Harbaugh, 49ers juggling more than just quarterbacks?
In the NFL it’s often said that success is contagious. Once a franchise taps into a winning formula, it’s used until the well runs dry. This is the case for the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2012.
As everyone knows quarterback Alex Smith has seemingly been replaced as the Niners starting signal caller by the more elusive Colin Kaepernick. In doing so, Harbaugh opted for the mysterious and unknown potential of Kaepernick rather than playing it safe with the predictable Smith. Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship last season but the team came up short, falling to the eventual Super Champion New York Giants. Despite Smith being on pace for his best season ever prior to suffering a concussion in Week 10, it has become quite apparent that head coach Jim Harbaugh believes the 49ers have gone as far as they can behind the former No.1 draft pick.
After two wins in his first two starts the transition from Smith to Kaepernick appears to the right move. Now, undoubtedly based somewhat on the success of the move, the 49ers and Harbaugh appear ready to make another change.
According to NFL.com, on Tuesday the 49ers worked out kickers Billy Cundiff and Nate Kaeding. Current 49ers kicker David Akers has performed less than admirably on the season hitting 19 of 27 attempts with his most recent miss being a 50 yarder against the New Orleans Saints. Another kick in the Saints game was blocked.
Where it’s understandable why the 49ers would look to make a change at kicker the veterans who were brought in for a work out leave much to be desired. Kaeding, formerly famed for his accuracy during the regular season with the San Diego Chargers, has a 53 percent field goal conversion rate in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Cundiff’s claim to fame was his missed 32 yard chip shot that crushed the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl aspirations in last year’s AFC Championship game.
For now the 49ers have found a way to make their quarterback carousel work but it’s unlikely that a change in kickers will yield the same success. Both Kaeding and Cundiff are proven chock artists in the playoffs and in all likelihood the signing either would mean the release of Akers leaving one of them as the 49ers only option come crunch time. Now I’m no NFL coach or anything but given Kaeding’s and Cundiff’s respective playoff histories, I’d take my chances with David Akers any postseason Sunday before opting out to either.
Can you imagine if the Niners actually signed Cundiff and he chocked in the NFC Championship and cost them the game? Talk about killing two birds with one stone. We’ll in this case it would be, killing two Harbaugh’s with one foot.
Don’t do 49ers. Don’t do it.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.