Billy Cundiff says he'll treat Candlestick Park as if he's the visiting kicker if he he's tapped to kick field goals Saturday against the Packers. Cundiff never set foot inside the 49ers stadium until he took some practice kicks Monday, but he said the situation will be no different than what a visiting kicker goes through.
"I've got a lot of practice at that," said Cundiff, who's been kicking since 2002, "and I just have to treat it like any other game."
Candlestick Park is one of the quirkiest venues in the league as far as kicking. It sits on Candlestick Point, which juts out into the San Francisco Bay. That means there are a lot of shifting winds, which are further altered by the oddball configuration of the stands.
Kickers and punters will watch the pre-game fireworks to see which way the resulting smoke blows. Oftentimes it will blow one way, reach another elevation and then start moving in a different direction.
Cundiff said that when he kicked on Monday - during the day - there was no wind but that the balls still drifted toward the scoreboards (the bay) when he kicked. He also said the grass was dry but that punter Andy Lee and holder Brian Jennings said that it tends to gain moisture as the sun goes down. Kickoff is scheduled for just after 5 p.m.
The only other venues Cundiff hasn't played in are Miam's and Denver's. Is he confident he can do it if called upon? "I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe I could do it," Cundiff said.
As expected, new Jaguars general manager David Caldwell dismissed head coach Mike Mularkey today. As you probably know by now, Caldwell is tight with 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman from their playing days at John Carroll University. Roman can interview with the Jags on Sunday if the 49ers are knocked out of the playoffs Saturday. If they win, he can't interview until the bye week before the Super Bowl.
- Matt Barrows