Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pack's new punter a far

According to reports, the first day of new punter Jeremy Kapinos with the Packers went well. The Green Bay Press-Gazette says, "New punter Jeremy Kapinos drew some cheers and applause when his first practice punt as a Packer spiraled near the ceiling of The Don Hutson Center." The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel provides more details: "When Kapinos launched his first punt inside the Don Hutson Center 50 yards downfield with lots of hang time, he drew a number of loud 'Woooo's from the players. When he did it again on his second punt, this time dropping it along the sideline, the cheers from the gallery got even louder."

But was every punt today a winner? Not quite. The Journal-Sentinel continues, "Most of the rest of his punts were between 45 and 50 yards, but he only got the same hangtime on one other punt. In all, he punted eight times and of those eight two would be classified as low liners." Apparently, that was still good enough for his teammates. According to the Press-Gazette, "it was clear by the reaction of his new teammates that Kapinos' arrival has been well-received." Guess the fans weren't the only ones who were glad to see former punter Derrick Frost hit the road.

But as both of these reports note, Frost also was apparently a good practice punter; he just couldn't carry it over to games. So until we see Kapinos in a game, we won't know for sure what we have. Still, the Packers liked him enough to sign him to a two-year contract.

Oh, Kapinos is a left-footed punter, too. Which puts a different spin on the ball than most punt returners are used to...which could perhaps lead to a muff. At this stage of things, we'll take whatever advantage we can get, right?

Kapinos will not hold for kicker Mason Crosby's place kicks. That duty will fall to backup QB Matt Flynn.

The Packers official website has a nice write-up on Kapinos. You can find it here. The Press-Gazette and Journal-Sentinel reports can be found here and here respectively.

Let's hope the Pack uncovered a gem in the punting game ala Craig Hentrich. That would make up for the last left-footed punter we had (does the name B.J. Sander ring a bell?) as well as the roughly 9 or so others the Packers have tried since they let Hentrich walk away.