Yahoo Sports senior NFL writer Terez Paylor spoke with Los Angeles Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. about his new head coach, Brandon Staley, and his quarterback, Justin Herbert. Harris also spoke about all the good that his foundation, the Chris Harris Jr. Foundation, has been doing throughout the pandemic to help those most in need.
[BAT HITS BALL, CHEERS]
TEREZ PAYLOR: We're here with a Super Bowl champion, a three-time All Pro selection, a four-time Pro Bowler, Los Angeles Chargers corner Chris Harris Jr. And Chris, you've done a lot of good things in the community. And I promise you, we'll get to that in a minute.
But I can't start this off without asking you about your new head coach, Brandon Staley, former Rams defensive coordinator. I know you said you're excited to see what he can do. I was just hoping you could kind of touch on why again.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: He was a guy that, when I was in Denver with him, he would always pick my brain, always ask me, Chris, how would you play this route in this coverage or how do you see it this way and different things, just pick my brain on just the game of football. And then from there, I was like, oh, man, this dude, he's ready to be a D coordinator. You know what I mean? He's ready to go to the next level, really.
Just seeing him flourish, go take it to the next level with with the LA Rams, I know that he was capable to be a high level D coordinator. But to see him get to the head coaching job so fast, man, I'm even surprised. I mean, to make that type of jump that fast, that's very huge.
TEREZ PAYLOR: It sounds like he gets your seal of approval as far as being a communicator goes because I know how important that is. Like, all things considered, the way he communicates, you like it? You think that's a good thing?
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Yeah, oh, yeah, man. That's the number one thing as a football player. You want to know if your coach is going to set you up to make plays. You know what mean? Does this make sense why I'm playing this coverage to make plays? And Coach Staley--
TEREZ PAYLOR: Right.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: --he's--
TEREZ PAYLOR: That ain't a giving order time.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: He's going to break it down full scale why we're doing this. Why this technique is like this, why does our fundamentals need to be like this? And give us a reason why we're doing this.
And I think, with the talent that we have, it should be good.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Got you. And by the way, your guy Herbert, your quarterback, my man is the truth. Listen, I lived in Kansas City eight years. . I've been here for Mahomes' whole career. There were times this year I was seeing Herbert do stuff, I'm like, oh, that looks kind of familiar.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Oh, yeah.
TEREZ PAYLOR: When did you know because I know you know? You guys were very honest, knowing that Mahomes was the truth. I'll never forget you, Talib, Von, y'all were very honest saying Mahomes is the truth. When did you know with Herbert, bro?
CHRIS HARRIS JR: First day with Herbert, man, first day. He came in there first day throwing darts. His fundamentals were great. He understood the offense. The players love to be around him. You know what I mean? You see all the young receivers want to stay and do routes with him every day. That's what it takes to win. And that's what it takes that to be a top flight quarterback in this league.
And he has all the tools, man, to do it. And I think he's going to improve big, major this year.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Appreciate that, man. Let's talk about the Chris Harris Jr. Foundation. You got some really cool initiatives going. Tell me about Fun Fridays. It sounds like you send food trucks to different Boys and Girls Clubs across the country. How did that come about?
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Man, we just wanted to bless the people that was where I was at, where I've been at in my career, Kansas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Denver, and LA. And just being able to give them a fun day, you know, with the coronavirus. And it sucks that I can't be with them because in our past, we've been able to be there in person, being able to just bring the fun to the kids, bring food trucks, bring some toys.
We've done our Coats for a Cause drive, being able to give thousands of coats to people during this time just because it's going to be a lot more homeless people, it is. We're going to continue to do these Fun Fridays, continue to help the homeless and these homeless children that are out here. There's a lot of them now. And just continue to try and do our part.
TEREZ PAYLOR: 500 winter kids given to LA's homeless. And then you had winter clothing for residents of Denver's children's home. But also there were holiday gifts provided, right, to the families at the Zion Family Center in LA, right?
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Yes, yes. And just being able to have those gifts every year, you know what I mean, that's what we try to do. And it's going great every year. And just showing that we care, show them that we love them. That's really all they want. From there, if they feel that, they can really take off, you know? And that's what I try to do.
TEREZ PAYLOR: All right, Chris. This was amazing, man.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Oh, yeah.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to us. We really appreciate it. Looking forward to talking to you again.
CHRIS HARRIS JR: Oh, yeah. No problem, man. Thanks for having me.