Pack Signs Former Penn State Punter

Jeremy Kapinos was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award during his senior season with the Nittany Lions.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy says he wasn't joking. Maybe that's a byproduct of watching Derrick Frost punt for 12 games.

"I want him to punt the ball in the right direction," McCarthy said Wednesday when asked what he expected of his new punter. "I'm expected to win games. He's expected to punt the ball in the right direction. I'm not trying to be funny."

About four hours later, the Packers signed Jeremy Kapinos, a former Penn State standout who punted in one game as a rookie for the New York Jets last season.

Kapinos, like Frost, does not have a rocket-powered kicking leg, but made his name in college with booming hang time that limited return yardage.

During his senior season, the left-footed Kapinos was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, which goes annually to college football's top punter. He averaged 41.8 yards per punt as the Nittany Lions' punter for all four seasons, including 41.9 as a senior in 2006, when less than half of his punts were returned.

With the Jets last season, he averaged 41.6 yards with a net of 36.4 in five attempts. He then lost an offseason battle with incumbent Ben Graham and has been out of the NFL all season.

This week, Kapinos beat out Paul Ernster, Durant Brooks and Danny Baugher to earn the right to punt on Sunday against Houston. All are young punters; the Packers did not bring in 38-year-old Josh Miller or 39-year-old Scott Player.

Kapinos is the son of Col. David Kapinos, who was in the Pentagon when an American Airlines jet slammed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. The elder Kapinos, who played football at Army and survived the terrorist attack, would not let his son play football, unless he was a kicker.

Also, the Packers signed Lorne Sam, a 6-foot-3 receiver from Texas-El Paso, to the practice squad. Sam played quarterback and receiver for the Miners.

Toys for Tots
Fans attending Sunday's game against Houston are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys, which will be distributed to needy families in the Green Bay area by the Salvation Army. Members of the Marine Corps will be at all gates entering the stadium, beginning at 8:30 a.m., to collect toys and monetary donations.

Bill Huber is the Lead Analyst for Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com.


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