49ers key matchup No. 2: Akers vs. Harvin

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49ers key matchup No. 2: Akers vs. Harvin

This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Vikings matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (FOX-TV), at Mall of American Field.49ers K David Akerscoverage unit vs. Vikings KR Percy HarvinTale of the tape
Akers (2): 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, 14th season, Louisville
Harvin (12): 5-foot-11, 184 pounds, fourth season, FloridaAny time the 49ers kick off, the Minnesota Vikings will have one of their most dangerous weapons lined up deep with his sights set on the opposite end zone.It'll be kicker David Akers' job to blast the ball through the end zone and not allow Minnesota speedster Percy Harvin a chance to make a big play.Harvin averaged 33.2 yards on five kickoff returns in the first two games. Harvin returned returned four kickoffs for touchdowns in his first three seasons.Meanwhile, seven of Akers' 12 kickoffs in two games have gone for touchbacks. The author of an NFL-record-tying 63-yard field goal in the 49ers' opening-week victory at Green Bay, Akers will be counted upon to show the strength in his leg with repeated touchbacks.Because if Harvin is able to bring the ball out of the end zone, things might get difficult on the 49ers' coverage unit.If the 49ers are worse from a year ago in any phase, it's probably with their coverage units. The 49ers did not re-sign Blake Costanzo, and the club dealt special-teamer Colin Jones to the Carolina Panthers for draft pick.In two games, the 49ers rank 29th in the NFL in punt coverage, including one touchdown allowed to the Packers' Randall Cobb, and 25th on defending kickoff returns. Second-year player Marcus Sherels, not Harvin, returns punts for the Vikings"We've got the right guys out there," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "We really believe that. We know we've got the right coach (special teams coordinator Brad Seely), the right blend there. And it's not like any other part of our game, and part of our football team. We're striving for excellence."

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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