the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 5, 2015

San Diego Chargers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

October 4, 2015 - Josh Lambo kicks game winner over Cleveland
"A combination of Philip Rivers' veteran grit and rookie Josh Lambo's second-chance field goal got the San Diego Chargers back on track. Given a second chance because of a penalty, Lambo kicked a 34-yard field as time expired to lift the Chargers to a 30-27 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. 'Thankfully I got a second chance,' said Lambo, who beat out veteran Nick Novak for the job. 'I missed the first one and I just started laughing. Then I saw a flag on the field and said. 'Oh, OK, let's try again.' Fortunately I had second chance.' Lambo got that second chance because Cleveland's Tramon Williams was whistled for being offside on Lambo's 39-yard attempt, which he pushed wide right." - Fox Carolina

September 5, 2015 - Josh Lambo wins kicking job, Nick Novak released
"The Chargers notified veteran kicker Nick Novak of his release Saturday morning, a source said. Josh Lambo, an undrafted rookie from Texas A&M, is slated to be the team's placekicker in 2015.... Some risk is inherently involved when moving on from a proven leg who at one point last season was the most accurate kicker in franchise history. Novak made 20 of his first 21 field goals last season and went 74-for-83, 89. 2 percent, on field goals the past three years. His kickoffs were a needed area of improvement going into the offseason; Novak had no touchbacks over the second half of 2014. Despite improvement made, Lambo showed good distance in the preseason. He also had an eye-opening exhibition game Aug. 22 in Arizona, making three fields, including a 53-yard one as time expired in the first half and the game winner as time expired in regulation." - San Diego Union Tribune 

May 2, 2015 - kicker Josh Lambo signed
Undrafted kicker Josh Lambo from Texas A&M was signed following the draft.

December 28, 2014 - punter Mike Scifres place on IR
"The San Diego Chargers have placed punter Mike Scifres on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Scifres suffered the injury in Week 14 and hasn't played since.... They will finish the season with Mat McBriar handling the punting duties." - The Score

December 20, 2014 - Nick Novak kicks OT game winner over 49ers
Philip Rivers prevailed through a balky back and a sore chest to keep San Diego's slim playoff chances alive, rallying his team to tie it in the final minute and setting up Nick Novak's 40-yard field goal nearly 5 minutes into overtime in a 38-35 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night.... Phil Dawson's 60-yard field goal attempt for San Francisco as regulation ended fell way short. Quinton Patton then fumbled in overtime to set up San Diego's winning drive. 'What a comeback. It's one of the greatest I've been a part of, and it keeps us alive,' Novak said. 'To kick the game-winner, do-or-die kick ... loved being in that moment'." - The Tribune

December 14, 2014 - Nick Novak misses pair in loss to Broncos
"Novak pinned the Chargers’ 22-10 defeat to the Denver Broncos on himself, ruing his two unsuccessful field goals that kept the Chargers down 9-3 instead of tying the score while the game was still within reach. 'I take responsibility as the reason we lost this game. Put it on me,' an emotional Novak said, his eyes red-rimmed. 'It’s part of being a pro, the ups and downs. I feel terrible for my team and my teammates. I’m going to make the next one and not let it affect me.' On a day when the Broncos’ offense seemed to struggle as much as their San Diego counterpart, every field goal mattered for both sides.... His first miss came early in the second quarter when the kick was blocked after Denver’s Derek Wolfe managed to tip the ball. It surprised even Novak. 'I couldn’t tell you what happened there,' Novak said. 'It felt great, the hold was great. It was going straight'.... Novak converted a 30-yard field goal right before halftime -- the 100th of his career with San Diego -- to make the score 9-3, but on the Chargers’ second drive of the third quarter, his 37-yard attempt hit the left upright. 'I just kept it on the pole with my toe up a little bit, and those were key mistakes right there. I feel like I cost us,' Novak said. The kicker dismissed any suggestion that working with a new holder might have contributed to his poor outing. The Chargers signed Mat McBriar this week to replace the injured Scifres, and McBriar also assumed Scifres’ duties as the longtime holder on special teams. 'You don’t make excuses, you go out there and do your job. Mat did a great job today. I just missed,' Novak said. 'We’ll work more this week'." -  San Diego Union-Tribune

