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Punter Pakulak Makes D.C. Latest Stop on NFL Tour

The professional resume of Glenn Pakulak is all over the place: teacher, bartender, waiter, steel worker. Oh, and NFL punter.

As the team's new practice squad punter, Pakulak made an appearance in the Redskins' locker room on Wednesday, just another NFL locker room to scratch off the checklist. Prior to joining the Redskins, he had stints with the Steelers, Falcons, Titans, Bears, Raiders (twice), Jets, Seahawks and Saints. In the past months, he's visited and had tryouts with at least four teams.

"It's the NFL story that nobody hears about it," Pakulak said, "nine, 10 different teams, I've lived in 13 different states, I went to Europe twice."


And he could be starting for Redskins on Sunday in Carolina. If punter Hunter Smith, who injured his groin against the Bucs, isn't healthy enough to go, Pakulak likely will be added to the 53-man roster later this week.

Smith said he has never missed a regular-season game and doesn't want to miss Sunday's. He said he probably won't know until Friday or Saturday whether he'll be able to punt at Carolina.

"It takes two days for an injury to actually stop being injured and start healing again," Smith said, "and that's kind of where we are right now. ... We know I have a strained muscle, and we're just going to see if it comes back in time, and we're going to do everything we can to get back on the field."

As for Pakulak, punting has always been his favorite job. No. 2 on the list, he said, was bartending on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. He hasn't needed a non-football job since before the 2008 season, though, thanks to his stint with the Saints last year. Pakulak appeared in eight games for the Saints - 24 punts, 47.7-yard average, 37.8-yard net.

"I made a little bit of money last year where I didn't have to hurry up and grab a waiter job or work construction," Pakulak said. "I actually had some money to live off of now. I was just working out and training."

He was waived in training camp by the Saints in August and signed by the Jets, who then released Pakulak six days later. Since then, Pakulak, who kicks with his left foot, has spent his time hopping from NFL city to NFL city, working out for coaches in Tennessee, Minnesota and twice in Baltimore. Several teams simply want to peek a Pakulak to help prepare for a left-footed punter on gameday.

"They don't even have to pay you anything," he said. "They just call it a workout: 'We want to take a look at this guy.' But what they end up doing is utilizing you because of your left foot. They have a return man out there catching your punts. They can just fly me across the country, punt to their return men and send me home."

He arrived in Ashburn with just a suitcase, much of his life still in storage back in Austin, Texas. He doesn't know how long he'll stay in town, and he doesn't know whether this will be his final opportunity. But Pakulak, 29, does that know that punting beats construction most days.

"It's when you know you're capable of doing something, it's hard to walk away from it," he said.

By Rick Maese  |  October 7, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Free Marko.

Posted by: mattylight | October 7, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What is Matt Turk up to?

Posted by: moosepod | October 7, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

OK moving on Carolina. Not ahting on the D to much but has anyone else noticed all the missed first tackles. This last week Horton Fletcher and Tryon( no really) were the only one making tackles.
This week with Carolina comes D Williams, he is the kind of RB who when given second and thrid chances houses it. If where not raping him up the first time we will get run all over. There not gonna run him up the middle theve seen what AHAy does. They will stretch it out though and this is where weve had problems. If were not making sound tackles this game it could get ugly. Please make delhomme beat us with his arm, please.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 7, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse
well timed as always

Posted by: Stu27 | October 7, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Sherm Lewis comments after spending fifteen minutes in the training room with Zorn and crew, "Oh, here's the problem. You've been coaching European football - not American. There is a big difference!"

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 7, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

What is Matt Turk up to?

Playing for the Texans.

Posted by: Megskin | October 7, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, here's the problem. You've been coaching European football - not American. There is a big difference!"

Much cleaner a fix than "Oh, hey, you've got your head up your ass."

Posted by: Megskin | October 7, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This week with Carolina comes D Williams, he is the kind of RB who when given second and thrid chances houses it. If where not raping him up

This kind of bothers me - I truly hope that the Redksins are NOT raping anyone up, on or off the field.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 7, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Several teams simply want to peek a Pakulak

This sounds so very, very wrong.

