NFL Moment Of The Week – Week 14

"Mike Scifres"Last week I was talking about punters, so I didn’t expect to be talking punters again this week…

Mike Scifres is the punter for the San Diego Chargers. In their game against the New England Patriots, not only was his punt blocked, he took a big hit and was sent crashing into the turf, suffering a broken clavicle.

So, the field goal kicker took over punting for the rest of the game. No big deal, right?
Well, in the kicking fraternity, it *is* quite a big deal!

I’ll be honest, I’ve always found it a bit odd that they have specific players for kicking field goals and punting. Surely there are people out there that can do both?

Yes, of course there are, and in fact it used to be that one kicker would do both duties. As the game developed though, it was thought that having 2 kickers with different jobs would keep their legs fresher.

Now, to me that still sounds silly, but since that’s the way it went, each kicker only practices his own job, and does not practice the other job. Since kickers rarely get hit, let alone injured enough to leave the game, to have to take over punting duties is a bit like being thrown in at the deep end – for the pressure of expectation as much as anything.

Kicker Nick Novak was the one to take over after Scifres’ injury. He did ok, but it’s back to goal kicking for himm, as the Chargers have pulled in a replacement for Scifres now.

Funny old game, eh? Let’s see if it’s punting at the heart of next week’s moment of the week!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
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  • I’ve never really understood why they have different player for different kind of kicks. Saying that only one person ever takes the kicks in rugby, so I guess it’s the same thing.

    My NFL knowledge is slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, getting better!

    • In fact I’ve used rugby to show why it’s *not* the same – yes, one player kicks in rugby, but he will also kick the ‘up and under’ high ball, which is basically the same as the NFL punt. Not only that, in rugby he has to attack and defend, putting in some hard tackles, and being on the receiving end of some too! The fact that Novak did ok when he stepped in shows it can be done fairly easily.
      I’m not sure the argument keeping their legs fresh holds up for me – keeping their legs fresh? These are highly paid professional athletes!
      Bah Humbug!