Opponent Opinions: WR Chris Chambers

Sunday's game at Dolphin Stadium will represent a homecoming for Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers, who is in his first full season in San Diego after being traded by the Dolphins last October. Chambers talked with South Florida media about his return to Miami.

Here's a transcript of Chambers' conference call:

On how comfortable he feels having the same coordinator and quarterback as the previous year: "Yeah, it's definitely a comfortable environment for me. We know this is the NFL, so you never know what's going to happen. Being here made my transition a lot easier just knowing Norv (Turner) and some of the stuff that he likes to do."

On whether his big-play ability is becoming his M.O. this year: "It's just something we've been working on. All of our receivers pretty much have pretty good yards per catch average and I've just been able to take advantage of a couple of opportunities, a couple of blown coverage opportunities; just taking advantage of my opportunities. I haven't had a whole lot in the last couple of games. With the guys around me, when you have (Antonio) Gates and Vincent (Jackson), who is definitely an emerging wide receiver, you have to get L.T. (LaDainian Tomlinson) the ball. You have (Darren) Sproles, you have a lot of weapons around you, so you don't know what game your number is going to be called especially when it's tight, so you have to be ready. I just took advantage of the couple of opportunities that I had and hopefully I can pick it up from there."

On what Philip Rivers is like in the huddle and on the field: "He's good. He's just like a coach. His pedigree, his background with his father being a coach, you can tell he has that mentality and he carries it on the field. He has great field command, huddle command. He knows exactly where everybody is going on the field. Guys love playing with him. He's a gutsy quarterback. You saw some of the things he did last year when he was hurt and in the playoffs and I think that kind of carried over and guys know they can really count on him."

On if it amazes him that Rivers is getting it done coming off a torn ACL in last years' playoffs: "Yeah, I didn't even know that until the offseason that he did that and played the game the way he did. He didn't miss anytime in the offseason so we had a lot of good work in the offseason. A lot of good work in training camp. I can see his legs getting stronger and now his arm is looking like it's getting stronger because the bottom half of his body is getting stronger."

On whether Rivers is the best quarterback he's played with: "It's hard to tell. One guy that I really enjoyed playing with was Sage Rosenfels, and it looks like he's doing a pretty good job in Houston when he has his opportunities. Similar to that, Gus (Ferotte) and Brian Griese were pretty cool. I can go down the line; I really liked Dante (Culpepper) if he was a lot healthier. Philip is maturing and growing and I see some good things for him"

On whether he can go through every quarterback and offensive coordinator he had in Miami: "I think I can, I can pretty much come close."

On how strange it will be coming back to Dolphin Stadium wearing a uniform other than a Dolphins uniform: "I don't know, I'm really trying to attack this just like a regular game. I've been getting ticket requests ever since they were on the schedule, to tell you the truth, and it's picked up this week. I have to try to keep it as normal as possible and approach it the same way. I'm very familiar with the guys. I'm sure it's going to be a little bit of an emotional moment for me for a second until we actually get going in the game. I can't wait to come out there and play in front of some of the fans and some of the supporters that I had in those seven years I was there."

On what type of reception he expects from the Miami fans: "I believe I left on real good terms. I've never had a problem. I've had a lot of great fan support over the years. We had great tradition there. To be able to play for seven years in this day and age is very amazing, so I'm very fortunate for that. I think the reception will be very well for me."

On if he still stays in touch with Ted Ginn and how closely he has followed his progression from last year: "It's hard to get in touch with Ted, to tell you the truth. I probably talk to Derek Hagan a little bit more than I do Ted. For whatever reason, I just haven't had a chance to touch base with him. When I was there, obviously I was a lot closer to him. I was able to help him out with things here and there. But I haven't talked to him this year. I've been watching him a little bit when I can and hopefully he'll mature into the receiver I think he can be."

On what Ted Ginn Sr. taught both him and Ted Ginn Jr. that has stayed with him in his career: "Just a lot of toughness, a lot of mental toughness. I think coming from our background and the area that we came from was a bit rough, and football kind of took away from some of the things that we wanted to do and his father was a great coach and a great mentor and kept guys out of the street and on the field and in the classroom. It just carried over. They have a great tradition in that school now with a lot of great players coming out of Glenville (high school in Cleveland, Ohio)."

