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News & Notes: Smith Out, Pakulak In For Panthers Game


The Redskins have signed practice squad punter Glenn Pakulak to the roster for Sunday's game in Carolina, the team has announced.

Pakulak fills in for Hunter Smith, who remains sidelined with a groin injury.

With the addition of Pakulak, the Redskins must release a player from the roster. Jim Zorn said that decision will be announced on Saturday.

In addition, Pakulak is expected to serve as the Redskins' holder on field goals in the Panthers game. Smith serves in that role as well.

Smith did not practice all week as he recuperated from the groin injury. He suffered the injury in last Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Pakulak, a left-footed punter, played in eight games with the New Orleans Saints last year and had 24 punts for a 47.7-yard average. It was the first NFL action for the 29-year-old.

Upon learning that he would be signed for Sunday's game, Pakulak said: "I'm excited. It's something I've been working at my whole life. I'll do what I can to help, even if it's just for a week."

"He has a strong leg and he gets great hang time," Zorn said. "He doesn't wear out. He says, 'How many more [punts] do you want coach?' So he's not fragile."

Pakulak served as a holder in his eight-game stint with the Saints last year. He puts the ball down with his right hand even though he kicks left.

If Pakulak struggled as a holder, then Zorn would be inclined to keep Smith active and use him in that role.

But Pakulak showed he was more than capable.

"If he was a young guy who had never held before or had very little skill, then I would have a different decision," Zorn said. "But I think he'll be fine."


News reports surfaced that Clinton Portis and Mike Sellers had a heated exchange in the Redskins Park locker room on Monday, one day after the Redskins-Buccaneers game.

Jim Zorn addressed the incident in his post-practice comments.

"These guys love each other," Zorn said. "This is just how a team goes. I thought it was great. There were no fisticuffs, no shoving or pushing."

The news reports suggested that Portis was unhappy with Sellers' blocking in the Buccaneers game. Zorn would not say what prompted the incident.

"That's what we always do, we always speculate," Zorn said. "In reality, it's just a lot of nudging and posturing...These guys are like brothers, they care about each other. That's really between them. Seriously, it's not an issue."

Asked about Sellers' blocking this season, Zorn replied: "Well, he has missed a couple blocks. I think he has been great as a run blocker, though. Here's what Mike Sellers does: he's hard-nosed and he takes his shots. He has no fear and he knows his assignments.

"If I was a linebacker and even if I was 260 [pounds] and I saw Mike coming at me, I better [be ready] because he comes with an attitude. He has really matured as a player. That Pro Bowl status he had last year was no joke."


Cornelius Griffin was limited in practice again on Friday as he continues to rebound from an elbow injury.

"His elbow is still a little bit of a question mark for me," Jim Zorn said.

If Griffin cannot play, then Kedric Golston would likely get the start next to Albert Haynesworth.

Anthony Montgomery is not expected to play against Carolina. He missed practice all week due to knee tendonitis.

Montgomery said he is taking the injury "day to day" and is focused on getting his quad muscle stronger.

Said Zorn: "He is progressing to the point where he has a chance [to play]. Right now, it's easy--I'm going to put him down [for the Carolina game]. I know that for sure. But he is progressing very well."


After all of the controversy and rumors and uncertainty of the last two weeks, the Redskins will find themselves with a winning record (3-2) if they can beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Antwaan Randle El credited Zorn's "act medium" approach as helping players to focus and stay prepared.

"It goes back to us and how we believe in our team and what we know we can do," Randle El said. "It's not about what everybody else is saying. The fact that we never get too high or never get too low, just stay even keel--we know that when you go out on the field you have to do your best."

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