Akers reflects on disappointing season

Akers reflects on disappointing season
January 3, 2013, 4:45 pm
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SANTA CLARA – It’s been an inconsistent and troubling season for 49ers kicker David Akers, who may or may not have lost his starting job. On Thursday at the team’s practice facility, the 38-year-old veteran shed some light on some possible reasons why he’s struggled so mightily in recent weeks.

A double hernia operation in February, coupled with a fall on the field during a kickoff, may be behind his 11-for-18 performace in field goal attempts over the last six weeks and 69 percent success rate for the season (29-for-42).

“The start of last year, 2012, I started out with a double sports hernia surgery in February,” Akers said. “Rehabbed all year, came into training camp and was kicking real well and had a great preseason, I thought. Started off my first [preseason] game kicking with a 50 and 55-yarder against Houston, and the magical day in Green Bay. Obviously, that has gone into an up-and-down season.”

Akers also revealed that he fell down during a kickoff “weeks before” San Francisco played the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 25, when he was 1-for-3 on field goal attempts. He flew back to Philadelphia, where he spent the first 11 years of his career, to meet with doctors after the Saints game and had some “injections” at that point, but did not specify what or where they were.

Now, he’s fighting for his job with veteran Billy Cundiff, who was signed by San Francisco on Tuesday and was seen on the practice field with Akers on Thursday. It’s unclear which kicker will suit up for San Francisco’s playoff game on Jan. 12 at Candlestick Park.

“My number one job is to perform for the team, the organization, the fans, and obviously, too, my family. It’s my career, and this is how I provide. It’s been disappointing, to say the least. Two games came down to a missed kick, and I hated to be the reason that we tied one and lost another one. My number one goal is to do what I have to do to help the team out in any situation when I’m put into the game.

“Right now, obviously, they are making some decisions whether I’m going to be here or not. It’s kind of out of my control. I can’t really think about it as a competition, because it’s going into the second week of the playoffs in our books. I’m just going out and I’m going to practice how I normally practice and not put any more into it.”

Akers also addressed his body language. In the 49ers win over Arizona on Dec. 30, he missed two kicks and was visibly upset with himself on the field and the sidelines.

“People talk about my demeanor, being down, whatever. Listen, I take my job seriously. I feel when I miss kicks that I let the team, the organization and the fans down. I take it personal. I guess sometimes I care too much about it, but that’s just who I am.

“It’s been disappointing. I’m disappointed in myself. There’s nothing I can do about it right now. You can’t go back into the past, you try today to get better and figure out why they’re not going between the poles. If I had an answer, I would have fixed it a long time ago.”

Akers did not consider taking any time off after his fall based on feedback from doctors and team trainers, and said there is no structural damage to his body.