49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 7, 2013
Harbaugh says one of his kickers has taken the lead


Jim Harbaugh said "there's a leader in the clubhouse" as far as the two-man competition to be the 49ers' kicker Saturday against the Packers. Then again, he said there's also a "good chance" both David Akers and Billy Cundiff would remain on the roster when the 49ers play Green Bay.

Could both be active, Jim? "That's conceivable," Harbaugh said.

To this point, Akers and Cundiff have practiced only two days - Thursday and Friday. Harbaugh would not reveal who had taken the lead in that competition but indicated that it would continue this week. He said the specialists would head up to Candlestick Park today to kick there. Cundiff seemed like the stronger kicker in the small window of practices that are open to reporters; the vast majority of each session is closed.

Punter Andy Lee, who holds on field goals and extra points, said there have been no wrinkles in practice to this point as far as the kicking battle is concerned. He said the sessions have been held as they normally would, only that the field-goal scenarios have been divided between two players. Cundiff, for example, said he had five attempts in the Thursday practice and made all five.

Akers, of course, has a lot more experience kicking at Candlestick Park, a notoriously windy venue and one with tricky kicking conditions given the oddball configuration of the stands. He's attempted 60 field goals there since 2002, making 48 of them (80 percent). Cundiff, meanwhile, had never set foot in the building until Monday.

Would that give Akers an advantage in the competition?

"We've been weighing as many factors as we can," Harbaugh said. "It's predominantly based on how they're kicking now, head to head."

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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