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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

49ers coach sends clear message about kicker Jake Moody

Jun 12, 2024 at 11:20 AM

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San Francisco 49ers kicker Jake Moody had some crucial misses during his rookie campaign, but he still connected on 21 of his 25 field goal attempts during the regular season. He missed a field goal attempt in each of the 49ers' first two playoff games last season but connected on all three of his attempts in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Moody briefly set a Super Bowl record with a 55-yard field goal. However, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker later set a new record, connecting on a 57-yard kick.

Moody's postseason miscues were foreshadowed by a shaky Week 18 performance against the Los Angeles Rams when he missed a field goal attempt and an extra point. While that missed extra point was his first of the season, the kicker went on to miss another in the Super Bowl.

After the regular-season finale, head coach Kyle Shanahan said, "I mean, it's never good when you miss them, especially having two like that, [including] the extra point. And I think it was his first one inside the 40, maybe all year, but he's had a hell of a year. He's done a hell of a job up to this point and just had a rough day today."

San Francisco's special teams coordinator, Brian Schneider, discussed Moody during the "State of the Franchise" event, sharing why he believes the young kicker has a bright future.

"It's been really cool for Jake to get away after the season and really kind of process everything," Schneider said. "And what he does is he goes through the tape and then he goes through, kind of what the week looked like, what the day looked like, what was going on in his life, and tries to put it all together."

Schneider briefly pivoted to praise punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who has been a valuable mentor for Moody, helping the then-rookie navigate the complexities of the position.

The coach notes that it's challenging for rookie kickers. There's immense pressure on them to perform perfectly after coming off the rigors of preparing to impress NFL teams and transitioning to the pro level. There's no break from the start of their final collegiate season until after their first NFL season.

Schneider stated that it's a fine line between ensuring they get enough practice and avoiding wearing out their leg.

"Jake's built for this," Schneider continued. "When we went through everything, and the number one thing he said is, 'I was the most excited, I felt the most alive, and I loved playing in the Super Bowl.' And for a rookie to say that, I always thought I saw that in him, in a weird way, but for him to verbalize it, to watch the tape, he set the record on the first kick, which was broken.

"But to me, we had an unfortunate miss that really affected the game. And then he comes back and hits a 53-yarder with 1:57 left. It just speaks to who the kid is."

Schneider campaigned for Moody leading into last year's draft, seeing an unflappable player even in the face of adversity. His belief in Moody hasn't wavered.

"I know exactly who he is because he's so consistent, and I trust it," Schneider commented. "As his career develops, I think he has such an awesome base and he's so talented. You guys are going to see exactly who he is when he gets the opportunity. He's going to be fun for you guys to watch."
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