December 9, 2014 - punter Mat McBriar signed
"The 35 year old is a 10-year veteran who spent his first eight years with the Dallas Cowboys before joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. McBriar has 589 punts under his belt, averaging 45.1 yards per attempt with 201 landing inside the 20.  His top seasons came in 2006 and 2010 when he was elected to the Pro Bowl and named a second-team All Pro.  The bulk of his career came in Dallas, and when he left following the 2011 season, he did so as the team’s all-time leader in gross punting average (45.3), net average (38.1) and punts inside the 20 (175). The 6-0, 227-pounder follows in the footsteps of Darren Bennett, the Bolts’ longtime punter who preceded Scifres. Like Bennett, who punted in San Diego from 1994-2003 and is a member of the Chargers 40th and 50th Anniversary Teams, McBriar is a native Australian who began his career playing Australian Rules Football." - Chargers

December 8, 2014 - punter Mike Scifres out with broken clavicle
"Mike Scifres has appeared in every single game since 2004 when he took over punting duties from Darren Bennett. His streak of 160 consecutive regular season games will be snapped this week as the punter fractured his clavicle in the second quarter of Sunday night’s loss. Branden Bolden blocked Scifres’ punt, and in the process sent him spiraling through the air before crashing hard on his left shoulder. Head Coach Mike McCoy said the team will evaluate Scifres’ situation later this week to determine whether he’ll be able to return at some point down the line. 'We’ll see how the week goes with his injury and decide what we’re going to do there,' he said. 'Mike’s had an outstanding year. He’s been lights out kicking the ball inside the 50 and plus-50 territory. He has a great leg of kicking the ball the way you want. He’s a great guy to have in the locker room; a good leader. He just shows up every day and does his job'." - Chargers

December 7, 2014 - kicker Nick Novak does plenty of punting against Patriots
"When the Chargers’ All-Pro punter Mike Scifres went down with a shoulder injury in the second quarter of San Diego’s 23-14 defeat to New England, placekicker Nick Novak became the next punter up. His first punt was a cringe-worthy 27-yard effort that made many wonder if Scifres’ injury would doom San Diego in a closely contested game. Lucky for the Chargers, Novak’s first punt that gave New England the ball at its own 39 proved to be exception rather than the norm. Novak just needed to shake the rust off. 'I rushed myself,' Novak said. 'It was just catching, and thinking about the rush. As time went on, I kept my eyes down, just tried to get a good catch, make sure my drop was flat, and swing through it.' Thereafter, Novak settled down and matched the Patriots’ Ryan Allen in what turned out to be a third quarter punting duel. 'I really just tried to work on it on the sidelines to try and get into some kind of rhythm,' Novak said. With both offenses misfiring, San Diego and New England combined to punt seven times in the third quarter. Novak hit punts of 33, 45 and 51 yards to keep flipping the field for the Chargers." -  San Diego Union-Tribune

November 30, 2014 - kicker Nick Novak does plenty of squibbing against Ravens
"The Chargers' 34-33 win over Baltimore on Sunday had its odd moments, no doubt. But perhaps the most noticeable abnormality was the frequency of Nick Novak's squib kicks. Through the first three quarters, the Chargers' kicker refused to boot the ball into the end zone on kickoffs. And despite the favorable field position it gave the Ravens, he may have had good reason. Baltimore's Jacoby Jones, after all, is one of the more dangerous kickoff returners in the league. He's got five returns for touchdowns in his career, and on Nov. 2, took one 108 yards to the house -- matching his TD distance in Super Bowl XLVII. So according to Novak, the Chargers were willing to offer a short field to avoid the risk of allowing six quick points. 'Our strategy since Wednesday was to keep it away from No. 12,' Novak said. 'That's just the way it is when you're going against a guy as talented as Jacoby Jones'." - San Diego Union-Tribune

