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Niners P Lee believes in Akers

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on if he can relate to what kicker David Akers has been going through towards the end of the season) “It’s tough. He’s been hanging in there and he’s been working really hard. It’s just something – that sometimes there’s one little bitty thing here and there off because he kicks the ball great in practice. His form looks great. Everything looks great. It’s just like little things here and there. It’s just little fine tuning things. Those are the hardest, I think, to do because if it’s a big thing you can make a big change. If it’s a little thing, it’s just hard to tweak here and there. We’ve just been in there trying to work and trying to get things right. His head is right and I have all the confidence in him in the world.”


(on if his first NFL game was a game that he actually played in during his rookie year) “Yes, I’ve never actually watched an NFL game from the stands. I grew up in South Carolina, went to University of Clemson games. It’s a big college town, college area. The NFL was never a big thing for me, really ever, until probably midway through the University of Pittsburgh because the Steelers were so good.”


(on what it was like playing an NFL game for the first time)  “A little nerve-wracking to be honest with you. Now it’s just kind of another thing now. But there was anxiety, kind of surreal I guess you could say.”


(on if he thinks the role of special teams gets enough credit in comparison to in the past) “I think now it’s getting more prevalent and people are starting to understand the field position game and how much means. So, I think it’s getting enough credit this day in age, but I think in the past there’s been a little bit of rejection.”


(on if the team has rallied around David Akers following his performance this season) “Yes. Everybody on the team, as far as I know, that I know of, has total respect for him. He’s still a great kicker. He’s still doing a great job.”


(on if it helped the special teams unit when head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to stick with David Akers) “I definitely think change is harder, especially with me holding and doing all that kind of thing. I think with our system, we’re comfortable together. So, not making that change, I think, is putting the confidence back in David. I think it was the right decision.”


(on if he thinks the game could come down to punting and field position considering both teams have strong defenses) “Yes, definitely I think there’s a chance for that. You never know. Sometimes you just bust defenses wide open. So, it would be nice to just be holding all game, probably means that we’re scoring a lot of points. If we have to go out there and punt, this is a great place to do it and I definitely think that this could be one of those games.”


(on if the limited number of return yards is a result of good hang-time and not outkicking his coverage) “I would say I have a really good coverage team. They’ve done a really great job, especially C.J. Spillman. I don’t know of any other NFL teams that has two All-Pro, Pro Bowl defensive players on the punt team either. NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson are on our punt team. We have a great unit. They really cover well. I can’t take all the credit for any of the coverage stuff. That’s a lot of them. Putting the ball in certain places, hitting them high, it helps them. But, they’ve done a great job and they’ve backed me up on some missed kicks, too.”


(On what role his faith has had in leading him up to this point) “It’s what I live by, so every day I try to get up and do the best I can to live as closely to Jesus as I can, which I fail every day. It keeps me going. It’s what keeps me trying to make my family as happy as I can, treating my wife the best I can, and treating my kids the best I can and keeping them first.”


(On what his day-to-day role with the team) “Pretty much what we do is we’ll have our meetings. We don’t have meetings like other guys that are really long and drawn out because pretty much what I need to know is how to catch it and kick it. Are they rushing this? Maybe speed up a little bit. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life, so there’s nothing really new to learn. It’s a lot of, what can I do to get my mind off the game, mentally. Physically, just making sure you’re not kicking too much. It’s more stress related.”

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Niners K Akers feels good going into SB despite rocky stretch

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff





(on if he takes a moment to draw upon his faith during times of adversity) “Well, I try to give thanks when things are positive as well, but absolutely during that time, I think everybody, as humans, we question a lot of what’s going on or we can’t see the big picture of what’s happening. Sometimes the answer comes quickly and sometimes it takes a long time before reflection is turned into answers. So I look in and go to the scripture of, ‘Lean on our own understanding’ and ‘His ways.”


(on what it will be like to walk out of the tunnel on Sunday) “It is exciting. You come in, it’s an absolute circus here as we pan around here, but there is a game in between there. So, one thing Andy Reid said when I played in Jacksonville against the Patriots there in that Super Bowl, was to just take a second and look around at the stadium and enjoy the moment. Because a lot of guys work really hard and they never get this opportunity. I’ve been here twice now, we lost the first one, and hopefully things will be a little bit different this Sunday.”


(on if he’s had a chance to speak with Adam Vinatieri about his experiences) “I still think Adam’s best kick was the one in the snow, though, against the Raiders to get them into the Super Bowl, or to tie the game and then to hit the game winner. Again, he’s one of those guys whose been very clutch over his career. A lot of guys that are clutch like Adam just haven’t been put in that opportunity. But again, great guy, worked hard, and has produced on the field many, many times.”


(on if he feels that being a kicker is an unfair position to play in football) “I don’t know if it’s an unfair position, I think it’s just kind of the reality of what the game is and how it’s designed and just kind of the position that I chose to be in as a kicker.”


(on if he prefers to be in a dome as opposed to being in an open stadium) “The environmental issues are a little different here. You don’t have as much wind and you have steady footing on the surface. It doesn’t guarantee you success, that’s for sure, but yeah, it will help as far as that goes. You don’t get any help getting any further distance with wind at your back though, either.”


