2014 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers K David Akers trying to fix FG woes

    2012-12-05 03:41

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - As punter Andy Lee and long snapper Brian Jennings playfully practiced their golf swings in the San Francisco 49ers locker room Tuesday, the usually delightful David Akers had no time for laughs while getting dressed for his next meeting.

The kicker certainly hasn't been himself lately.

After missing a winning field goal in overtime in two of the last four games, Akers and his fellow 49ers (8-3-1) special teamers are as perplexed as anybody about what has gone wrong. The six-time Pro Bowl kicker is 21 for 30 on field goals this season.

``David really brings a passion and emotion to our unit,'' Jennings said. ``That's one of the contributing factors as to why he's been so great throughout his career, and then also why if things don't go the way we'd like them to, it can be particularly hard on him.''

Just a year ago, Akers set an NFL single-season record with 44 field goals. He missed only eight kicks - and none of them of such magnitude.

The success of last season has made this year's shortcomings maddening.

Akers missed a 51-yard attempt with 4:11 remaining in overtime of San Francisco's 16-13 loss at St. Louis on Sunday. The kick sailed wide right by inches and came only two weeks after he missed left on a 41-yard try - also in overtime against the Rams before the game ended in a 24-24 tie.

Akers has made only 15 of his last 24 attempts, but he has tried to focus on his technique, not his misses. And while he watches film of most kicks, he hasn't been able to pinpoint what has gone wrong - or at least he's not saying as much publicly.

``I have no idea,'' Akers said. ``I've done it for a lot of years. Lot I've gone through. Some I've missed. I don't really contemplate on those issues. If I've noticed something, I probably would have made a correction.''

Akers was listed on last week's injury report with a pelvis issue, though he looked fine during practice from as far as 50 yards. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh expects Akers to play at home against the Dolphins on Sunday, which just so happens to be the kicker's 38th birthday.

Harbaugh had brought two kickers for tryouts last week but said he isn't concerned about Akers' psyche.

``David, as far as mindset, he's a professional,'' Harbaugh said. ``He's been in every situation imaginable. He takes responsibility and knows it's his job to put it through the uprights. As far as his mindset, it's as a pro.''

Akers' struggles have come about in swift and stunning fashion.

Aside from his 44 made field goals last season, Akers also set a record for most attempted (52) and most points without a touchdown (166). That eclipsed the 49ers' previous best for overall points - set by Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who scored 138 points in 1987.

In San Francisco's season-opening win at Green Bay, Akers even tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights. Akers' mouth dropped open and his eyes popped wide as he threw his arms into the air in celebration and disbelief.

His teammates mobbed him after the record-tying kick, and Akers has excelled so much he has become one of the team's leaders. Some teammates are still surprised Philadelphia let him go in 2011 after 12 seasons. He holds Eagles franchise record for points, field goals, extra points, games played in the regular season and in the playoffs.

The success Akers has enjoyed for most of his career has made his recent struggles even more difficult to watch for teammates, especially Jennings and Lee - part of a tight trio with Akers in the locker room.

``Last year, I would say, was one of my greatest years as a player,'' said Jennings, who's in his 13th season with the 49ers. ``Now I would say with some of our performances this year, this has been one of the more frustrating years of my career. I think we all share that. I think we all go through it.''

San Francisco is still counting on Akers to regain his rhythm.

The NFC West-leading 49ers are trying to hold off Seattle (7-5) to win a second straight division crown and perhaps even another first-round playoff bye should they finish in the top two in the conference. After all, there's a good chance any success might not be reached without Akers' powerful left leg, which is always magnified in such massive moments - especially when things don't turn out well.

``There's no uglier football than bad special teams. It's the height of ugly football,'' Jennings said. ``We have the ability to be the best in the league, and the frustration comes from not being in that position. So until we're re-established as the best special teams unit in the league, there's going to be some struggles and some frustration.''

NOTES: RB Frank Gore wore a brace around his left wrist. He said he tweaked his wrist stiff-arming a defender and it's not anything that will keep him out of Sunday's game. ... DL Demarcus Dobbs said he made ``a dumb mistake, a dumb decision'' when he was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after a single-car accident. Dobbs said he takes ``full responsibility'' for his actions and isn't sure if he'll be activated against Miami. ... Harbaugh hinted on his weekly KNBR radio spot Tuesday that second-round pick LaMichael James will see playing time soon. James, the speedy running back out of Oregon who has not played this season, said Harbaugh hasn't told him when he'll play.

---

Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group