COORDINATOR CUT-UP

COORDINATOR CUT-UP: Bonamego has "tremendous amount of confidence" in David Akers

Posted Nov 12, 2013

Lions continue to have complete confidence in kicker David Akers after Sunday's missed field goal in the fourth quarter

David Akers will be the first one to admit he should have made the 45-yard field goal he missed wide right in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 21-19 victory in Chicago.

It was Akers’ second miss of the season (he had two others blocked because of protection) in 16 attempts.

Akers obviously hates all missed field goal attempts, but he probably would have been even more disappointed in the miss if it came at anywhere other than Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Chicago has the nickname the "Windy City" for a reason, and the open design in one corner of the stadium allows the wind to swirl inside Soldier Field, which can wreak havoc on kickers.

It’s one of the few Stadiums in the NFL, according to special team’s coordinator John Bonamego, where the optimal field goal range reported to the head coach before the game isn’t based on how far a player can kick it. It based, rather, on how much the ball is going to move and the what’s the optimal range to control it.

For Akers, that was determined to be anything inside 50 yards.

"I used to watch Jason Hanson have to kick it way outside the posts in Chicago and bend it in because of the wind conditions at the time," former Lions receiver Herman Moore told Detroitlions.com on Monday.

It’s the same reason why Bonamego isn’t overly concerned about the miss.

"I learned that in Green Bay with Ryan Longwell," Bonamego said. "I thought Ryan was really good at communicating to Mike Sherman, ‘This is where I can make it from’ not ‘This is how far I can kick it.’ There is a difference. Indoors, in a controlled environment, it’s how far you can kick it.

"I’ve never seen one of (Akers) kicks hook like that. I thought he hit a good ball, the wind just took it right there at the end. You can’t predict the gusts. If it’s a steady wind you can play that all game long. It’s the gusts that get you."

David AkersK David Akers (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

None of that changes the fact that Akers missed a pretty important kick late in the game and the Lions were fortunate it didn’t come back to cost them.

It doesn’t, however, change the confidence this coaching staff has in their 16-year veteran kicker.

"He hit the ball good if you look at it," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "It started off right in the middle and then the wind took it. Like I said, it is a hard wind to judge.

"If you are on the 50-yard line you might not think the wind was blowing very much but when you get down into the end zone it was blowing significantly more.

"That’s just the way Solider Field is. We have a lot of confidence in David. David is good for our football team and he will certainly make a share of those kicks."

Bonamego backed up the head coach’s sentiment 100 percent.

"I have a tremendous amount of confidence in David," he said. "Guys in this profession don’t last as long as he has unless they’re pretty darn good at what they do. That’s all you really need to say."