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Chambers enjoying strong camp

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Aug 12, 2009

    Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers drew Norv Turner’s praise this week for his hard work this summer. The nine-year veteran hopes this big effort will yield big results in ‘09.

    At the end of Wednesday morning’s practice at Chargers Park, Head Coach Norv Turner called wide receiver Chris Chambers[​IMG] to the front of the stretch line to wish him a happy 31st birthday.

    As Chambers stepped forward, fellow receiver Kassim Osgood[​IMG] snuck up behind him and doused the nine-year veteran with ice water, drawing a round of laughs from his teammates.

    “He thought he was pulling a prank, but he did me a favor,” Chambers said. “As hard as I’m working, that cold stuff felt great.”

    Chambers has been working so hard this camp that he’s drawn Turner’s attention for plenty of reasons other than his birthday. He’s currently a little lighter than in recent years, and his slimmer physique has helped.

    “I think Chris is having an outstanding camp,” Chambers said. “He’s working hard and he’s losing a little bit of weight which I think is good for him. He came in a little bit heavier than normal. He’s in outstanding shape.”

    Chambers is hopeful that his work in the weight room and on the track yields another big season after his 2008 campaign had some ups and downs.

    In his first full season with the Chargers after a mid-season trade in 2007, Chambers started with a bang as he caught five touchdown passes in the team’s first five games. But during his “homecoming game” against the Miami Dolphins, the team he spent the first six and a half seasons with, Chambers suffered a high ankle sprain.

    He missed two games and returned with a five-catch performance against the Saints. Then the next week against the Chiefs he was held without a catch for the first time in 35 starts.

    “Last season was a little frustrating at times,” Chambers said. “Early in the season we had a few tough losses and then I had to deal with the injury. With all the playmakers on this team, you go through spells where you don’t get as many opportunities. I tried to be patient and things kind of picked up towards the end of the year.”

    The early-season emergence of Malcom Floyd[​IMG] also had an affect on Chambers. Floyd started in Chambers’ place against New England and had a 49-yard touchdown catch.
    When Chambers returned, he moved inside to the slot more regularly so the Chargers could get him, Floyd and Vincent Jackson[​IMG] on the field at the same time.

    “When I changed positions, Malcom started getting a lot of the balls I was getting early in the season,” Chambers said. “I was happy to see him have success along with the other guys, but it made me have to be even a little more patient.”

    As the Chargers righted the ship late in the season, the tide turned for Chambers as well. He caught four passes in each of the team’s playoff games and provided an impact just like Turner believes he’ll have in 2009.

    “Sometimes your number … sometimes the coverage comes up where you get a lot of opportunities,” Turner said. “I think Chris’s opportunities were limited at times, but he’s getting ready to have an outstanding year.”

    Prior to joining the Chargers, Chambers led the Dolphins in receiving yards for five straight seasons but never played in a postseason game. While he’s certainly capable of being the go-to guy, he realizes that being surrounded by so much talent will make it difficult for him to reach the numbers he posted in Miami.

    And while that sometimes requires a little patience, he’s fine with that.

    “When you’re winning, you just remind yourself that your time is going to come,” Chambers said. “I love my teammates and I love playing here. I just hope I get a chance to really help this team do something special because, as an offense, that’s what we believe we can be.”

    Decisions coming Saturday

    Turner won’t likely announce how much his starters will play in Saturday’s preseason opener, partially because he may not decide until Saturday afternoon. As he annually makes such decisions, Turner tries to find balance between getting his vets enough live action to get ready for the season and seeing exactly what he’s got in some of the team’s young players.

    “You want your veteran players to get off to a good start, but certainly the key for us is we’ve got a lot of decisions to make over the next month with our young players,” Turner said. “We need to find out the guys who can transfer what we’ve been working on for the last three weeks on the practice field, transfer it over to the playing field in a real game.”

    Aside from who plays, there’s also the issue of not showing too much schematically in the preseason while doing enough for the young players to show that they get what the coaches are trying to do.

    “We’re always torn between how much we’re going to do, how much we’re going to show in a regular-season game, but we’re going to do enough to give those guys an opportunity to have success,” Turner said.

    Vasquez out

    Turner said Wednesday that he hopes to have rookie guard Louis Vasquez[​IMG] back on the field early next week, but the team’s third-round pick won’t play Saturday.

    Vasquez has missed a week of practice with a foot injury. He entered camp in a heated battle for the starting right guard spot, and while Turner has been extremely pleased with the job veteran Kynan Forney[​IMG] has done, he doesn’t think Vasquez’s injury has caused him to fall too far behind in the race.

    “The thing about Vasquez is he got off to such a great start and he was so impressive in the things he did,” Turner said. “That gives you a great hope. I’m disappointed he’s missed the reps but he’s a sharp guy and the things he’s showed me, I think when we get him back he can continue to progress and get him to where we need him to be.”

    Lowe to be honored

    Chargers Hall of Famer Paul Lowe, the second-leading rusher in AFL history, will serve as the team’s honorary captain Saturday. As part of the team’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Chargers officials have planned several special ways to honor the team’s history.

    On the first play in AFL history, Lowe returned the opening kickoff of a preseason game against New York 105 yards for a touchdown.

    The Chargers will also continue to show their support of the military as the team holds its 21st-annual Salute to the Military Saturday. Local Marines, sailors and soldiers will be recognized throughout the game.

  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    CC has been rock-solid for us barring injury. I'm looking for him to have a strong year.

    Too bad we won't get a look at Vasquez this week, but better safe than sorry.
  3. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    I still think CC is our best receiver. With a healthy Gates and Chambers, the emergence of VJ, and Naanee having a great camp, we are going to be unstoppable in the passing game. It doesn't even matter if Buster's hymen heals or not.

    PS. Thanks for posting this Johnny. :tup:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. nflhof

    nflhof BoltTalker

    Jul 23, 2007
    So does AJ keep or let CC89 go after this season? I would like to see him stay if the price is right. I feel he is a real professional and a good player to have on your team espically at WR. He is no Ochostinko! Thank God.
  5. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    IMO there is a strong resemblance to the passing corp of today's Chargers and the passing corp of the Air Coryell Chargers.

    Chris Chambers being the older wiser veteran, Vincent Jackson is the young acrobatic leaper and Antonio Gates is the soft handed tough tight end.
    And to top it all off they are being coached by the Original Charlie Joiner.....another generation of Charlies Angels.

    :bolt: :flag: :bolt:
  6. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

    Nov 21, 2006
    I hope we keep Chambers. He is still going strong and provides much needed veteran leadership. Teams win SBs with veteran leadership. Rookies and younger players are fine, but I rather have VJ and Chambers with Floyd in rotation.

    Unless Chambers seriously declines and asks for a huge contract (both I doubt) we sign him to an extension.
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    It's a money game & I'm not sure that CC fits into it. I don't see Buster getting extended unless he does something MONSTER this year. Given the chance, I think Naanee shows enough that we look at him as the future over CC. Gates provides vet leadership - plus now we have Joiner. :tup:
  8. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Astute observation. CC could fill the same role as Joiner. With him, he know the dead spots in the coverage at the snap and be there. He will be one of Rivers handiest escape valves.
    • Like Like x 1

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