Special Teams Reaction
September 23 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Jason Baker was given seven opportunities to punt the ball. He did a pretty good job netting about 40 yards per kick. Of course you never want to see a punter kick this often, but he did pin three inside the twenty which was encouraging. Jose Cortez was successful on two field goals and two extra points. His leg is nothing special on kick offs.
The special teams coverage unit came up with a big play. A fair catch was called for but the ball went off a Washington player. Jimmy Williams recovered the ball on the play. This play was key in getting the 49ers the ball back, after almost losing it to an interception in their side of the field (a Mariucci challenge on both plays actually was what allowed the 49ers to keep the ball). They were victimized pretty badly by a reverse on a return though.
The return unit was much less impressive. Jimmy Williams and Cederick Wilson had a miss-communication in the endzone. Wilson eventually made something out of the busted return, but it was certainly a cause for concern. Williams also managed to hold onto a ball at the ten that he should have let drop, he was nailed immediately after catching it. The return unit also left the 49ers pinned deep in their zone time after time.
The biggest thing here was that although the team had a pretty bad miscue, they also have a good play to recover a ball. This unit has yet to show that they are something special, but they havenít been the downfall of the team yet either.