David Akers has an 81.9 percent career field-goal percentage. His percentage at Candlestick Park, however, is not nearly as gaudy. Akers has connected on 69 percent of his attempts in the last decade, and the 36-year-old kicker admitted today that oddball things tended to happen in San Francisco.
During a game in 2008, the 49ers blocked an Akers field-goal attempt and returned it for a touchdown before the half. In another, one of his kicks was partially tipped.
"One of the first games out here I either had two or three holders," he said. "Because Koy Detmer got injured, dislocated his elbow. Then I had Chad Lewis, and I think maybe Tim Hasselbeck even came in and held part of that game. So we've had some interesting games out here but I think I've struck the ball pretty well at times."
This year, however, Akers is getting all sorts of inside information about how to solve Candlestick Park. Punter Andy Lee's been kicking there since 2004, and former 49ers kicker Joe Nedney, now a free agent, even stopped by earlier this month to talk to Akers, in part, about the steady winds in Santa Clara and the swirling winds at Candlestick Point.
Saturday promises to be Akers' first trip to Candlestick as a 49er. He missed Sunday's practice there because he was in Austin, Texas testifying in a case against Triton Financial. Prosecutors are accusing the company's chief executive of building a $50 million ponzi scheme. Akers testified he lost $3.7 million from 2007-2009.
Akers said he was certain he'd grow more comfortable with Candlestick over time.
"It's not like you're playing a round of golf and you get the layout of the course," Akers said. "Each day's different, each course is different. I think your comfort level just kind of builds. That's what I was able to do at Lincoln (Financial Field). In a northwest wind I knew how (the ball) came off. If it was a southwest wind, I knew how it would come off. It'll take some learning, but I feel like we can figure it out."
Akers has kicked 291 field goals since 2000, the most of anyone in the NFL. Friday's 59 yarder in New Orleans, however, was a career long both in the preseason and regular season.
Which veteran quarterback will the 49ers ultimately sign? A lot of speculation has been on Josh Johnson, the Tampa Bay backup who served as Jim Harbaugh's starter at the University of San Diego. Asked in a preseason poll to name the "best pure athlete" he's ever coached, Harbaugh picked Johnson.
The Buccaneers, however, aren't interested in a trade. In fact, Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told NFL.com he'd like to sign Johnson, who becomes a free agent after the season, to a contract extension.
-- Matt Barrows