach feeling overwhelmingly impressed.

That being said, Belichick did slip in the detail that the Patriots had themselves a rather fun day against Herbert last year. In Week 13, Herbert and the Chargers were shut out at home by the Patriots, with Herbert completing just 26 of his 53 passes for no touchdowns and two interceptions while taking three sacks. Herbert’s 43.7 passer rating that day still stands as his worst in any game by far, and incredibly, it’s the only game he’s played in where he hasn’t thrown a touchdown. (It’s also one of just three games with two interceptions for Herbert.)

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But as Belichick noted, he’s not anticipating a similar result this time around. Belichick’s historically done a number against rookie quarterbacks, and with Herbert in year two, Belichick is expecting big things from the QB — both this week and for years to come.