Special Teams Reactions
December 2 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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This could have been the best special teamís performance of the season. I know that doesnít say much considering the state this group has been this season. Still it was a pretty amazing feet considering the team had two kickers with a total of one game experience between them, one of which a complete rookie to the NFL was also the holder for the place kicker.
Iíll admit that the first time LaFleur took to the field to hold the ball for Chandler, I was worried. But by the end of the game, I had certainly relaxed. Chandler remains perfect on field goal and extra points, but again that doesnít say much considering his youth in the league.
LaFleur wasnít dazzling. His 39.4 yard average however was no indicator, because he was force to punt in short situations twice. He played well, but certainly isnít a game breaking punter, at least not yet.
The Hawks average starting position was the 28, including the position after interceptions and after one kickoff where the team was backed up due to an erroneous official call. There were still too many penalties from this group though.
The story of the special teams though was Jimmy Williams who returned a punt for a touchdown, the first such touchdown for the 49ers since 1998 when RW McQuarters did it. Thatís a long time to go with no touchdowns on special teams, so seeing Williams strut into the endzone, really felt good.