November 29 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers took steps to improve their brutal special teams this week. The team cut Jose Cortez and Jason Baker. In so doing they affirmed Jeff Chandler as the teamís only place kicker and had to search for another punter. Rookie Jeff Chandler is a perfect 1 for 1 on field goals and extra points, but only has one game worth of NFL Experience.
Signing Billy LaFleur off of the Chargers practice squad the 49ers believe they have addressed their brutal punting. LaFleur has never kicked in a NFL game, but the 49ers believe his participation in practices all season in San Diego has done him good. LaFleur spent two seasons in NFL Europe where he averaged just 38 and 39 yards per punt. These numbers were way down from 44 yard collegiate average.
The 49ers contest that LaFleurís NFLE average is not a reflection of his skill, pointing to the fact that many punts could have been short and high when inside the oppositionís side of the field.
Of course with the change of punter the 49ers have a new holder for place kicker Jeff Chandler. This can be troublesome in working out the coordination for field goals and extra points.
The 49ers made a few other moves these past two weeks, including cutting Mark Anelli in the hopes of putting him on the practice squad. The team subsequently added James Jordan to the roster. The 49ers also re-signed safety Jason Moore to the regular roster and added safety Aaron Lockett to the practice squad.