Redskins sign ex-Colts punter Smith
Apparently intent on improving the NFL's worst punting game of a year ago, the Washington Redskins have signed unrestricted free agent Hunter Smith, who had spent his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts.
Rookie head coach Jim Caldwell talks with Scott Hanson about what Colts fans can expect in the 2009 season.
The former Notre Dame standout is the third punter, and the second veteran at the position, signed by the Redskins this offseason.
Washington ranked dead last in the league in 2008 in net punting average (33.4 yards) and had one punt blocked. The Redskins allowed two punt returns for touchdowns, the second-most in the league.
The Redskins signed free agent Dirk Johnson, who most recently punted four years for the Philadelphia Eagles, this spring. The team also added Zac Atterberry, a one-year veteran with no regular-season experience.
In his 10 seasons in Indianapolis, Smith averaged 43.4 yards gross and 35.5 yards net. Never noted as a directional punter and a player who often outkicked his coverage, Smith nonetheless had 193 punts inside the 20-yard line and just 61 touchbacks.
Last season, he averaged 44.2 yards gross and had a net average of 38.8 yards.
Smith was originally chosen by the Colts as seventh-round pick in the 1998 draft.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.