DENVER – