Although it isn’t a glamor position, one area Ted Thompson has had problems filling with a capable body during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers is that of punter.
First there was Jon Ryan, who Ted liked enough to cut just before the 2008 season began. Then came Derrick Frost, who was much worse than Ryan and got cut by the Packers last December. Next came Jeremy Kapinos, who was underwhelming as he finished out 2008 with the Packers.
Kapinos has held down the job so far this season, but he’s been put on notice and could become the latest in what is becoming a string of failures.
Kapinos is averaging 45 yards per punt, but his net average is a terrible 33.9. ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde notes that Packers’ opponents are averaging 13.3 yards per return, a number that’s inflated because Kapinos hasn’t kicked to where his coverage is.
Simply, a put returner averaging 13.3 yards per return over the course of a season is making the All Pro squad. A punter responsible for giving up that number is usually looking for a job.
“I think Jeremy could do a better job. He knows that. That’s been addressed,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think he could be more consistent with the ball placement. I would like to see him carry over what he’s accomplishing in the practice field and his workouts. I think he’s improved vastly in his work since the spring, training camp, and during the practice week. But he can definitely improve his performance.”
There’s not much on the free agent market for punters at this time of year, particularly a long-term solution.
Kapinos hasn’t cost the Packers like his predecessor, but he hasn’t been a boon to the team, either. So, can anyone tell me why Ted Thompson can’t find a serviceable punter?