NFC West: Mr. Irrelevant
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams brought a measure of fame to Idaho linebacker David Vobora when they made him "Mr. Irrelevant" as the last player chosen in the 2008 NFL draft. Vobora wasn't the Rams' only seventh-round linebacker this year. The other, Chris Chamberlain, has been more impressive through two exhibition games. The former Tulsa standout was nice enough to share a few minutes of his time after practice earlier this week.
Sando: Your backups played most of the way against a physical Titans team in the opener. Have you had your "welcome to the NFL" moment?
Chamberlain: Man, we were already shorthanded without five defensive starters. We were pretty thin and so I got in there and in that second quarter, I was already doing special teams, the offense wasn't moving the ball and we were not doing a good job on defense. I felt at halftime I had played a whole game. One of the biggest surprises, I sat down and about 2 minutes later they said, 'All right, you have 3 or 4 minutes.' I didn't know halftimes were so short. I was gassed from one quarter and we open second half with the kickoff. That was a pretty big shock. Obviously, the physicalness that team played with. We have definitely improved since then. It was a great first game to get under the belt."
Chamberlain made the game-saving pass breakup on a fourth-down play to preserve the Rams' 7-6 victory over San Diego in the second exhibition game. You can't tell a seventh-round rookie these games don't count when, in fact, they mean everything to guys trying to earn roster spots.
Chamberlain stands a good shot at sticking in St. Louis. He is rotating with the second-team defense at weak-side linebacker and also playing with the second dime defense. He lines up over the tackle on the right side of the punt-return team. He's playing the right side on the kickoff team, flying downfield with bad intentions. Chamberlain is also on the kick-return team, where he has rotated with Vobora. He's behind Pisa Tinoisamoa on the punt team.
I'll include the rest of our conversation below for die-hards who can't get enough (and you know who you are). Chamberlain is a former small-school quarterback and safety at Bethany (Okla.) High School, where he rushed for 2,000 yards and passed for 1,000 yards in one season while leading his team to its first Class 2A state championship.