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Harbaugh denies that Akers is in a slump during slump

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A career-worst season, and a playoff kick off the uprights is not enough to shake the 49ers’ confidence in David Akers.

(Other, than of course, the fact they brought in another kicker earlier this month.)

But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh denied that his kicker was in a slump, saying the team has nothing but belief in Akers.

“We all have great faith in David,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Maiocco of “He’s done a lot for our team. I believe he’s really hitting the ball well, consistently for weeks. I can’t agree that he is in a slump.

“All he can do is make the snap and make the hold, give great protection and him keep hitting the ball. And we have confidence those will go in.”

Akers said the fact they haven’t gone in at his previous rate (he’s at 69 percent this year, and is a career 81 percent on field goals) didn’t make sense to him, because he feels as consistent as ever.

“I felt good all year,” Akers said. “Just doing the same thing in practice we’ve done all year. And wish those points would’ve counted in games. I had a great practice season, and training camp and pre-games. So it’s one of those things.

“It’s been a head-scratcher. But I’m still going to be positive about going into this game, 60 minutes away from possibility of being a world champion.”

Kicking field goals is a muscle-memory business, and Akers said he can only fall back on his fundamentals.

“It’s no different than a relief pitcher or a [defensive back] who got burned on a long play,” Akers said. “You got to go out and let body mechanics take over. There’s nothing really to do.

“The team obviously has faith in me. They kept me here. I’m going to go out. I’m going to give everything I have every time and that’s the mentality I got.”

It’s easy for Harbaugh to say he trusts Akers, because he has to say that. The real test will be if they face a fourth-and-short around the 35 or so, and whether he turns that faith into action.

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22 Responses to “Harbaugh denies that Akers is in a slump during slump”
  1. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 25, 2013 5:23 PM

    14-17 Ravens
    after Akers misses a field goal.

    You’re crazy if you don’t think a game with two great defenses won’t come down to a kicker.

  2. bartlettruss says: Jan 25, 2013 5:41 PM

    He was all in with Alex Smith too wasn’t he?

  3. omniscient48 says: Jan 25, 2013 5:43 PM

    I’ve said it numerous times, but anyone interested in the best description of a kicker’s psyche should read Stefan Fatsis’ book “A Few Seconds of Panic”

    You will never look at kickers the same way again – I promise

  4. thesportsguy52 says: Jan 25, 2013 5:45 PM

    Which Harbaugh?????? Huh? Anyone?

  5. lightcleric says: Jan 25, 2013 5:49 PM

    Did he deny they he was “pursuing” Billy Cundiff and say he was only “evaluating” him?

  6. getyourownname says: Jan 25, 2013 5:58 PM

    “But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh denied that his kicker was in a slump, saying the team has nothing but belief in Akers.”

    Right, it’s a silly thing to deny, because the best thing for your kicker, and the other 52 players beating their brains out to get into position to win, is to publicly humiliate your kicker the week before the big game and put more pressure on him. And the coach is a defenseless target for snark on the subject.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing the pft writers don’t have to coach a team with some imperfect parts to do as well as theye can in the biggest game of their careers.

  7. cosanostra71 says: Jan 25, 2013 6:10 PM

    Well what else do you expect him to say? He is our kicker whether we like it or not and we have to support him.

  8. eastcoastninerfan says: Jan 25, 2013 6:28 PM

    Non story as no coach “truly” has faith in their kickers. Some more or less but the fact is when they (kickers) go out there, the coach is already pissed since they didn’t convert the third down conversion.

    That said, Go Niners!!!!

  9. gwylie1 says: Jan 25, 2013 6:37 PM

    Akers needs to go to his happy place

  10. nfl fan says: Jan 25, 2013 7:28 PM

    Game on the line, Akers will miss. He’s very good in regulation or from reasonable distances, but he caves under pressure in the big moments.

  11. garonm says: Jan 25, 2013 7:44 PM

    Akers WILL surprise you all! This is the Niners year and he will come through.

  12. eatitfanboy says: Jan 25, 2013 8:36 PM

    Coaches get away with spewing nonsense like this because no one ever calls them on it.

    I would have followed it up with this question: “well, your kicker missed more field goals than any other in the league, so either he’s in a slump or he’s the worst kicker in football. Which is it?”

  13. purplesane says: Jan 25, 2013 8:38 PM

    Denial is a wonderful feeling….

  14. hailvictory10 says: Jan 25, 2013 9:21 PM

    Many years ago….Norv Turner cut David Ackers while he was the coach of The Redskins…..nothing to do with this story, it just still bugs me.

    I don’t like Norv

    hail to the redskins


  15. pgilbert15303 says: Jan 25, 2013 10:01 PM

    Jezz, easy answer. David, when you get to New Orleans just run down to the French Quarter and find yourself the ugliest Slump Buster!

    Akers kicks a 64 yarder to win the game!!!!

  16. phillyphannn83 says: Jan 26, 2013 12:34 AM

    Personally I’m very fond of DA as his tenure in Philly was nothing short of spectacular. For about a decade, the only kicker in the NFL who was on his level was Adam Vinaterri. However, I have never and will never forget that we lost the Superbowl to the Pats by 3 points, and our beloved kicker missed 2 field goals in that game, one a 27-yard chip shot. Dont get me wrong, a lot went wrong in that game; it was right in the heart of Belicheats notorious signal stealing scandal(all you have to do is look at what happened in the second half of that game and it fits the mold exactly with what they were doing at the time), McNabb puked whether it was conditioning, nerves, or just bad food who knows, TO had a broken foot but still managed a decent game(its hard to believe that a 100% healthy TO wouldn’t have made up for 3 points), and then there’s Akers’ missed kicks. So draw your own conclusions, but he still missed and incredibly easy kick…

    We’ll see what happens when the pressure is on again. I, for one, am rooting for him, and for the game to come down to a successful David Akers field goal as time expires. He deserves it, even if it is bittersweet for Philly fans.

  17. txnative61 says: Jan 26, 2013 1:28 AM

    Yeah, and Jim’s opinion on Akers just like John’s on Cutiff–slump or not, we’re giving another guy the job next year.

  18. pthepro49 says: Jan 26, 2013 1:54 AM

    Akers is one of the nicest players in the league. He is an all around good guy. The guy even took a full page ad in a Philadelphia Newspaper to thank those pathetic Eagles fans. Life is good to those who are good to others. Akers will kick the game winning field goal as time expires to give the 49ers their 6th Lambardi Trophy. It all makes perfect sense in 2 different ways.

    2-49ers don’t lose SuperBowls, we will be 6-0 after Akers wins it!!


  19. halohonk says: Jan 26, 2013 2:11 AM

    Are you kidding he was aiming for that upright and nailed it. Now thats pretty accurate! 31-28 niners

  20. joetoronto says: Jan 26, 2013 6:42 AM

    “And on top of that, we never pursued Peyton Manning and Alex Smith is still our starter and always has been.”

  21. waltrd says: Jan 26, 2013 8:33 AM

    Akers will be Harbaugh’s achilles hill in the Super Bowl.

  22. sixjak says: Jan 26, 2013 7:38 PM

    What’s the point of publically discussing this as a coach? Does that help Akers for him to read about how his coach has concerns about his kicking slump.

    Say what you want about Jim but he’d rather lie than publically down one if his players. 30 other teams wish they were coached by this guy,

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