Heading into this year’s postseason, the San Francisco 49ers have an issue on their hands – luckily they have the bye week to get it solved. Since David Akers has been more of a liability than an asset, the front office was forced to make a move, and did so by bringing in Billy Cundiff.
Former 49ers kicker Joe Nedney sat down with CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco for a discussion on San Francisco’s special teams situation. We would have embedded this video as part of a "video post", but CSN has switched their video to auto-play, and we all know how annoying that can get. So, we'll just link it for now.
"This stuff happens in training camp, not going into the playoffs," Nedney said. However, the Niners were left with almost no options, and it would have been irresponsible to ignore the situation altogether.
It will be interesting to see how this two-week kicker competition in Santa Clara will work out. "This is something that’s going to have to get played out through all these practice days this week and into next week," Nedney followed up.
Though he was not present for Jim Harbaugh’s regime, Nedney suggested there would be aggressive practices for the Niners’ kickers in an attempt to determine a winner. He also mentioned that Harbaugh would be "monitoring the psyche of David Akers."
It seems that Akers has hit some sort of mental wall that's affecting his game. Where he is at psychologically may be a determining factor in this competition.
"The telling sign to me is that he is missing them wide left, which means he is not getting his hips through the ball, he is not swinging confidently through the ball. Its kind of what we call poking-and-hoping."
Its hard to definitively state whether or not Akers has lost confidence, but he certainly isn't as automatic as he once was. But it's like they say about momentum; it comes as quickly as it goes. There is a chance Akers regains his prestige before the divisional round, but it will take some luck and brilliant motivational devices by Harbaugh.
Akers needs to be the guy for the 49ers heading into the postseason. He'll have less than two weeks to prove to Harbaugh this is something he can overcome.