Punter Signed

Posted Nov 1, 2002

The Giants have signed Punter Tom Rouen. Head coach Jim Fassel was with Rouen in 1993 and '94 when he was Denver's offensive coordinator.

On Friday, the Giants signed P Tom Rouen. But they did not cut rookie Matt Allen, who has been their punter all season. To make room on the roster, they put safety Darnell Dinkins on injured reserve. Dinkins has been sidelined with a broken foot suffered against Seattle on Sept. 22.

"He's been in the league a long time, a veteran punter who's been in the Super Bowl," coach Jim Fassel said of Rouen. "There was no sense not bringing him in. I've got a roster spot. If I had to cut a guy, it'd be different. I'm always looking to improve. There are some concerns I have about Matt as we move forward. If I didn't like Matt Allen, I would have cut him today."

Fassel will decide tomorrow or Sunday whether Allen or Rouen will punt - and hold for kicker Matt Bryant - Sunday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It could be (Rouen)," Fassel said. "I'll talk to Bruce (Read, the special teams coach) about it and then we'll see. I can see him punt tomorrow. I told them both I don't want to see them punt their leg out, but I'd like to see them punt a little bit. Right now I'll carry two punters for the time being."

Fassel was with Rouen in 1993 and '94 when he was Denver's offensive coordinator.

"I'm not sure what the plan is," Rouen said. "Whatever the coach thinks is best. I'll do everything I can."

This season, Rouen punted 29 times for a gross average of 42.7 yards and a net average of 31.7 yards. His long punt was 63 yards, and he had four touchbacks and put six balls inside the 20.

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