(on if special teams are underrated during the Super Bowl) “Oh, I think special teams are underrated a lot of times. Well first off, as a special teams coordinator, they’re the only guys that actually deal with the entire team. Every other coach has their own group, but a special teams coordinator has, other than the head coach, is the only one who deals with the entire team. That being the case, I truly believe that shows the importance of really what’s going on out there. Kickoff and the punt, they will change the hidden yardage of the game, so you can have sometimes over 100 and some yards in hidden yardage that can add another touchdown for sure.”


(on how he has a separate mentality like a relief pitcher in baseball) “I think it’s kind of like, as you said, like a relief pitcher. You’re brought in at one time and hopefully are going to do good when you go on the field, because it’s pretty obvious when you don’t. So there’s no gray area. Same thing with a relief pitcher; you’ve got to either finish the game off, or, for us, go out whether it’s the first extra point of the game or the last-second field goal.”


(on his thoughts about the media covering the Super Bowl) “It’s part of the game. It is what it is, so you kind of deal with it. And then Sunday, hopefully go out and have a good game, and hopefully come back world champions.”


(on the faith and character of the team) “Strong character is built, it’s not just automatically given. So a lot of guys have gone through a lot of perseverance, a lot of trials, and they’ve stood through those trials and the character has developed through that. Because of that, I think that’s why you see so many strong guys, like the Patrick Willis’ of the world. (He) had such a horrible childhood experience, but yet has been able to come out strong and be able to be a leader on and off the field and the way he is as a man is really impressive and inspirational. For that, that’s just one example, but there are a lot of guys, whether it’s Vernon Davis or Frank Gore, very strong in what they believe and strive in each day in their walk.”




Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on how his relationship with God has helped him through a year like this year) “It’s been a tough personal season for myself. Injuries in the beginning of the year, having surgery, and then rehabbing. Having a great preseason, great opening game, and then kind of some inconsistencies – to be good, then would be down – so I kind of go to this: the frustration gets to a point where, ‘Lean not on your own understanding.’ Then you go back and say, ‘Okay, His ways are –, His thoughts are – ,’ so I don’t know why a lot of stuff’s going on. You reflect on it, the answers aren’t there. At one time in the future, I think those will become more clear.”


(on the power of scripture in his life and what it does for him) “For me, being a spiritual guy and understanding the relationship, I believe that is kind of the blueprint for what we’re supposed to do in certain situations. Does it necessarily come with answers? No, but you kind of lean on that and stay strong in the faith.”


(on if there’s a scripture that he leans heavily on in his life) “I keep going on Romans 8:28. I believe that we’re all here for a purpose, and trying to figure out what that purpose is. As long as you love God, then you know that He has a plan for you and you’ve got to just keep working in the situation that you’re in.”


(on if there’s any spiritual advice that he can give to the younger guys experiencing their first Super Bowl) “I believe that just staying strong, and what you believe, the character, who you are – don’t change that. And don’t just get into worldly things because people are patting you on the back. So I’ve talked about that with guys a lot during the season. We’ve got a lot of great guys on this team, so hopefully they can actually give me some advice – even though I’m the oldest. I think everybody looks at me because I’m the oldest.”


(on if he talked to other kickers or special teams players during his recent struggles) “You know what’s crazy is we talk about that stuff all the time, we kind of always bounce stuff off each other, so yeah, that’s definitely part of it.”


(on if there was any one player that was helpful to him) “I wouldn’t say any one, I kind of take advice from a lot of people. Take in the good and throw away the bad.”


(on his professional journey to the Super Bowl) “It’s been a crazy, crazy situation. I actually started in ’97 with the Panthers in training camp, went back – I was teaching sixth grade science as a permanent substitute teacher, and went to the Falcons in ’98. Got cut from there, went to the Redskins, was practice squad, got brought up, missed a couple kicks. In the first game, actually my first regular season kickoff was returned 90 yards for a touchdown, so it’s not really the way you want to start off your career. But the Eagles ended up bringing me in in ’98, the end of ’98, signing me from the beginning of ’99. Went to NFL Europe, they allocated me over there, had a great time over there, and then spent 12 years with the Eagles. Last year, had a great year out here, and this year has been rocky, to say the least. Hopefully, we can end up strong.”


(on if he ever had any thoughts that an NFL career might not pan out) “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I had a wife that was really strong, though, and she said give it another year, give it one more ride, and see what happens. Because of that, I did, opportunities came into place, and we’re here now 14 years later. Absolutely, you’ve got to have the people there that are there to support you, give you advice, and the right opportunity came along as well.”


(on if he ever worries about getting a blindside hit that becomes a YouTube video) “Being a YouTube video would be the least of my concerns if I got blindsided or something. You’re making sure you’ve got all your teeth, and all that. Looking out the ear hole.”


(on if there’s a certain fear a special teams player has that a position player doesn’t have) “Well as a kicker, you don’t want to miss, and you don’t want to get a blocked kick, so that’s not a good situation.”

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