Bennett, Darren Leslie | 2 | P
6-5    235
No college
High School: Applecross, Australia
Born:        1/9/65
In:          Sydney Australia
Hometown:    Perth, Australia
Acquired:    Free Agent: 1994
 


Honors:
          NFL All-Star Game 1996
          All-time Chargers team, 2000
          Special Teams Player of the Year, 2000
Daren Bennett's Home Page
e-mail
Statistics
                               CAREER PUNTING
 YEAR   TEAM        G   No.  Yards  Lg  Avg  Blk  I20 TB PNTDN Ret RetYds RetTD Net Avg
 1995   Chargers   16   72   3221   66  44.7  0  28   8         35   429    1     36.6
 1996   Chargers   16   87   3967   66  45.6  0  23   6         51   612    1     37.2
 1997   Chargers   16   89   3972   66  44.6  1  26   8         39   416    0     37.7
 1998   Chargers   16   95   4174   65  43.9  0  27   8         49   515    1     36.8
 1999   Chargers   16   89   3910   60  43.9  0  32   6         41   343    0     38.7
 2000   Chargers   16   92   4248   66  46.2  0  23  10         51   722    1     36.2
 2001   Chargers   16   78   3308   62  42.4  0  25   4         32   346    0     36.9

 2002   Chargers   16   87   3540   63  40.7  2  31   6         36   369    1     34.3
 2003  
Chargers   16   82   3436   56  41.9  0  28   3         38   409    2     36.2
Total             144  771  33776   66  43.8  3 243  59        372  4161    7     36.7

2000: 
Earned second-career Pro Bowl berth and was voted by teammates Chargers Special Teams Player of Year after leading NFL with team-record 46.2-yards per punt average...also set team record with 4,248 punting yards...selected to Chargers 40th Anniversary All-Time Team...punted 92 times, second most in team history...season totals included 92 punts for 4,248 yards, 46.2 average, 36.2 net, 10 touchbacks, 23 punts inside 20-yard line and long of 66 yards...added one tackle on special teams...averaged season-high 57.0 yards on six punts at Kansas City Sept. 17...tied career record with 66-yard punt against Denver Oct. 8...punted season-high nine times at Carolina Dec. 17...closed out year with season best 410 punting yards on eight punts (51.3 average) versus Pittsburgh Dec. 24.
1999: 
Led NFL with 38.7 net punting average...season totals included 89 punts for 3,910 yards, 43.9 average, 38.7 net, six touchbacks, 32 punts inside 20-yard line and long of 60 yards...his 32 punts inside 20-yard line set personal best and set team record...earned NFL All-Pro honors from Sports Illustrated and All-AFC Team recognition from Football News ...added one tackle on special teams...punted season-high nine times twice, including versus Kansas City Oct. 3 and at Miami Dec. 19...tied career high with four punts inside 20-yard line at Miami Dec. 19...averaged season-best 52.5-yards on four punts versus Oakland Dec. 26...had season-long 60-yard punt in season opener at Cincinnati Sept. 19. 
1998: 
Set team records for punts in single season (95) and punting yards (4,174)...finished season with 43.9 average, 36.8 net, eight touchbacks, 27 punts inside 20-yard line and long of 65 yards...also had career-high four tackles on special teams ...set team record with 522 yards punting on team record-tying 11 punts at Oakland Oct. 11.
1997: 
Broke his own team records for punts in single season (89) and punting yards (3,972)...ranked fifth in AFC with 44.6-yard average...season totals included 89 punts, 3,972 yards, 44.6 average, long of 66 yards, eight touchbacks, one block, 26 punts inside 20-yard line and net average of 37.7 ...matched career long of 66 yards twice in 1997, including at New England Aug. 31 and at Seattle Sept. 21...suffered first-career blocked punt versus Carolina Sept. 14 when Chargers had just 10 men on field.
1996: 
Set new team record with average of 45.6 yards per punt on 87 attempts...ranked third in NFL in punt average...season totals included 87 punts for 3,967 yards, 45.6 average, 37.2 net, six touchbacks, 23 punts inside 20 and long of 66 yards...had 28 punts longer than 50 yards, including eight over 60 yards...had top effort of season at Denver Oct. 6, punting six times, including three punts of career-long 66 yards each, for average of 56.7 yards.
1995: 
Selected to Pro Bowl following rookie season after ranking second in league and setting team record with 44.7-yard average...earned All-Pro honors from Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly, College & Pro Football Newsweekly, Football Digest and Sporting News...also named to All-AFC teams by Football News and United Press International...had best punting day in team history when he averaged 59.5 yards on four punts, including career-long 66-yarder, at Pittsburgh Week 5...regular-season totals included 72 punts for 3,221 yards, 44.7 average, 36.6 net, eight touchbacks, 28 punts inside 20-yard line and long of 66 yards...also added one tackle on special teams...tied season long with 66-yard punt at Kansas City Oct. 9...punted for Amsterdam Admirals of World League...earned all-league honors after leading league with 35.1-yard net average.
1994: 
Spent season on Chargers practice squad.
2001 bio:
San Diego's import from "The Land Down Under," Darren Bennett firmly established himself as one of the NFL's all-time premier punters when he was named to his second career Pro Bowl following the 2000 season.