On how much the stability in the offense at San Diego has helped him in his career and development compared to Miami: "It's really helped me a lot just to get a whole offseason with the same guy under center. Not only that, there are a lot of the same players around me; the same linemen. There's a lot of familiarity. It really helps me out a lot. I believe it will maximize my game to the fullest, hopefully, as we keep going, but now that we've been together for almost a year, I know some tendencies, he knows some tendencies. We've been checking, we've been (calling an) audible. Actually, three of my touchdowns this year have come off an audible; just something we've both seen in the secondary. Norv (Turner) is trying to give us a little bit more flexibility out there to run some of the routes by ourselves, so we're starting to expand as an offense. I think that's the biggest thing, just knowing the offense as opposed to learning the offense during the season, then the second half of the year pretty much picking it up and really getting going and then the season is over. Now, I actually know the offense and know the scheme and know what Norv wants to do with it."

On whether he feels that the Dolphins need to be patient with Ted Ginn and if it might take two or three years for a receiver to get a feel for the NFL: "I believe it does. I was fortunate enough to come in and have Orande Gadsden, James McKnight, Dedrick Ward, some real veteran guys with a lot of years on them. I think that probably made the difference of speeding me up from a mature standpoint as far as being a receiver. I'm still pretty much learning how to run routes coming out of Wisconsin, but I'm starting to get it down. Coming out, his route running ability was pretty good. I think he just needs to get a better feel for the game, more game experience. When he knows exactly what he's doing, and he catches that ball, he goes; it's pretty much no stopping him, no catching him from behind. I look for him to pick it up. He comes from a very tough background so I know he's a mentally tough kid."

On whether they play the rest of the season with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder knowing the team could easily have been 4-0 if a couple of calls had gone their way: "We know we had an opportunity. It's in the past right now. We had an opportunity to win two games, we could easily sit here and be 4-0 and we're not. We learn from our mistakes. We had a tremendously tough game last week until the fourth quarter when we were able to explode and this is how this team is. It's a very confident team. The offense feels like they can score at will and when it's on, it's really on. We can put up a lot of points. It feels like in the course of a four quarter game with the players that we have on both sides of the ball, somebody is going to make a play eventually and turn it around. We want to start fast, but if we don't, we don't panic. That's one thing that no guy panics, no guy will turn on one another, everybody just keeps it going and the confidence is extremely high when we're out there."

On whether he had any emotional reaction last week when the Dolphins beat up on the Patriots like they did: "I was just telling the guys that we usually beat those guys once a year anyway. Over the past, I don't know how many years, we've always played the Patriots tough. It's good to see the guys go up there and get a win. I was very happy for them. I was very happy for Ronnie Brown and Ricky (Williams) and those guys. I don't know how the bye is going to affect them. Maybe take a little bit of the momentum away, I don't know. They had a lot of tricks and treats last game and it was cool to see. I don't know how long they can do that type of stuff. I'm sure they will be extremely confident for this game. I'm telling all the guys it's going to be a very tough game; a very tough environment. The guys are going to play four quarters. I remember being there when teams come from the West Coast; our plan is to pretty much out run them, use the heat and all the stuff that we have as an advantage and try to run guys off the field."

On having eight catches that are big catches through four games or if he would like to be more involved in the offense and have more balls thrown his way: "Of course I would like to get more balls thrown my direction. I think the last couple of games I've had four or five thrown my direction, but it's one of those things where you really can't be selfish. I'm just pretty much going to let my game come to itself, let my season just come to myself and keep playing the way I am and fortunately I'll have a breakout game sooner or later. I like scoring touchdowns and it's good to get in the endzone. It's good to have nice yardage and I don't really need a whole lot of catches really to do what I need to do on that field, I'm just pretty much playing my role right now."

On how it feels being on a team where every game he plays in has playoff implications: "It's definitely a good feeling not to be playing your 10th or 11th game knowing that you're not even going to make the playoffs is different. Everything means something a little bit more. Not to say that we didn't play hard those years. We played extremely hard all the way through. A lot of games we probably lost by two, three, four points and just couldn't get over the hump. When you have the opportunity, it definitely is a big difference. It revives you a little bit as a player and you know what this game is all about."

On how LaDainian Tomlinson looks with his toe and if he's getting back to 100 percent: "I don't know about injuries, but he played the whole game and that was a good sign. He played more than he had this whole year. It hasn't gotten any worse for him. I expect him to continue to get healthier and healthier as he goes and Norv does a great job with the guys as far as keeping them healthy, knowing when they need to practice, knowing when they need to take a break. That, over the long haul, will make him good down the stretch."


Dolphins Report Top Stories