Supporters say 49ers should stick with Akers as FG kicker

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Coach Jim Harbaugh isn't the only one endorsing David Akers as the 49ers' kicker for Super Bowl XLVII, even if Harbaugh's vote counts most.

All three kickers from the 49ers' five Super Bowl-winning teams are pledging support, too.

"No way they should make a change. Dave's a great kicker," Ray Wersching said Tuesday by phone from his San Carlos home. "If I had an opportunity to talk to him, I'd tell him he's not just good but great."

Wersching kicked in the 49ers' first two Super Bowl wins, and he's willing to bet that Akers can win his first ring Feb. 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Also pro-Akers is Doug Brien, who kicked in the 49ers' last Super Bowl win 18 years ago — a 49-26 rout of the San Diego Chargers.

"If you had to take a kicker to be out there for you in a Super Bowl, there's not many guys I'd pick above David Akers," Brien said Tuesday.

When the 49ers considered replacing Akers with Billy Cundiff before their Jan. 12 playoff opener, former 49ers kicker Mike Cofer surfaced on a Bay Area radio station and recalled his own up-and-down career. Cofer sided with keeping Akers, telling 95.7 The Game he was "in his court."

Akers is in the midst of an extremely bittersweet season, as evidenced Sunday when the 49ers clinched the NFC title with a 28-24 win at Atlanta.

As Akers' teammates ran off the sideline to celebrate their Super Bowl berth, he calmly walked in their wake, and he was one of the first players to leave the joyous locker room.

That game was the first in his two-season tenure with the 49ers in which he did not kick a field goal. His only attempt, from 38 yards, clanked off the top of the left upright, his 14th miss in his past 39 attempts.

"It's all mental. The guy's got an unbelievable leg," Wersching said. "That stroke is not off very much. He hits the top of the upright — that's tough to do."


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