LA Chargers News

Spotlighting the Chargers' new-and-improved special teams

One of the most decorated collegiate punters in recent memory, J.K. Scott (6) will be looking to get his career back on track with the Bolts in 2022.
One of the most decorated collegiate punters in recent memory, J.K. Scott (6) will be looking to get his career back on track with the Bolts in 2022. / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Ryan Ficken
Ryan Ficken (pictured here in 2011) will take over as the Chargers' new special teams coach in 2022 after spending 15 seasons with the Vikings. / Handout/GettyImages

Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken enters as the new head man

With new pieces at three different spots, the man tying it all together will be former Vikings special teams coordinator, Ryan Ficken. After spending 15 seasons as part of the Vikings, he will be replacing Daris Swinton who was let go after one season.

Ficken was the special teams coordinator in 2021 after spending the previous eight years as the assistant special teams coach. Last season, the Vikings led the NFC and were second in kickoff return average thanks to some stellar return units and the performance of Kene Nwangwu (two return touchdowns). 

His main goal this season will be improving on an inconsistent Bolts crew from last year. The Chargers were last in the league in net punting thanks to some dismal coverage units at times.

However, thanks to the league-leading performance from Roberts last year (32.8-yard kick return average) and Hopkins going 18 of 20 since joining the Bolts, the special teams unit turned in a salvageable grade but not enough to save Swinton’s job.

In addition to his time coaching the Minnesota special teams, Ficken has also spent time as an assistant wide receivers coach (2009-12) and the assistant running backs coach (2007-08). 

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