Sam Paulescu

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Sam Paulescu
Position: Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-04-18) April 18, 1984 (age 33)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
College: Oregon State
Undrafted: 2006
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 20
Punts: 85
Punt Yards: 3,056
Punting Yard Average: 36.0
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Samuel Paulescu (born April 18, 1984) is a former American football punter in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at Oregon State University.

Early years[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California to Romanian immigrant parents Nick and Persida Paulescu, he was fluent in Romanian before he could speak English. Paulescu played soccer, track and football at Whittier Christian High School in La Habra, California.

He earned four letters in football and soccer, and two in track and field. He kicked a prep career-best 43-yard field goal as a junior, also scored 17 goals in soccer as a junior. In addition to kicking, Paulescu also played wide receiver, running back and defensive back.

He was team defensive MVP as a senior and a first-team All-Olympic League in 2001 as a kicker. Sam played in the 605 All-Star game in the summer of 2002. As a junior, he scored three touchdowns, intercepted two passes and kicked a 43-yard field goal in one game.

College career[edit]

Paulescu played as a punter and place-kicker at Fullerton College under head coach Gene Murphy in 2003. As a freshman in 2002, he averaged 36.7 yards on 53 punts. His special teams coach at Fullerton was Jim Wren, who was USC’s punter in 1996 when Mike Riley was the offensive coordinator.

The next year as a place-kicker, Paulescu was the fifth-leading scorer among California Junior College players. He scored 73 points in 10 games (37-37 PAT, 12-17 FGs) booted a 57-yard field goal against Santa Monica, and was perfect on all three attempts over 41 yards. Paulescu made a 25-yarder in overtime to give Fullerton a 24-21 win over Riverside on Nov. 15. As a punter, he averaged 45.6 yards on 46 attempts during the regular season, with a long of 84 yards, raising his average to 46.5 yards after three playoff games. Paulescu also bettered his all-time long punt with an 86-yarder against Santa Monica in the Nov. 22 U.S. Bank Beach Bowl.

He was selected first team All-American by J.C. Grid-Wire and by J.C. Athletic Bureau, earned first team All-Mission Conference; first team all-California J.C. Region IV, and first team All-California as selected by the California Community College Football Coaches Association.

He transferred to Oregon State University, where as a junior he received honorable-mention All-Pac-10 and OSU Special Teams Co-MVP honors. He began his senior year on the Ray Guy Award watch list and averaged 43 yards per punt, ending his OSU career with 48 punts downed inside the 20-yard line – 24 each season. Of note: Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week in 2005 after having six punts downed inside the 20, including two at the 1-yard line, in a win at No. 18 California; 21 punts of 50-plus yards during his career, including a career-best of 69 yards vs. Washington State in 2004.

He finished his college career as arguably the top punter in the program’s history. He was named to the Pac-10 All-Conference First Team as a senior, marking the first punter in OSU history to earn such a distinction.

Professional career[edit]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL)[edit]

On June 21, 2006, he signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, to join the team's developmental squad.[1]

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)[edit]

On May 1, 2007, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys.[2] He was released before the start of the 2007 season, after not beating out Mat McBriar for the starting punting job.

Denver Broncos[edit]

On December 28, 2007 the Denver Broncos signed him after releasing Paul Ernster.[3] Paulescu made his debut in week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings, making five punts for a total of 221 yards. He was released on August 30, 2008.

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)[edit]

On October 14, 2008, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a replacement for McBriar, who suffered a broken foot against the Arizona Cardinals and was placed on the injured reserve list. During a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he delivered a hard tackle on returner, Clifton Smith, at midfield.[4] He was not re-signed after the season.

Washington Redskins (first stint)[edit]

Paulescu signed with the Washington Redskins on November 6, 2009. After punting in one game on November 8 against the Atlanta Falcons (3 punts, averaging 50 yards per punt). He was waived on November 14.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

On December 1, 2009, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to the injury of Dirk Johnson. He was waived on April 26, 2010.

Washington Redskins (second stint)[edit]

On December 14, 2010, he was signed by the Washington Redskins to replace Hunter Smith, who was cut from the team the same day. He was released on July 28, 2011.[5]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On August 22, 2011, Paulescu signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He was waived on August 30.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sam Paulescu Signs Professional Contract". Oregon State University. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Cowboys Adding Rookie Free Agents, Including QB". DallasCowboys.com. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Perils of punter Paulescu". Denver Post. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "New punter Sam Paulescu and Clifton Smith have history". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg. "Release Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Barrows, Matt (August 30, 2011). "McKillop, Jurovich among first cuts; will Edwards escape suspension?". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved August 30, 2011.