Yesterday I watched Jim Harbaugh watch David Akers kick some field goals at the beginning of practice, and posted a bunch of photos that showed just how closely Harbaugh was examining the 49ers’ placekicker.
Today, Akers spoke with the media for about six minutes. He seemed very positive, or at least as upbeat as a guy who missed his only field goal try in Atlanta after nearly losing his job before the previous week’s game can be. I broke out his session into five segments, and pulled out the most noteworthy quote from each video. Since I was able to get in front of the giant media scrum, the videos are worth watching (although I’m obscenely biased).
1. How has he been kicking lately, and how does he feel heading into Super Bowl XLVII?
“After 14 years of actual credited seasons, 16 years of training camps and whatnot, but if we end up winning this it’ll be one of the coolest team seasons to be a part of. So for me, I’m just going to go into this looking positive and forgetting 2012 and looking forward to good things in 2013.”
(Video length – 1:17)
2. On playing for Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh
“Just like any brothers, the personalities are a little different. John’s probably a little bit more internalizing everything and more methodical, and Jim’s very emotional and players feed off that as well.”
(Video length – 1:26)
3. On reaching out to others for advice and figuring out what’s wrong
“We’re talking inches on a lot of kicks. That’s a frustrating thing because an inch is a mile in our game. From 63, hitting the pole and going over to hitting the top of the eyelet last week. One’s in and one’s out. One’s a record-breaker and one doesn’t tie the game.”
(Video length – 1:33)
4. How he’ll try to turn things around with one game to go
“I guess it’s no different from a relief pitcher or a DB that got burned on a long play. You got to go out and let body mechanics take over … the team obviously has faith in me.”
(Video length – 0:25)
5. Is he healthy?
“I’m not injured but you definitely feel things. You just have to go out and let adrenaline take over.”
(Video length – 0:13)
Regarding K David Akers, what have you seen him doing to try to get out of his slump? And are you or the coaches involved in that?
“Well, to try to answer the question I’d (have to) agree that he has something to get out of. He’s a competitor. He’s a football player. We all have great faith in David. He’s done a lot for our team. I believe he’s really hitting the ball well, consistently now for weeks. So, I can’t go to agree that he is in a slump. And all we can do is he can make the snap, make the hold, give great protection and him keep hitting the ball. And we all have confidence that those will go in. So, from a coaching standpoint, we’ll sure up the protection. And that’s the big part of what we do as coaches.”