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UT: Scifres was Chargers' unsung hero

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jan/06/mike-scifres-chargers-punt-unsung/

    The first one sailed 50 yards to the Bengals’ 20. A yard was lost on the return, and the drive started at the 19.

    The next one flew 47 yards to the Bengals’ 40. Cincinnati didn’t even try this time. Fair catch.

    A few drives later, Chargers punter Mike Scifres launched one 51 yards to the Bengals’ 37, then watched Darrell Stuckey chase down returner Brandon Tate for a loss of 5 yards.

    Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Chargers’ defense shined while the offense eventually got cooking. But the special teams, led by Scifres’ right leg, was just as instrumental in the 27-10 wild-card win.

    “One thing that might get taken for granted sometimes is having a punter that looks out for his team more than himself,” said Stuckey of Scifres. “He doesn’t care how long his punts are — he’s looking for hang time so that the other team can’t do anything with the punt.”

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    Scifres’ hang time often flirts with the five-second range. The time he spends in the locker room after games is about the same.

    But you don’t need necessarily need him around for perspective on his contributions. His teammates are very quick to praise his ability.

    Chargers linebacker Jarret Johnson said that there are often times he finds himself staring up at a punt going, “Geez, that’s high.”

    The punts certainly were Sunday.

    Of the five times the Chargers kicked it away, there were two fair catches, two returns for negative yardage, and one return for 12 yards.

    Critics, particularly on Twitter, were quick to question a couple of San Diego coach Mike McCoy’s decisions to punt on fourth-and-1, or play a particularly conservative set of downs. But given how effective a weapon Scifres was, perhaps, in retrospect, they weren’t the worst choices.

    “He’s huge — changing the field position. I know he pinned them inside the 20 a couple times and had a bomb (at the end of the second) quarter to change the field,” said Chargers safety Eric Weddle. “I appreciate him immensely. I know what he brings to the team — especially being on special teams myself.”

    Obviously, punters aren’t going to get much glory in the NFL playoffs, and ultimately it comes down to the offense’s ability to score points and the defense’s ability to prevent them. But the guys celebrating in the Chargers’ locker room were acutely aware of the guy bailing them out on fourth downs Sunday.

    “He was amazing,” Stuckey said of Scifres. “He was really effective today.”
  2. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Stuckey was pretty damn good himself.
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  3. Sydalish
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    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    SciFi has spoiled us, he's a stud... we've honestly been damn lucky in the Punter department for the better part of two decades really.
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  4. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Yes, fortunately they are rarely called upon to make a tackle, or we might have to replace them more often. ;)
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  5. Sydalish
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    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    One of my favorite things about David Binn was how he'd get into the action (best long snapper ever)

    SciFi isn't a bad tackler, but he shouldn't have to be, if he's in a position to tackle a returner we have bigger problems haha
  6. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Binn was great, but if all you do is snap the ball, then you damn well better know how to tackle as well. ;)
  7. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 8.06.17 PM.png
    Amen.
  8. TheLash
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    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    Still a weapon! And the best tackling punter ever was Sci-Fi's mentor Darren Bennet.
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