November 16, 2014 - punter Mike Scifres corners the Raiders
Scifres had nine punts in the game and five of them landed inside the 20-yard line. Every time he had the chance to pin the Raiders deep, he nailed that coffin shut. His five opportunities to pin the Raiders deep went like this: Downed at the 6-yard line; Raiders go three and out, downed at the 8-yard line plus holding penalty starts drive at 4-yard line; Raiders go three-and-out, punt to 9-yard line returned to 13-yard line; Raiders go three-and-out, downed at the 2-yard line; Raiders put together a good drive but still couldn't cover the 98-yard distance to score. 'He was huge,' Raiders head coach Tony Sparano said of Scifres. 'At one point in the game I honestly, I turned around and was like this guy is legitimately swinging the game single-handedly at times. With the way he was kicking the ball, it was huge. The ball's knocking down there inside the five-yard line and you're starting drives down there. And when your yards aren't coming easily and your starting drives are with your back against the wall like that it makes it really difficult, specifically when you're on the road like this. We dug a couple of them out of there but we weren't able to do much out of that. We had a couple drives there that fell short, kinda stopped ourselves sometimes in those situations. But he was really big in the game'." - Silver & Black Pride

October 21, 2014 - kicker Nick Novak sets team record
"Lost in the shuffle during a 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday was Chargers kicker Nick Novak setting a new franchise record for most consecutive field goals when he kicked his 30th straight, beating the record of former Chargers kicker John Carney. Novak, who was born in San Diego,  set the record on a 24-yard attempt in the fourth quarter and added on to his record when he made a 48-yard field goal later in the quarter." - Times of San Diego

October 1, 2014 - kicker Nick Novak named AFC special teams player of the week
"Nick the Kick' hit all four field goal attempts (37, 34, 33 and 23) and accounted for 15 points in the Chargers’ 33-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Novak moved into first place in team history for highest field goal percentage (88.1%) with a minimum of 100 attempts.  He is tied for the league lead with 40 points this season with Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri. " - Chargers 

September 28, 2014 - kicker Nick Novak the most accurate
"With at least 100 career attempts, he became eligible for the all-time Chargers ledger. He is 89-for-101 (88.1 percent) in a San Diego uniform, surpassing Nate Kaeding’s 180-for-207 (87.0 percent). Novak has converted 27 consecutive field goals, the second-longest streak in team history. John Carney made 29 straight during a span from 1992-1993." - San Diego Union-Tribune

August 25, 2014 - punter Chase Tenpenny released
"Parting with Tenpenny leaves Mike Scifres as the only punter on the team in Thursday's exhibition finale." - San Diego Union-Tribune

August 1, 2014 - the specialists
"Kicker Nick Novak and punter Mike Scifres are heading into their fourth season together in San Diego.  When asked about their bond, both players had nothing but admirable and respectable things to say about each other. '(Mike’s) always been a mentor to me,' Novak said. 'When I first got here he taught me how to be a pro.  I have a lot of trust in him as a holder.  I think when you’re with a guy for more than three or four years it starts to become a family and that’s what it feels like here now.'... 'We have a really good relationship (because) we’re together so much,' Scifres said. 'He, (long snapper) Mike Windt and I, we spend every minute of practice together.  We’ve become great friends, and I just admire how he goes about his work and I try do my part in helping him succeed in what he’s doing.  I think we have a really good thing going'.” - Chargers

June 4, 2014 - punter competition?
"A player to keep an eye on is undrafted rookie free-agent punter Chase Tenpenny, whose presence is viewed as a move to save veteran punter Mike Scifres' leg during the offseason. At 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, the Nevada product looks more like a defensive end than a punter. Tenpenny, a left-footed punter, averaged 44 yards a boot at Nevada and finished with 30 punts out of 100 attempts downed inside the 20-yard line. Scifres had a solid 2013 season. He was among the best punters in the NFL in placing the ball inside the 20-yard line, finishing with a league-best 30 of 56 punts inside the 20. He can also kick field goals in a pinch. But Scifres turns 34 in October and is set to earn the second-highest salary among punters for the upcoming season at $3.25 million. Competition at the position could have Scifres thinking about taking a pay cut." - ESPN

May 10th - punter Chase Tenpenny signed
"Former Nevada punter Chase Tenpenny has found a new home in Southern California. The San Diego Chargers have signed Tenpenny to an undisclosed contract as an undrafted free agent. Tenpenny has the size.  He's 6’4” 250 lbs and averaged 44.5 yards per punt last season for the Pack." - News 4

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