Wide receiver Chris Chambers went from a disastrous season in Miami to a natural disaster in San Diego last month. After being traded to the San Diego Chargers from the Miami Dolphins, who were 0-6 at the time and on their way to a current 0-10 mark, Chambers flew coast-to-coast twice from Oct. 16-19. The second time he flew to San Diego, he saw the burning hills of the tragic San Diego-area wildfires from the window of the plane. It has all made for a wild season for Chambers, who last Sunday had 4 catches for 93 yards in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, his best game since being acquired for a second-round pick:
Cole: I have to imagine that the past few weeks have been pretty wild. Do you really even have an off day? Is it just about catching up on details?
Chambers: Yes, it is, and when I first got here, I had the fires, so I had to go to Arizona right away. For the most part, every Tuesday I'm at Target or Best Buy or the wife wants to go to one of these shopping centers – something like that to look for stuff for the apartment or for my son (seven-month-old Chaz). So every off-day is a shopping day for me.
Cole: Do you even get to sleep in one day?
Chambers: Yeah, I sleep in Monday night. Now, if it's a day where I have to go get a massage, I'm going to get that regardless. Get a massage and get caught up with treatment and then it's off to shopping.
Cole: Do you have to catch up on any of the offense?
Chambers: Nah, I know pretty much the whole offense. Even if I don't know the exact terms, I've heard the words and it's all pretty much the same after awhile. (First-year Dolphins coach) Cam (Cameron) had a pretty similar system to what (first-year Chargers coach and former Dolphins coordinator) Norv (Turner) is running. So Norv will just remind me, ‘Hey, you remember this play we ran in Dallas? We're running that again.' Oh, OK, got it.
Cole: Have you had any chance to enjoy San Diego yet?
Chambers: No, not really. I hear there's a really nice zoo and a really nice Sea World, so I'll get a chance to take all that in the next few weeks – take my son and my wife out. We'll get a chance to see some sights.
Cole: So tell me about your first week with the Chargers.
Chambers: I came here the bye week and when I came back from the bye, I actually could see the fires coming in. So we had to take off the next day. I had to go back to Florida to pack my bags. I got traded on a Tuesday, practiced Wednesday and Thursday, flew back (to Miami) on Friday, came back to San Diego on Sunday because it was the bye.
Cole: And you actually saw the fires from the plane?
Chambers: Yeah, but I didn't think nothing of it at the time. I've seen all the red (of the fire), but I didn't think it was this big.
Cole: You were with the Dolphins when they played San Diego in 2003 and had to move the game to Arizona, right?
Chambers: Yeah, that's why everybody was blaming it on me. They said, ‘Look what you brought back with you.' The guys gave me a hard time. Then it rained last Sunday (against the Indianapolis Colts) and they said it never rains this time of the year. So I brought the fire and the rain, they told me.
Cole: How tough was it to leave Miami after six years there, even though the team was struggling?
Chambers: I've got things, I've got homes, I've got friends that I'm really close to. I haven't talked to the guys much. I've been text messaging a little, as much as I can. I talked to my receivers coach, who I really liked, Terry Robiskie. It was tough leaving there. I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to no one. All I could do was say goodbye to the coaches. Walking around, I almost broke down in tears. I know if I had seen my teammates … Jason (Taylor) called me, all those guys.
Cole: So how's fatherhood?
Chambers: It's nice. My wife does an excellent job. He's a little clingy to mommy right now. That's the way it is.
Cole: Are you helping? Changing a few diapers?
Chambers: Yeah, yeah. For the first few months and then it was the season, so my wife is good about it.
- San Diego