Jake Moody

Shanahan confident Moody will be 49ers' kicker for ‘long time'

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The Jake Moody era in San Francisco is set to begin with the rookie kicker cleared to play ahead of the 49ers' season opener against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

During an interview with Greg Papa on NBC Sports Bay Area's "49ers Gameplan," coach Kyle Shanahan displayed the utmost confidence in Moody.

"He's had a great week," Shanahan told Papa. "We expect him to be really good here on Sunday. He's been great, we know we got the right guy, we really like his mentality and mindset. We're excited to go to battle with him. He's going to be our dude this year, and I think he's going to be our dude for a long time."

Moody has some big shoes to fill in San Francisco after the recently departed Robbie Gould spent six seasons with the 49ers.

One of the biggest adjustments Shanahan will have to make transitioning from Gould to Moody is the noticeable difference in leg strength the latter provides.

When asked if he would be open to having Moody attempt field goals beyond 60 yards, Shanahan shared that it is absolutely on the table.

"It's an option," Shanahan said. "Not having that option in the past made it pretty simple. Having that option makes it a little harder. Just because you can kick it that far doesn't mean it's always the best decision.

"Now, there is a lot more thought to it, something that I'll have to feel out as we go. You get that confidence through experience, and I'm talking about myself. When I put him in those situations and the more he makes. When three is automatic, it's hard to turn down. It's hard to get that feeling of automatic, I didn't have that in my career really until I came here."

Automatic might be the perfect adjective to describe Gould's tenure with the 49ers, as he made 89 percent of his field goal attempts, including a perfect 21 for 21 in the playoffs.

Moody will have a tall ask in Year 1 as he tries to live up to the standard Gould set.

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