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Name: Darren Bennett
Position: Punter
Height: 6-5
Weight: 235 lbs.
College: None
Hometown: Perth, Australia

Games and Starts:
(regular season, playoffs) 1995 (16/0, 1/0-S.D.), 1996 (16/0-S.D.), 1997 (16/0-S.D.), 1998 (16/0-S.D.), 1999 (16/0-S.D.), 2000 (16/0-S.D.), 2001 (16/0-S.D.) 2002 (16/0-S.D.), 2003 (16/0-S.D.), 2004 (16/0, 2/0). Total- 160/0, 3/0 (16/0, 2/0-Minn.).


Professional Information:
Joined the Vikings after 9 seasons with San Diego...Enjoys the climate-controlled Metrodome...Holds every punting record in Chargers history...Named to NFL's Team of the Decade for the 1990s...Earned spot on Chargers' 40th Anniversary team...Honored with Pro Bowl berths following 1995 and 2000...Has not missed a game in his 10 NFL seasons...Holds a career punting average of 43.5 yards per punt...Has had only 3 punts blocked in 828 career attempts...Has more punting yards (36,016) than any other player since entering the League in 1995...Has 261 career punts landed inside opponent's 20-yard lines, the 2nd most since 1995...Vikings defensive line coach Brian Baker was with the Chargers in 1996...Joined Chargers as a free agent in 1994, spending season on practice squad...Played for Amsterdam of the World League in spring of 1995, earning all-league honors...Contacted San Diego Chargers in 1994 during his honeymoon spent on the West Coast about a tryout and impressed coaches enough to offer him a contract.

2004 Punted 57 times with a 39.3 average...Pinned teams back with 18 punts inside the opponent's 20 and tied his career low with only 3 touchbacks...Recorded season-high 8 punts for 325 yards in overtime win at Houston (10/10), placing 3 inside the 20...Did not punt the following week at New Orleans (10/17)...Booted season-long 61-yarder with a 40.6 average vs. Tennessee (10/24)...Recorded season-best 49.0 average in victory over Jacksonville at the Metrodome (11/28), punting 2 times for 98 yards...Tied season-high by landing 3 punts inside the 20 vs. Green Bay (12/24)...Recorded 4 punts for an average of 34.8, with a long of 48, in Divisional Playoff at Philadelphia (1/16/05).

2003 Had 82 punts on the season and averaged 41.9 yards per punt...Ranked 2nd in the AFC and tied for 4th in the NFL with 28 punts inside the opponent's 20...Notched his career-low with only 3 touchbacks...Posted season-high 10 punts vs. Oakland (12/28) in season finale, tying 2nd-most punts in a game of his career...Booted season-long 56-yarder and had 4 inside the 20 at Oakland (9/28).

2002 Punted 87 times with a 40.7 average...Pinned teams back with 31 punts inside the opponent's 20 and had only 6 touchbacks...Ranked tied for 2nd in the NFL with 31 punts inside the 20 and ranked as 2nd-most of his career, trailing his 32 in 1999...Booted season-long 63-yarder at Arizona (9/22)...Best day of the season came at Kansas City (12/22), punting 6 times for a 46.7 average with a long of 60.

2001 Had 78 punts on the season and averaged 42.4 yards...Had a pair of season-long 62-yarders, at Denver (11/11) and at Oakland (11/18)...His 78 punts were his fewest since his 72 as a rookie in 1995.

2000 Named to Pro Bowl squad for 2nd time in his career...Led NFL with a 46.2 yard average on his 92 punts...Was the lone NFL punter with an average over 46 yards...Named San Diego's Special Teams Player of the Year as voted by teammates...Selected to Chargers' 40th Anniversary team...Set team record with 4,248 punting yards and ranked 2nd in team history with 92 punts...Tied career-long with a 66-yarder vs. Denver (10/8)...Averaged 51.3 yards on 8 punts in season finale vs. Pittsburgh (12/24)...Had season-high 9 punts at Carolina (12/17).

1999 His 38.7 net punting averge led the NFL, just edging Minnesota's Mitch Berger at 38.4...Set Chargers record and career-high with 32 punts inside the 20...Named All-Pro by Sports Illustrated and earned spot on All-AFC team by Football News...Tied career-high 4 punts inside the 20 at Miami (12/19)...Booted season-best 60-yarder in opener at Cincinnati (9/19)...Punted 4 times for an average of 52.5 yards vs. Oakland (12/26).

1998 Set San Diego single-season record with 95 punts, the 2nd most in the AFC...Tied for 4th in the AFC with 27 punts inside the 20...Set career-high and Chargers record with 522 punting yards on 11 punts at Oakland (10/11)...Set career-high with 4 special teams tackles.

1997 Averaged 44.6 yards on 89 punts to rank 5th in the AFC...Booted a pair of 66-yarders to tie his career-best at New England (8/31) and at Seattle (9/21)...Had 1st career punt blocked vs. Carolina (9/14) when the Chargers had only 10 men on the field.

1996 Had a 45.6 yard average on 87 punts to break his own team record set the season before at 44.7 yards...Ranked 3rd in the NFL for average...Had 28 punts over 50 yards on the season and 8 over the 60-yard mark...Booted 3 punts of 66 yards and averaged 56.7 yards on 6 punts at Denver (10/6).

1995 Had a stellar NFL debut by earning Pro Bowl honors...Ranked 2nd in the NFL and set a Chargers record with a 44.7 average...Named All-Pro by Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly, College & Pro Football Newsweekly, Football Digest and The Sporting News...Earned All-AFC honors from Football News and UPI...Set franchise record with a 59.5 yard average on 4 punts and set career-best with a 66-yarder at Pittsburgh (10/1)...Matched his career-best 66-yarder at Kansas City (10/9)...Spent spring with Amsterdam of World League where he earned all-league honors after leading the league with a 35.1 net average...Amsterdam played in World Bowl game, losing to Frankfurt for the title.

1994 Spent season on Chargers practice squad as the team went to Super Bowl XXIX against San Francisco.

College Information:
No college.

Personal Information:
Supports muscular dystrophy research, a fight the Bennett family is in with their oldest son, Will...Has a website, ProPlayerFoundation.org, that is dedicated to finding a cure through research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy...First exposed to American football during an Australian Rules Football exhibition in Toronto's SkyDome...An avid fisherman, hosted an annual fishing trip for teammates in San Diego...Joined Chargers teammates David Binn and Donnie Edwards in meeting troops aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and met President George Bush, who had delivered a speech onboard declaring the end of major hostilities in Iraq...Bennett and wife, Rosemary, have sons Will and Thomas...Splits residence between Edina, MN and Melbourne, Australia...Attended Applecross High in Perth, Western Australia.




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