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Mike Scifres is up to New Tricks ?

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Trumpet_Man, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006

    Scifres angling for more options

    Punter ranks among elite in hang time

    By Jay Posner

    August 24, 2007

    Darren Bennett was stunned.
    A two-time Pro Bowl punter during his nine seasons with the Chargers, Bennett was a visitor at practice this week when someone mentioned Mike Scifres was working on changing a part of his game.

    Instead of just kicking the ball high to prevent returns, something he does better than any other punter in the league, Scifres was trying to angle his punts toward the sideline.

    “Why would you do that?” Bennett said before proffering a possible reason. “Sometimes, and this comes under the 'don't fix what's not broken' thing, you want to be too perfect.

    “I would say it's one of those things he's worked on, he's perfected, and now people don't know what to do with him so they try and change things.”

    But no one need worry that anyone is going to mess with what's made Scifres, 26, one of the league's best punters over the past three seasons. Steve Crosby, the Chargers' special teams coach, said if Scifres could get his usual hang time of 5-plus seconds and pin the punt returner closer to the sideline, it would be “almost impossible” for anyone to return a punt.

    “It's practice,” Scifres said. “It's just something else to work on; something else to add to what I've been doing. There's going to come a point where those 5-whatevers aren't going to be there and I'm going to need those sidelines. And there are also returners out there, you put footballs in their hands and it's scary. So I've been working on it a little bit more.”

    How's it going?

    “I'm still working on it,” he said, laughing.

    Said Crosby: “We're working on it, and I don't know that that's his forte. But he's certainly willing to work on things like that to try to help the team.”

    Scifres tried an angled punt Saturday in St. Louis that was successful, but also indicated why any change might not be necessary. Kicking from the Rams 43, Scifres aimed the punt toward the sideline, but it was so high that by the time it came down, teammate Kassim Osgood was there to catch it at the 6-yard line.

    “All I have to do is kick it high and they get down there,” Scifres said.

    Scifres never has relied on so-called “coffin corner” kicks to prevent touchbacks; instead, he uses the “Aussie Rules” kick he learned from Bennett as a rookie in 2003. Crosby compared it to a sand wedge shot that hits the turf and either checks up or goes backward.

    “He perfected the kick Darren did for years,” Crosby said.

    Since taking over for Bennett in 2004, Scifres leads the league in lowest percentage of punts returned and most punts downed inside the 20. Last season he had 35 of the latter against just two touchbacks. Much of that is because of his incredible ability to hang punts in the air for more than 5 seconds . . . and sometimes close to 6.

    “It's better than any I've seen,” said Crosby, beginning his 30th season in the NFL as a player, scout or coach.

    Said Bennett: “There's no one that's ever had that sort of hang time consistently. If you hit a 5.7 (hang time), why would you hit an angled punt? I mean, if your team can't cover a 5.7 . . . ”

    Just 27 of Scifres' 69 punts were returned last season, and 26 of them produced an average return of 5.2 yards. But it was the other punt, the one Cleveland's Dennis Northcutt carried 81 yards, that cost Scifres a share of the NFL's net punting “title.” If Northcutt had gained the same 5 yards averaged by other returners, Scifres' net average would have increased from 38.2 to 39.3, and he would have moved from a tie for eighth place into a tie for first.

    “The ultimate goal is to net 40 yards,” Scifres said

    ........click on link for more.......
  2. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Scifres is the best punter in the NFL. It's because so often we're punting from the opponent's side of the field, his punt average doesn't reflect his second-to-none skill.
  3. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
    Nobody is close to Sci-Fi.
  4. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Mike took over where bennett left off, and brought a little more boom for the buck.
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    If Scifres can combine Bennett's reverse english with his touch and drop balls into the coffin corner, the NFL will probably change the rules.
  6. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2006
    What I find unbelievable in that article is that Crosby has had a 30 year career in the NFL:icon_eek:
    • Like Like x 2
  7. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2006

    :icon_bow: :icon_bow: :icon_bow: :icon_bow: :icon_bow: :sci:
  8. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2006

    I gotta admit Bennet is the reason I love punters. Those flying rugby tackles he used to deliver when the returner would get to him (happened far too often back then) were awesome to watch. You can't get much more boom for your buck than that. One of Bennets kid's has MS and is confined to a wheelchair, he has a small foundation that does some good work wiith kids.

    :flag: :abq2: :icon_toast: :abq2: :flag:

    Let's Go Bolts!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    lol, the rules would have to be that only the chargers arent allowed to punt. xD

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