Although it would be cool if Brad Jones could play linebacker and punter, despite Jones' high leg kick in the picture, he's not been signed to punt. The punter is former Pitt Panther P Adam Graessle. He was a draft prospect back in 2007, but Mike McCarthy's been keeping tabs on him:
(What did you think of the punters?)
Good. I thought their workout was good yesterday. I don't want to mess up their names ... the University of Pittsburgh, he's a stronger leg. He's been impressive...
(How did you find the Pittsburgh guy? He's been out of football a couple years.)
He's from Pittsburgh.
(Besides that ...)
Well, he's been working the camps.
I've been waiting all offseason for the Packers to do something, anything, to improve the punting situation. Signing a Pittsburgh guy who hasn't been able to stick with an NFL team in the past two season isn't a major move, but it is something.
To make room for Graessle and three other signings, the Packers released DE Jason Hunter. He's been playing as an undersized DE for the past three seasons and the switch to a 3-4 defense wasn't going to be kind to him. It seems unlikely that he'd be able to make the transition to OLB. He's a pass rushing specialist who only had two sacks in three seasons, both coming in what turned out to be his last two games. He's played well on special teams so I wouldn't be surprised to see him on another team this preseason.
Graessle, and the three other signees, were all invited to tryout at the rookie camp this last weekend.
- DE/DT Dean Muhtadi. At 6'3", 295 lbs., he's a good candidate for either defensive end position. He's got competition, but he's got a chance to make the team.
- OT Dane Randolph. The 2nd player in a row signed from the University of Maryland. The guy has NFL talent, but he's been inconsistent in college. The guy could be a sleeper signing, so I'm glad to see he showed enough in the rookie camp to earn a contract.
- CB Trevor Ford. At 6'1", he's a tall cornerback. GM Ted Thompson seems to like his defensive backs tall. Ford picked a good year to tryout for the Packers. With no cornerbacks drafted in 2009, his only rookie competition is S Brandon Underwood, but Underwood is expected to play at safety despite getting some playing time at corner last weekend.