MINNEAPOLIS — 49ers rookie kicker Jake Moody knew wide receiver Ronnie Bell had his back, but he didn’t know the extent of the measures his teammate took to make sure the team would have faith in their kicker.
After San Francisco's 22-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football," the rookie kicker was told how Bell approached general manager John Lynch at practice to express his support for his four-year Michigan teammate. After hearing the story, Moody grew a little emotional and took a moment before responding.
“That’s awesome,” Moody told NBC Sports Area. “Ronnie is my best friend on the team. Obviously glad he came here with me from Michigan. That’s pretty cool to hear he’s got my back like that.
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“Same goes for him. I trust him, and when he gets his opportunities, I’ve got all the faith in him. That’s cool that I have teammates like that.”
Moody shared that after his first 40-yard attempt sailed wide right in the second quarter, several teammates shared their support and confidence in his abilities. The kicker explained that he felt he connected with the football well, but it just didn’t make it through the uprights.
Still, the young kicker did not change his routine. Instead, Moody plowed forward, making two extra points but desperately wanted another shot at a field-goal attempt. Then, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Moody had his chance. From 55 yards out, the ball sailed through the uprights and Moody was able to tack on three points.
“Just getting that opportunity to hit a bigger one, in a bigger situation, that felt good,” Moody said. “I was just dying for another chance to got out there and put one through the posts so I‘m glad I had that chance.”
San Francisco 49ers
It wasn’t just Moody’s first field-goal attempt that didn’t go as planned. The former Wolverine had a tough go during warmups with one kick going off the uprights while appearing unstable and off-balance more than once.
While fans might have been nervous after watching Moody’s warmups, the rookie shared that shakey warm-ups are not something he frets about.
“That’s something that I don’t look into too much,” Moody explained. “Because some of my best games, I’ve had terrible warmups, and some of my worst games, I’ve had great warm-ups. That’s pretty common, I think, with all specialists.
“The warm-up isn’t an indicator of how the game is going to go. It’s how the game starts. That’s what matters and that’s when you need to execute.”
Moody will have a short week before his next chance for redemption against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium. For the rookie, it can’t come soon enough.