The following was written and submitted by kicker Nick Novak
It’s been an emotional week with the team’s decision regarding Nate Kaeding. I’ve treated every week since I’ve been here like I’m the kicker, but to see him get hurt like he did and have his season here end, it was still tough to see. Nate worked his tail off to get healthy after last season, so I feel badly for him. He is a great guy and I wish him all the best.
It’s also been a whirlwind month for me since I rejoined the Chargers. After I got released at the end of camp, I spent my time training at SDSU. I was kicking with some of the other kickers in the area like Michael Husted and John Carney. So I was just kicking in the area when I got the call, and I think I mentioned it before that I was so excited to get it that I backed up into a pole. This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to kick in this league. And to kick for the team I grew up rooting for as a kid, it makes it extra special.
I’m very lucky to have Coach Bisaccia here. He’s one of the best and knows how to get the most out of you. At this point in my career I’m blessed to have him as a coach. I know a lot of times fans don’t get to see much that a coach does, especially at practice, but he is an amazing guy to work with.
A lot of people come up to me and ask what kicks in my career stand out in my mind. Every kick is special, but the two that stick out in my mind was a game-winner I hit when I was with the Redskins to beat the Cowboys, and then another one I kicked to beat the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. But to be honest, every field goal I kick in the National Football League is an honor. When you see that ball go through the uprights, the rest of the guys work so hard all game, so when you’re called upon to put points on the board, there’s no other feeling in the world quite like that.
The other question I get is how I handle the pressure when the game is on the line. But I don’t find it to be pressure. I find kicking to be the best job in the world because it’s all in what we make of it. If you have the right mindset that you’re just going out there to do what you’ve trained your entire life to do, that’s just fun. It’s not pressure. What’s pressure is when you are making only $20,000 a year and need to feed an entire family and kids. That puts it all into perspective.
Football is really a huge part of my life. But when I’m not kicking, I like to wind down by watching movies. Some of my favorites are “Chariots of Fire” and “Braveheart.” Those are the kind of movies I watch a lot, so if you have any recommendations let me know.
Well that’s about it for me. I want to thank you all for reading this blog. And thanks for sticking with us. We still control our destiny, and there’s nothing but great things I feel in the future for us. So keep the faith.
Tags: Nick Novak
Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »
On his conference call with San Diego media today, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur said the number one player his team needs to watch out for is Philip Rivers.
Here is his exact quote:
“(Rivers) is a top flight quarterback in the league. We’ve got a great deal of respect for Philip. We’ve got a great understanding that he’s a winner. All quarterbacks that play have games where they have bad plays. It’s just a reality of it. We know that he’s going to come in here and play his best football.”
Do you agree with Shurmur? Let us know what player you think will be the key to winning Sunday’s game in Cleveland in the comments below.
Tags: Cleveland Browns, Philip Rivers
Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »
The Chargers have a chance to climb over the .500 mark this Sunday in Cleveland. Here are some key notes to get you ready for the game at the Browns.
• San Diego leads the series with the Browns, 14-7-1. The Chargers have won four straight matchups, seven of the last eight and nine of the last 11. That includes three straight wins in Cleveland. The team’s last loss in Cleveland came in 2001.
• The Chargers lead the NFL in run defense, allowing just 71.2 yards per game. Four opponents were held under 60 yards: Oakland (45), Tennessee (38), New Orleans (53) and Denver (57).
• Philip Rivers is 2-0 versus the Browns and has a 118 quarterback rating in the two games (37-53-584, 2 TDs, 0 ints).
• Rivers has an overall record of 40-8 in games in which he has a passer rating of 100.0 or higher. He is the Chargers’ all-time leader in completion percentage (63.7%) and his percentage in 2012 is 66.5%.
• Rivers has started 102 consecutive games. Eli Manning is the only quarterback with more consecutive starts (126).
• Antonio Gates (8,007 yards receiving) moved into fourth on NFL’s all-time list for yards receiving among tight ends. He is 178 yards behind Dallas’ Jason Witten. In Week 3, he became only the fifth tight end in NFL history with 600 career catches.
• Gates has 78 touchdown catches, three behind the Chargers’ all-time leader, Lance Alworth, who has 81.
• The tandem of Rivers-Gates has connected on 51 touchdown passes, most by a QB-TE tandem in NFL history.
• Eric Weddle’s nine interceptions over the past 22 games (since 2011) leads the NFL.
• Shaun Phillips has 64.5 career sacks, fourth in team history. Phillips needs one sack to tie Lee Williams (65.5) for third, and he needs 2.5 to tie Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (67) for second. Phillips leads the team with 4.5 sacks, 11 pressures and six quarterback hits. He will make his 99th start on Sunday.
• Mike Scifres’ has 516 career punts, including 206 inside the 20-yard line. Of all of the players with 500 career punts, Scifres has the highest percentage of punts landed inside the 20 (39.9%) in NFL history. He needs just three punts to tied Dennis Partee for second-most punts in team history (519).
• Quentin Jammer has a chance to make an interception in a third-consecutive game for the first time in his career on Sunday.
• Norv Turner has 114 career wins, tying Don Coryell on the NFL’s all-time wins list. Turner has the best winning percentage in team history (52-34, .605 in regular season and 55-37, .598 overall).
• With a win in Week 2, A.J. Smith became the winningest general manager in franchise history. The team now has 94 wins in 2003-12 under Smith. The team won 92 games under Hall of Fame GM/coach Sid Gilman.
• Twenty-one of the 53 active players are new to the active roster this year: 11 of 25 offensive players and 10 of 25 defensive players.
• The Chargers play the sixth toughest schedule in 2012, based on their opponents’ .520 winning percentage in 2011.
• The Chargers will travel the third-most regular-season air miles of any team in the NFL (25,766). Only Oakland (28,692) and Seattle (26,200) will fly more air miles than the Bolts in 2012.
Tags: A.J. Smith, Antonio Gates, Cleveland Browns, Eric Weddle, Mike Scifres, Norv Turner, Philip Rivers, Quentin Jammer, Shaun Phillips
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off