49ers

49ers' Gould explains how fanless games can affect kicking

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Robbie Gould knows all about pressure. The 49ers' veteran kicker is a perfect 15-for-15 of field goal attempts in the playoffs, and 3-for-3 in two Super Bowl appearances.

He has kicked field goals and extra points in both wild, raucous stadiums booing him as loud as possible, and home crowds shushing the place to silence. This season will be different, though. 

Gould will have to learn how to kick in stadiums without fans or few in attendances throughout the 2020 NFL season. And he's already preparing to do so.

"We've been practicing more in the stadium to get used to it, because the wind here in Levi's will be definitely different than it has in the past," Gould said Tuesday on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football." "For us, it's just a matter of getting used to that."

That's what Gould, 37, believes will be the biggest factor. Not so much how much more quiet stadiums will be, but how the wind will change without fans.

"When you do your game planning for the week, you usually watch a lot of the kicks from the stadium specifically so you can figure out on what end how the ball's moving, how's it gonna look," Gould said. "I think this year, stadiums will definitely be different from a wind perspective, because the fans usually in most stadiums will knock down the wind. ... Also you're going to have to watch film on these game when you get a couple games into the season.

 

"I think the biggest part for us is just going out and getting a good game plan in the pregame. Even if it's different on film, just go with what we're feeling that day. But at least we have a feeling of what that might look like."

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Gould is entering his fourth season with the 49ers and 16th overall. He's excited for a new challenge and another run at the Super Bowl. More than anything, he can't believe his NFL career has lasted this long.

"If you would have told me I would have a 16-year career when I was a kid, I'd have told you 'You're crazy,' " Gould said. "To be able to do it and have some fun with the guys coming off the year that we had last year with a good group of our core back, there's a lot to be excited about."