Getting their kicks

October 8th, 2008 – 6:38 PM by Judd Zulgad

We have learned the identity of the four punters the Vikings brought in today to tryout for a job that is currently held by Chris Kluwe. In case you don’t know the story and don’t feel like scrolling down to find out, here is the quick version of what has happened.

Kluwe was told twice Monday night to make sure punts went out of bounds and not land in the hands of the Saints’ Reggie Bush. This came after Bush had returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Kluwe, however, failed to get the punts out of play and Bush returned the second one 64 yards for a touchdown.

This left coach Brad Childress fuming and saying he would get someone who could kick out of bounds if Kluwe couldn’t. The two talked this morning and following the afternoon practice four punters tried out as Childress, special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro and others watched.

The list includes Adam Crossett (Missouri), Glenn Pakulak (Kentucky), Sam Paulescu (Oregon State) and Ryan Plackemeier (Wake Forest). Here’s a look at the four.

– Crossett: A four-year letterman who appeared in 39 games as a punter and kicker at Missouri, he signed with the Colts this spring.

– Pakulak: He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003 and has had stops with the Steelers, Falcons, Titans, Bears and Raiders. He was released from Oakland’s practice squad in September.

– Paulescu: Originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2007, he was let go before that season. The Vikings are familiar with Paulescu. He punted five times against them for Denver in the 2007 regular-season finale.

– Plackemeier: He was drafted by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2006 draft after winning the Ray Guy award for his punting at Wake Forest in 2005. He was the Seahawks punter in 2006 and 2007 but lost his job early this season after one regular-season game. He had missed much of training camp recovering from pectoral surgery.


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