Posted by: Megskin | October 7, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This week with Carolina comes D Williams, he is the kind of RB who when given second and thrid chances houses it. If where not raping him up

This kind of bothers me - I truly hope that the Redksins are NOT raping anyone up, on or off the field.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 7, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse


I agree with JohnD. We aren't the Steelers. Our QB couldn't get away with that sort of thing.

Posted by: moosepod | October 7, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Much cleaner a fix than "Oh, hey, you've got your head up your ass."

Posted by: Megskin

Hence, going for it on fourth and goal with a predictable run to the left is now known as the "rectal-cranial conversion".

Posted by: RedSkinHead | October 7, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

thecork

"In his ceaseless urge to self-sabotage, Campbell throws only to Moss and Cooley..."


Well, if he's your boy, then you know what he does well.

And if he does something well, please inform us as to what that is.

It's been 5 years now, and quite frankly, the singular tool used to defend Campbell is, "... his receiving corp is inept."

I guess all those check down throws that pull a guy off-stride aren't Campbell's fault.

I guess the ball that hit the umpire on the hit wasn't throw by Campbell.

Moss himself has been quoted as saying it's been 5 years, and he and JC still aren't on the same page.

As for me, I'm ready to turn that page.

Gimme a star!

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 7, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Free Marko.

Posted by: mattylight | October 7, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree, but I have a feeling he will be inactive again, along with Alridge. Let's bench the 2 guys that may give us an offensive spark. Great idea.

Posted by: FedorEm | October 7, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

A Free agent Campbell would end up a starter in a few cities, St. Louis, Buffalo, Miami, Cleveland or Oakland, and probably have a shot in Seattle or Tenn or zona, and I stand by Minnesota if their current starters were to retire. Not to mention Tampa, Carolina, and Jaxsonville all have questions at the QB spot for the near future.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 7, 2009 11:32 AM

I fail to follow your logic. Are you saying that the fact that these teams have questions at the QB position means they would fill it with a question mark (who I might add has trouble adjusting to new systems) just because he's less bad or has more physical tools? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | October 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

JC, always a class act. Doesn't deserve all the treatment he gets from some fans around here...

Posted by: Rypien11 | October 7, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen him fumble the ball without being pressured? He's no m. rypien, that's for sure. I agree some fans go over the top with criticism, but he deserves every bit of actual criticism.

Posted by: BMACattack | October 7, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Smith said, "and that's kind of where we are right now. ... We know I have a strained muscle, and we're just going to see if it comes back in time, and we're going to do everything we can to get back on the field."

That is what I'd call an unhealthy relationship with your groin. Next time the kids tell me "we didn't break that lamp", instead of asking about the mouse in his pocket I'll have to assume that he and his groin have been conspiring again.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Through 40 starts, he's won one game by more than one score.

Posted by: MylesMonroe | October 7, 2009 1:05 PM


If that stat is legit..... Always backed JC because I feel the front office has neglected the offensive line, and up front is where championships are won.

But cripes.... if that is true. May be time to reconsider.

Thanks for posting that.

Posted by: saltine182 | October 7, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please deliver a star to Mistmoe? Make it a gold star.

Posted by: VegasJim | October 7, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"RB who when given second and thrid chances houses it. If where not raping him up"

yikes that is a scary image...

Posted by: chrislarry | October 7, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

QBs fumble and throw picks. Its the nature of the game. What you dont see is that happening so many times in one game. He has never been under the kind of pressure he is under now and he fought through it and came back and a pretty strong game.

This week he will be wiser than he was last week and with Lewis over Zorn's shoulder, maybe that will help Zorn take the training wheels off a bit and get some things going.

Agree and I have said for weeks that maybe Aldridge should get some reps to see what kind of spark he can bring. Portis ran well alst week and i hope he continues to run hard. Marko should get a few shots as well. Would like to see some fade routes in the red zone and see whats what instead of the predictable run that has not worked all year.

Hears a rumor that Homgren called and expressed interest in the coaching job in Washington...any truth to that?

Posted by: CheyenneWY | October 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I hate kicker/punter talk. Jamie Dukes does too.

Posted by: elfreako | October 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What do you make for being an NFL punter for a week? I bet its more then a guy working at McDonalds for a year.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 7, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Pakulak" is a throwback name, I'm thinking tough dudes of Eastern European extraction, coming out of scenic Rust Belt locales like gritty steel towns in Ohio and Western PA... Pottsville Maroons, Dayton Triangles and etc...

That said, I'm not very happy about this punting situation, and I hope dcsween as the resident special teams guru can provide some assurance that we're in good hands, or feet, or whatevs.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 7, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I fail to follow your logic. Are you saying that the fact that these teams have questions at the QB position means they would fill it with a question mark (who I might add has trouble adjusting to new systems) just because he's less bad or has more physical tools? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | October 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

it was part of a whole long string of comments, if you dont follow the whole of it you will not understand any part of it. It would be like trying to get into "Lost" in season 4.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 7, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Usually I try to remain calm and not declare that the sky is falling or not declare Superbowl before any snaps have been taken.

But I am going out on a limb here and I will try to remain positive: 10-6.

On a different note: maybe the message of "stay medium" is confusing the players. Hence when they got to a 6-2 start they thought "6-2 is good, not medium. We need to dial it back." Maybe if it was "stay calm" or even "be elite" they would fare better.

Posted by: moosepod | October 7, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"A Free agent Campbell would end up a starter in a few cities, St. Louis, Buffalo, Miami..."

I doubt Campbell would start in Miami next year.

I watched a good deal of the bill v. dolphins' Sunday game, and Chad Henne looks like he 'gets it'.

Dude throws nice touch passes all over the field that hit a guy in stride.

He managed the game well, though the j-e-t-s will throw the house at him this week.

And guess what?: the dolphins' receiver, unlike the two pro bowlers the skins have (Moss/Cooley), are garbage.

Posted by: MistaMoe | October 7, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

When teams fly a player out to take a look at him (even if it is to help their return man see a left-fotted punt), don't they also have to pay some kind of per diem on top of the airfare? It would be interesting to know what he actually got besides an airline ticket in terms of compensation for these tryouts.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | October 7, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: moosepod | October 7, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Does Sherm Lewis have any authority over the team or is he another Tom Cruise i.e., just watching the game

Posted by: CheyenneWY | October 7, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Lefty punter. That's all I got out of this one. [Boom Pakalakalaka, boom pakalakalaka, boom].

Rest Smith. Release someone. Sign the guy for the week. Release him if and when necessary (assuming he can't play guard).

Posted by: dcsween | October 7, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Not to sound racist, and if I'm coming off that way or ignorant sounding, my bad.

But isn't 'Pakulak' a name with Poland(ish) origins?

It sounds like it does. And if it is, why are there several current or former NFL kickers with polish background?

Must have to do with soccer.

Posted by: RedDMV | October 7, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Moe,

So you watched one game, and concluded that Henne gets it? Are you a qb coach, coordinator, or something? Because throwing for 115 yards on 14 completions doesnt seem like an indicator that greatness is coming. BTW what happened the last time we drafted a so called big time franchise qb, aka the Shuler experiment? And since when is Moss an upper echelon receiver? He is the best we have but that isnt saying much

Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | October 7, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm listening to Antonio Chapman on the John Thompson show. For those who don't know, he played in this offense and now works the sideline of the Redskins for Comcast Sportsnet. He thinks Sherman Smith will help the younger WR develop into better route runners. He said from what he sees from the sideline some of the issues the skins are having in their passing game is that these players aren't getting the proper spacing, and they aren't getting to their spots on time. I'm starting to think that one of the coaches Zorn should've hired was a WR coach versed in the WCO. Anyway, hopeful Sherm Smith can help in that regard.

This is for informational purposes only, please no JC comments.

Posted by: TWISI | October 7, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: TWISI | October 7, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Glenn was a tremendous punter in college. He was third in the nation in average his final two years at Kentucky - and was 1st in the SEC. I never understood why he didn't get a decent shot. How many NFL punters have a nearly 46 yard average?

As a plus, Glenn also knows how to tackle and deliver a hit when the rest of the special teams guys let a return man get that far.

Posted by: wbthornton | October 8, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

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