Monday, August 11, 2008

O'Neill: Walking the walk

We've all heard about the ruckus O'Neill Chambers caused when he gave his controversial interview with ESPN's Graham Watson earlier this month. (If you haven't read the article, by the way, you really need to read it. You can do so by clicking here.)

The knee-jerk reaction of most rational BYU fans is to say, "This punk kid needs a lesson or two in good old fashioned humility!" For good reason, too. He trashes our returning wide receivers, our defensive backs and even our coaches, if you interpret it that way.

I'm taking a different stand on this situation. I've been a Chambers fan since he signed with BYU, and if he's the athlete I always expected him to be, frankly I would be a little disappointed if he wasn't talking a little trash about his compadres.

Barring Austin Collie, who is untouchable as far as I'm concerned, and Michael Reed, who is a senior leader and has proved his worth, the WR field is ripe and ready for Chambers to thrust in his sickle and start the harvest.

Let's examine what the media guys are saying about Chambers' performance in camp since his interview (dated August 6, 2008):

*August 8: QB Max Hall hooks up with Chambers for a 40 yard strike--Cougar Tracks

*August 9: Hall finds Chambers all alone on the sideline for a 45-yard reception that would have been a TD had Chambers not slightly stepped out of bounds--Cougar Tracks

*August 11: I'll quote this one directly from Cougar Tracks: "WR O'Neill Chambers was singled out by his position coach for his blocking in a drill that requires two wideouts to block downfield for a ball-carrying receiver, and was also applauded for a nice scoring catch on a goal line fade. He later recorded a significant gain on an end-around run, and you get the impression it may be tough to keep him off the field, his relative lack of playbook knowledge notwithstanding."

*August 11: Chambers works on the punt return team--SL Trib

*August 6: Coach Mendenhall says Chambers has "Tremendous talent" and could fill third WR role--SL Trib

*August 8: Chambers hauls in a 35-yard bomb from Hall that "pumped up the whole team"--SL Trib

*August 9: Chambers makes offensive "play of the game" during Saturday's scrimmage-- SL Trib

*August 11: Mendenhall says Chambers may return kickoffs, if he can learn his assignments well enough--DesNews

That's just a sampling of everything this little WR phenom has done in just a short time at BYU camp. This guy is making plays every single day. My feeling? If you can walk the walk, don't be afraid to talk the talk.

(But let me qualify that by saying this: Don't ever pick fights with your own team. The last thing we want at BYU is a junior Terrell Owens.)


Trevor said...

I disagree......walking it doesn't give you the right to talk it. Max Hall being good doesn't give him the right to trash the back up QBs. Nor Austin Collie with the WRs. And even if it wasn't bashing other players, too much trash talk is really annoying, even as a fan of that player. I got mad at Max Hall before last season too for being arrogant, and it wasn't half of what Chambers is saying.

And with all that said.......Chambers has not walked ANYTHING. He's a freshman that has done ok in some drills. You omitted the other notes about him where he's in the wrong spot and running the wrong route. I'm not hating on the guy, cuz I think he'll be good. But has not walked the talk at all. Practice is not walking the talk. Until he performs in a game he hasn't proven ANYTHING in my book, big recruit or not. Remember, Ben Olsen was the #1 recruit in the entire nation. So even if there was a trash talking right to be earned, he definitely hasn't earned it.

Homeboy needs to keep his mouth shut.

Adam, is Chabers your football equivalent of JT where you're going to be over the top supportive of him, regardless of him being an idiot?

Adam said...

Trevor, please tell us where it is reported that Chambers was "in the wrong spot," or "running the wrong route."

He's young, and he needs to learn the offense, but give the guy some credit.

And let me throw your question right back at you: Is Chambers going to be your JT- meaning you'll hate him even when he makes mind-blowing plays?

Rock said...

I worry about his ball security, especially if he does kick returns.

But if he gets the plays down and if his routes are crisp, any defense is going to have a heart attack when they see him and Collie line up for a couple of flag routes.

And if he ends up higher on the depth chart than Bryce Mahuika, all is well.

Trevor said...

Hall said, "He has to get better at his routes. He has to get crisper. He needs to learn the offense" - Des News

Wide receivers coach - "His biggest limitation is how fast he can incorporate the mental process and route running" - Des News

WR coach also said - "He has a lot of potential, but you know what they say about potential - it means you haven't proven anything yet." (Sound familiar?)

I can't find it, but I read a quote from Bronco saying that he needs to work on his assignment work (ie- being in the right place at the right time)

I was not a JT hater regardless of what he did. I was a JT hater when he only focused on shooting. The second he started focusing on some other things, I was quick to admit he was helping the team. I was consistent in my feelings for him - if he plays defense and passes, he'll be a solid player.

And again, I can't give an incoming freshman "credit" until he's actually done something. Am I excited about him? Yes. Do I think he can be really good? Absolutely. But has he proven anything at all? Both I and the WR coach say, NO. Fall camp is not "proving it" or "walking the walk". It's showing potential. Right now that's all he is. And I sure as heck hope that his potential turns into plays on the field.

And even when that does happen, it does not give him the right to rip his teammates. You just don't do that. I'm not on the extreme of hating him or something, but I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.

And I still love you.