Saturday, November 7, 2009

Catching Up With Chris Chambers

Just as Ted Ginn makes some national headlines so too does his predecessor as disappointing go-to Dolphins receiver, Chris Chambers. Coincidence?

Chambers made some of the most athletic catches you’re ever going to see but he just couldn’t reel in passes consistently; his catch percentages were routinely terrible each season. But I shouldn’t be too unfair to him. While he never became the dominant player Dolphin fans were hoping for he did make a Pro Bowl and he had three different seasons for the Dolphins where he scored more receiving TD’s than Ginn’s current career total of five. Maybe Chambers never broke through to become an elite player but at this point Ginn would have to make serous strides just to become as good as Chambers was in his prime.

The reign of error that was the 2007 Miami Dolphins season has been well-documented. But no one can deny that the Cameron/Mueller regime actually made one small shrewd move while the team collapsed around them. In the midst of disaster Miami traded their best WR Chambers away for a second-round pick. Some criticized the move but in the two years since the trade Chambers has done virtually nothing while Miami used the draft pick they got for Chad Henne. You may have heard of him. Miami got a starting QB. San Diego got a guy who they just waived.

But why’d they waive him? Well you might think it was a matter of declining skills (he’s 29 now) evidenced by an inability to produce despite the presence of an excellent QB and other quality offensive talent. But you’d be wrong. At least according to Chambers.

He claims San Diego dumped him because he’s being stalked by the woman with whom he cheated on his wife. Not sure I’m buying that. I mean, Shaun Merriman’s done worse and he’s still a Charger right? However, I suppose it’s possible Chambers’ messy home life could explain his lack of production in 2009. Surely we’ve all had bad days at work because we’re distracted or consumed by personal problems. Football players are no different. Except their workplace failures tend to play out in front of millions of people. And fans aren’t going to be very understanding either unless you consider the words “You Suck!” to be understanding. On the other hand, who’s going to sympathize with a cheating bastard?

Given that Chambers’ career arc follows a predictable pattern for an aging receiver I’m skeptical of his explanation. But as a Miami fan I rooted for him so I’m going to hope I’m wrong and that somehow, someway he returns to his old productive yet frustrating form as a newly signed Kansas City Chief.

No comments: