Mike Scifres

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Mike Scifres
Mike Scifres-Aug-2-08-Practice.jpg
Scifres at the Chargers' practice in August 2008
No. 5     San Diego Chargers
Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-10-08) October 8, 1980 (age 33)
Place of birth: Metairie, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Destrehan (LA)
College: Western Illinois
NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 5 / Pick: 149
Debuted in 2003 for the San Diego Chargers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013
Punts591
Punt Yards26,733
Punting Yard Average45.2
Stats at NFL.com
 
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Mike Scifres
Mike Scifres-Aug-2-08-Practice.jpg
Scifres at the Chargers' practice in August 2008
No. 5     San Diego Chargers
Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-10-08) October 8, 1980 (age 33)
Place of birth: Metairie, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Destrehan (LA)
College: Western Illinois
NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 5 / Pick: 149
Debuted in 2003 for the San Diego Chargers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013
Punts591
Punt Yards26,733
Punting Yard Average45.2
Stats at NFL.com

Michael T. Scifres (born October 8, 1980) is a punter for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League.

High school[edit]

Scifres attended Destrehan High School in Destrehan, Louisiana and lettered in football, soccer, and baseball. In football, he was an All-District selection. Scifres graduated from Destrehan High School in 1998.

College years[edit]

While playing for Western Illinois, Scifres was the only punter from NCAA Div 1-AA (now called the Football Championship Division) to become a 2002 finalist of the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter.[1] He set a school and conference record with an 89-yard punt against Southwest Missouri State in 2000. Scifres also kicked a game-winning 56-yard field goal in his first career attempt in 1999. Two-time First-team All-American selection by Football Gazette, Three-time All-conference selection, Seven-time National player of the week, and Five-time Conference player of the week. His college nickname was Scabies. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Communications & Broadcasting.[2]

Professional career[edit]

He was selected with the 14th pick of the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Western Illinois University.

Scifres was drafted by the Chargers in 2003 at the recommendation of Kyle Smith, the son of former Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. As a freshman at Youngstown State, Smith had returned punts against Scifres, who played for Missouri Valley Conference foe, Western Illinois. He spent his first season learning behind Chargers Hall of Fame punter Darren Bennett and then took over full-time punting duties in 2004. Since then, Scifres has become a member of the Chargers’ 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, he has thrice been an alternate for the Pro Bowl, most recently as a 1st Alternate for the 2009 Pro Bowl and a two-time Chargers Special Teams Player of the Year.

To put his career into historical context, Scifres has punted 573 times and among punters with at least that many attempts, his gross average (45.3) ranks fourth and his net average (38.5) ranks fifth. Complete punting statistics that include opponent returns and touchbacks only date to 1976, but since those statistics have been kept, Scifres’ 244 returns against are the second-fewest and his 52 touchbacks are the third-fewest.[3]

In the Chargers' 2009 Wild Card Playoff versus the Colts, Scifres kicked a 67-yard punt and averaged 51.7 yards with six punts. Also, all his punts during the game were inside the Chargers' own 20-yard line, with 4 inside their 10-yard line.[4] Perhap Scifres's best punt of the game was the last, a 52-yard kick launched from the San Diego 47 yard line that bounced out of bounds at the Colts' 1, pinning Indianapolis deep and allowing the Chargers' defense to force the Colts to punt the ball away from the back of their own end zone. Scifres said after the game, "I don't know if you can dream a game like this." [5] Scifres also made some clutch punts near the end of the 2007 Charger's AFC Divisional Playoff Game that pinned the Colts back deep in their own territory and ultimately helped thwart the Colts' QB Peyton Manning's come back attempts. In week 11 vs the Denver Broncos Scifres completed his first NFL completion to Mike Tolbert for 28 yards.[6]

The 2011 season was another that turned out to be memorable for Scifres. Just days before the regular season began, the team signed him to a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2016 season. When he put pen to paper though, little did Scifres realize that within a few days, his workload would also include kickoffs, field goals and point after tries. That happened in the ’11 season opener against Minnesota after Nate Kaeding suffered a season-ending knee injury on the opening kickoff of the season. Scifres, who on paper always had been the team’s backup kicker but had never actually been called upon to do so, coolly responded by hitting three extra points and a game-tying 40-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter en route to a 24-17 victory. It was his first made field goal in a live game since his sophomore year in college when he kicked a 56-yard game-winner in overtime against Northern Iowa for a conference title.

Scifres boomed his way into the Chargers’ record books in 2012. Already the team’s record-holder for career punting average (45.3), Scifres was voted the team’s Special Teams Player of the Year last season after setting a new team record with an average of 48.3 yards per punt, a mark that shattered the previous high of 46.7, which he set back in 2010. And thanks to the Chargers’ outstanding coverage units, Scifres posted a 40.6-yard net average in 2012, second in the franchise’s 53-year history.[7]

Scifres also maintained his grip as the NFL’s most accurate punter of all time. In 2012, he dropped 30 of 81 punts inside the 20 (37.0%) and heads into 2013 as the most accurate of all-time among punters with at least 500 career attempts, landing 227 of 573 (39.6%) inside the 20.[8]

Personal life[edit]

A native of Destrehan, Louisiana., one of Scifres’ prep teammates was Baltimore Ravens’ safety Ed Reed. When the two were high school teammates, Reed was actually the superior punter and as a result, Scifres was relegated to kickoffs, field goals and extra points. The two have remained good friends.[9]

Scifres’ hobbies include golf, weightlifting and Pilates. He and his wife, Stacie, have twin daughters Berkeley and Bristyn, and a son, Brodyn.

References[edit]

External links[edit]