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Kicking Right
November 22 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers made the right choice to go with rookie kicker Jeff Chandler over Jose Cortez for this Mondayís match up against Philadelphia. Cortez has missed six field goals this season, which isnít terrible, but itís when he misses them - usually when the game is on the line that really makes the misses dreadful.

In rookie Jeff Chandler the 49ers have an unknown, but they figure he canít be any worse considering Cortezís short kickoffs and spurt of inaccurate kicks. Chandler hasnít kicked in a NFL game yet, and the Monday night stage will be huge. The pressure is on, but Chandler has kicked in big collegiate games, and the 49ers hope heíll bank on that experience to have success in the NFL.

The problem with rookie kickers is that in college they kick a different ball than in the NFL - not to mention their games donít always have the large audiences. The 49ers hope that Chandler, who has been kicking NFL balls since the draft last year, can put all that aside and turn the teams kicking around for them.

Chandler reportedly couldnít beat out Cortez in practice, because Cortez is extremely accurate when the pressure is off. The 49ers are hoping that Chandler will be as successful as he is in practice even when the pressure is on. This game could very well decide whether that fourth round pick was truly worth itÖ If not, maybe the team will try and get a hold of Jamie Rheem who was with the team for the past two off-seasons.

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