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.)