Each week 49ers.com will feature a column dedicated to special teams and those who play on them. These teamers will share their breakdowns of the upcoming opponent and give you some insight on some aspects of special teams you might not be too familiar with. In the second Teams Talk installment of the 2009 season, kicker Joe Nedney shares his thoughts for Sunday's matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.**
Each week we have an award that is given to the top player on special teams. It's called the Top Gun Award and it's awarded by the coaches. Last week, I was the winner, but really, anytime I can win the award it's a complement to the rest of the guys around me.
The coverage units did a great job last week and set a standard for the way that we want to cover a kick. The return team is not far away either. Once we get it hitting on all cylinders, I think we will be a force to be reckoned with.
I was able to convert all of my field goal attempts last Sunday and that helped us out with the final outcome.
But here's a tip on how to know if I've made the field goal or not.
If ever you are sitting in the seats and you cannot tell from the angle if the field goal was good or not, just watch Andy Lee and me after the kick. We typically are congratulating each other before the ball even goes through the uprights, because we have the best view of anyone.
I think coming into this game, the one aspect of special teams we stand to improve on the most is our return game.
What makes special teams so important is that you have so much of the field covered in one play. If one guy misses his assignment, a big opportunity is missed. This is especially true on the return, which is a focus of ours heading into the matchup with Seattle. We are focusing so that everyone gets their blocks and finishes their blocks so that Allen Rossum gets the chance for a big return.
It won't be easy though. Seattle has always played us tough. Olindo Mare, their kicker, has been around for a long time and he does a good job for them. Jon Ryan, their punter, is solid too.
But, this is our home opener and we are going to go out there and set the tone. It's not so much about Seattle but more about what we do out there. Come opening kickoff we are going to be ready to go. We are going to bring everything we've got, right at them.
I know that's easy to say because my responsibilities are different than everyone else on special teams. But there's a good deal of preparation on my end to get ready for each game.
I used to worry about checking the weather reports and checking to see what the wind may be like at Candlestick, but I've gotten to a point where I've agreed that the wind is going to do what it's going to do in that stadium. Rather than worry about it leading up to Sundays, I've settled with adjusting once I set my foot on the field for the pre-game warm-ups to see what the wind is doing. It's supposed to be a beautiful day, close to 80 degrees in the city.
It ought to be a great day for football.