What is going on here?
Three days into their 2008 training camp and yet more misery has struck the Pittsburgh Steelers. This time the unfortunate victim was punter Daniel Sepulveda, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
This calamity is strange for a number of reasons, the most obvious being the fact it was a real football injury even though it happened to a punter. This brings me to the second strange circumstance. I don’t care much about punters, except when they screw up, but I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve seen them injured is when a kick is blocked or they make an ill-advised attempt to actually play football. However, Sepulveda’s injury evidently went something like this: He came to camp. He said his knee was a little sore. They took an MRI for the heck of it. They found a torn ACL. Yes, he evidently ripped up his knee by standing on the sidelines carrying a clipboard.
Sepulveda is now claiming his knee hasn’t felt right since he had surgery for a torn ACL while playing for Baylor back in 2006. I’m not a doctor but it looked pretty good in the clip posted above. Actually, I give kickers shit about being sissy boys because, well, they are but as you saw in that video, Sepulveda was actually a pretty kick-ass punter. Then again, considering he’s almost the same exact size as Jack Lambert was during his heyday with the Steel Curtain, he should be required to deliver a hit or two purely out of principle.
Anyway, punting help is on the way in the form of Paul Ernster, picked up off waivers from the Detroit Lions. Those last two words should give you all the clues you need as to his level of ability. Or you may remember Ernster as I do, from his one and only appearance with the Browns in last year’s season opener against the Steelers. His soaring punts of 15 and 22 yards on a perfectly calm day earned him a ticket out of town faster than you could say “Charlie Frye.”
For those keeping score, so far our wild-haired All-Pro safety has a banged up leg, our run-stuffing All-Pro nose tackle is a fatass, and now our 4th round draft pick punter is gone for the season and replaced by somebody not good enough for either the Cleveland Browns or Detroit Lions. Yep, training camp can’t end soon enough.