Okay. Let’s start with what we know. The Rams’ wide receivers are among the least productive in the game. They have scored two touchdowns: one by the now-rehabbing Laurent Robinson, the other came with a little dance audition by Donnie Avery at the tail end of a blowout. With the game against Detroit on the line in the second half, our WRs caught one ball in eight targets. And our emerging hands guy, Danny Amendola, just got his brain knocked clean out of his head.
Therefore, any time a WR who has ever been drafted in a fantasy football draft — whose name is known, in other words — hits the street, he is going to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Rams. For example: Chris Chambers. First I heard it? About eight hours ago:
Chargers released WR Chris Chambers.
First of all, my skin crawls a little using Chris Chambers, who at one time in Miami held the honorary “Brian Pinkston alligator arms” trophy two years running, as a stand-in for Torry Holt. But I have to entertain the suggestion that he would have some sort of veteran savvy above and beyond certain members of the WR corps named Tim Carter. Is there a side to Chris Chambers that I am not seeing? Here’s a few dueling perspectives [Updated 11:30], after the break:
Firstly, I reached out across the pond, to the esteemed Rams correspondent at ProFootballFocus, Sam Monson. Here’s my question and his rapid response:
Maybe that’s true, but it might also be a not-so-veiled indictment of our current starters. For a second opinion, I also tapped our FanBall brethren, Anthony Blake at ChargingBolts.com, for the local take. Here’s our rapid Q&A:
RamsHerd: I heard the news about Chris Chambers getting released, and the Rams fans are already buzzing about whether he would be a fit. I’m thinking he must not have much left to get dumped mid-season like this, but admittedly I haven’t been paying much attention to the Chargers in a while. What’s the scoop on your end? Is Chambers still a contributor? Is he the kind of player you’d want to throw into a rebuilding situation, or does he need “the right fit” (i.e. New England) to work out?
ChargingBolts: Hey Will, congrats on the first W yesterday for Spagnuolo. As for Chambers, I think the decision was less about him and more about the other guys on the depth chart. Of course it didn’t hurt that he was due a large chunk of change this year and the Bolts wanted to get out from under his cap number, but the Chargers have been developing some younger receivers and I have been excited about them since training camp. Legedu Naanee is ready to break out and Malcolm Floyd showed what he was capable of this week as well. For St. Louis, I think he would be a nice piece to put in place for the development of their relatively young receiving corps. Both Keenan Burton and Donnie Avery could greatly benefit from the presence of a veteran to show them the intricacies of route running. I don’t know where he will land, but I don’t think he will have much difficulty fitting in wherever it may be.
RH: How much credit do you give Chambers for the emergence of these younger players on the Chargers? I mean, that’s definitely a pain point in St Louis, where we are absolutely dependent on second-year players. Even if Chambers has declining skills on the field, is his mere presence a plus, like getting a John Smoltz to add to your pitching staff?
CB: I think the Smoltz analogy is a valid one. Although he may not do much in terms of putting people in the seats or padding the stat book, his presence in practice and hard work with the receivers around him makes him a viable option for St. Louis. I don’t know for certain that Chambers individually impacted the emerging wideouts on the Chargers squad, but his work ethic in practice and his attention to detail running routes had to have rubbed off on them at least a little.
Two positive reports… is there smoke here? Is there the potential for fire? I still don’t know. Here is the scouting report that troubles me most, courtesy of Sign On San Diego (still keeping it classy!):
He’s 31 years old, and he’d be making a serious downgrade in passing accuracy, moving from Philip Rivers to Marc Bulger. The problems he has are problems the Rams already have, and without knowing the playbook, it’s hard to see the immediate benefit unless this guy is seriously ready for the Obi Wan Kenobi role for our young padawans.
No, I still think if Chambers is going to land, it will be in a situation ready-made for some last-gasp playoff heroics. Not with a rebuilding team with as many moving parts as the Rams. But I’ve been wrong before…