A former star in Australian Rules Football, Bennett has re-written the Chargers' record book in every season he's played in San Diego. Last season, he led the NFL and shattered his previous team record when he rung up an average of 46.2 yards per punt. He also holds team records for career punting average (44.8 yards), single-game punting average (59.5), single-season punts (95), career punting yards (23,492) and season punting yards (4,248).

Bennett is one of the NFL's most-amazing success stories. While in Australia, he won two round-trip plane tickets in a long-ball kicking contest. He used the two tickets for he and his wife, Rosemary, to spend their honeymoon in Los Angeles. It was during their trip that the Bennetts traveled to San Diego and convinced General Manager Bobby Beathard to give him a tryout. Incredibly, the first snap Bennett saw from long snapper Sam Anno hit him square in the nose. But Bennett regrouped and by the end of the audition, the Chargers had seen enough to make him an offer.

It didn't take long for the Chargers to see a return on their investment. Bennett set a team record with a 44.7-yard average in his rookie season and was rewarded with his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Now, six seasons later, Bennett has posted a resume which includes 524 punts for 23,492 yards for an average of 44.8 yards per kick. Even more impressive is the fact that he's suffered only one blocked punt during his entire career.
Personal: 
Born Darren Leslie Bennett January 9, 1965 in Sydney, Australia ...played for West Coast of Australian Football League from 1987-88 and for Melbourne from 1988-93...attended Applecross High in Perth, Western Australia...one of Chargers' most active members in community, giving hours of his free time in offseason for charity events and appearances ...helped promote World League and NFL's international efforts at press conferences at Super Bowl in January, 1996, and in Japan in May as part of preparation for American Bowl 1996 in Tokyo...also instrumental in promoting and organizing American Bowl  '99 in Sydney, Australia matching San Diego versus Denver...marked first NFL game to be played in Australia...serves as international spokesperson for NFL International ...has helped promote NFL in his native Australia by organizing coaching clinics featuring NFL players as instructors...Bennett, along with David Binn and former teammate John Carney, hosts annual A.B.C.D. Charity Kicking and Punting Camp for high school athletes from San Diego County...has own Web site on Internet titled  "Darren's Excellent Adventure," which he uses to help keep football fans worldwide abreast of team happenings and activities...Internet address is: www.NFLAussie.com...e-mail address is: NFLAussie@aol.com...personally responds to every e-mail and answers questions about Australian Rules Football...Darren and wife, Rosemary, have sons William Cole (June 18, 1996) and Thomas Ryan (Sept. 18, 1997)...the Bennetts reside in Del Mar, California and Melbourne, Australia.