Role of punter Brooks in doubt, Redskins weighing options
WASHINGTON -- Fed up with rookie Durant Brooks' inconsistency, executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said definitively on his radio show Monday that "somebody else will be punting" when the Redskins host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Cerrato said the Redskins will audition punters Tuesday to replace sixth-round draft pick Brooks, who ranks last by far in the NFL in gross average (39.6) and net average (32.1).
Brooks was booed repeatedly by the home fans in Sunday's 19-17 loss to St. Louis, especially after a 26-yard shank from his end zone that set up a Rams field goal in the third quarter.
Shortly afterward, coach Jim Zorn was put in the awkward position of contradicting his boss without sounding as if he were contradicting his boss.
Yes, the coach said, there will be punters brought in for tryouts, but there's a chance Brooks will keep the job if those auditions don't go well.
"You can't say, 'We're going to replace him,' 'See ya later,' when we need to look at who we would replace him with as well -- if we were going to replace him," Zorn said. "Now, he may be the best guy out there, and then we have to work with him."
Complicating matters, Zorn revealed that Brooks has a nagging hip flexor and quad strain in his kicking leg and was having an MRI on Monday.
The injury hasn't prevented Brooks from punting well in practice, and Zorn stressed the injury has nothing to do with the decision to look elsewhere.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press