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2016 Training Camp Preview: Special Teams

As we near the start of training camp on July 30, we'll preview each position for the San Diego Chargers.  We continue with a look at the Special Teams. 

The Roster

Josh Lambo –Lambo looks to build off an encouraging 2015 campaign.  An All-Rookie selection, he tallied a rookie-leading 106 points, converting 26 of 32 field goals (81.3%) including 19 of his last 23 attempts.  His only misses last season were from 42, 47, 48 (three times) and 60 yards, and he converted seven of eight attempts in the fourth quarter including a clutch 54-yarder under pressure.  Lambo set a franchise record with 41 touchbacks on 73 kickoffs, and looks to build on his consistency entering his second season.

Drew Kaser –The Chargers added the consensus top punter available in the NFL draft when they selected the Texas A&M punter in the sixth round.  Known for his booming leg, Kaser was a First Team All-America and All-SEC selection as a senior, leading the division and ranking fourth in the nation with a 47.5-yard per punt average.  He also set a school record with 26 punts over 50 yards last season.  For his career, Kaser booted 168 punts for 7,761 yards with a long of 76, and placed 60 inside the 20-yard line.

Kasey Redfern–A member of the practice squad at the end of 2015, the accurate Redfern is lauded for his pin-point placement.  He spent the past two training camps with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and will battle it out with Kaser for a spot on the Bolts.

Mike Windt – Now the longest tenured member of the kicking unit, Windt has been a mainstay on special teams since arriving in 2010. As accurate as he is durable, he has played in every game the last three seasons,  appearing in 50 consecutive games including the postseason.

Notable Special Teams Contributors

Darrell Stuckey – Stuckey has served as the Chargers Special Teams captain for the past four seasons and is regarded as one of the best at covering kicks in the NFL.   After playing in his first Pro Bowl in 2015, he was a fourth-alternate last season despite facing constant double and even triple teams.  Stuckey ranked second on the Bolts in special teams tackles a year ago, and has made 59 over the past five seasons.

Nick Dzubnar –The undrafted rookie led the team with 13 special teams tackles last season. While he aims to carve out a bigger role on defense, he will once again be relied upon to be a steady force in the kicking game.  

*Travis Benjamin- *Electric with the ball in his hands, Benjamin will be counted on to provide a boost to a punt return team that ranked last in the league in 2015.  His 12.6-yards per punt return average is the highest in the NFL since he burst onto the scene.

Keep an Eye On…

Ricky Henne: For the first time in 13 seasons, someone other than Mike Scifres will begin the season as the Chargers punter.  The battle between Drew Kaser and Kasey Redfern should be a good one.  While both players are strong overall punters, Kaser's leg may be a bit more powerful while Redfern's strong suit is his accuracy.  At the same time, the Chargers badly need to improve their return game, but that might be something to keep an eye on in preseason action more so than the fields at Chargers Park.

Hayley Elwood: Training camp means a fresh start for the Bolts' special teams unit. Obviously, one of the more exciting players to watch is Travis Benjamin at punt returner. After seeing him in mini camp, he really is as speedy as advertised and will likely bring a boost to the return game. In addition, competition always makes camp that much more intense so it will be exciting to see rookie Drew Kaser and Kasey Redfern battle it out at the punter position.

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