Jake Moody

49ers rookie kicker Moody eager to learn from lackluster preseason debut

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LAS VEGAS — After Jake Moody's two missed field-goal attempts Sunday, there still are no doubts regarding his 49ers future.

The rookie kicker made his first extra-point attempt early in the second quarter, but then his field-goal attempt from 40 yards at the end of the first half went wide left. Moody got another chance with a 58-yard field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter, but that kick went wide right.

After the 49ers' 34-7 preseason-opening loss to the Raiders, disappointment was written all over the rookie's face, but Moody chalked it up as a good experience.

“It’s something to learn from,” Moody said. “We’re just going to go through a different routine, I guess, to deal with the extra time between the kick. But a lot of good learning experiences for the first game.”

Clearly, a 58-yard attempt isn't something that is asked of many kickers, but Moody has made several successful lengthy attempts during training camp. So, it wasn't a surprise when 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan sent out his special-teams unit for the mid-field attempt at Allegiant Stadium.

“Second field goal, that one was tough,” Moody said. “Felt confident in it. 58 yards, it’s a longer one, but I had all the confidence in the world that I could go out there and nail it and just kind of wash away the first one.

“First one felt good. It just happens. I’m glad it happened now, There’s a lot to learn from it. Watch the tape, stuff like that and move on to the next one.”

Long snapper Taybor Pepper has worked with Moody since organized team activities (OTAs) and is confident he'll have a successful NFL career, knowing there will be a learning process.

“There’s kinks to work out, of course, there’s a little frustration,” Pepper told NBC Sports Bay Area. “That happens with any specialist. In some aspects, it can be a really good thing -- go into the next game with no expectations and exceed them and keep meeting the standard that we set for ourselves.”

The 49ers picked Moody No. 99 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft to fill the void left by veteran Robbie Gould, who was like clockwork on field-goal attempts. To expect a rookie to have the same success rate at the start of his career is an impossible standard.

Pepper isn't concerned about Moody reaching the heights his predecessor reached. It will just take some adjustments.

“I’m not worried about Jake at all,” Pepper said. “There’s timing things. The NFL is already a fast game, and then you add an operation that takes 1.3 seconds and you need to just sit in it, and experience it. There’s no substitution for that, no amount of practice reps will do that. A preseason game is going to help a lot.”

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For Moody, the 49ers' next preseason game against the Denver Broncos next weekend can’t come soon enough. The rookie actually was hoping for another chance Sunday.

“I was hoping we had one more just so I could kind of prove that those were flukes and that’s not normal,” Moody said. “I wanted one more to feel better, but I guess I’ll just have to wait until next week.”

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