The Place Kicking Tandem
September 13 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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This past week, with Jose Cortez struggling in the first game, and with the 49ers carrying two place kickers there was a whole lot of talk about what the 49ers should do at the position. That the Washington Redskins, who are coached by current 49ers place kicker, Jeff Chandlerís college coach is now looking for a kicker.
Earlier this week, the Redskins contacted the 49ers about a possible trade for Chandler, which certainly added to the confusion as to what the 49ers would do about their place kicking position. The 49ers however, elected not to buy into the trade, largely because they play the Redskins early in the season. Of course, Jose Cortezí shaky start to the season, where he missed two field goals may have been a contributing factor too.
The 49ers decided to keep two kickers this year, largely because they didnít want either of their guys to go to another team. And so they elected to give up an extra roster spot to the special teams. The 49ers have stated that they could consider trading one of their kickers - and feel both will have bright futures with the NFL.
That Jose Cortez was less than perfect in his opening game is of some concern. But the 49ers have decided to stick with the kicker until it can be determined whether or not the player is actually struggling. The team does not want a seesaw battle at the position; they want their kicker to know that they wonít lose their position by missing a kick or two over the course of the season. Of course, if a kicker is so nervous about losing their position on the roster, thereís little doubt that they would be a less effective kicker.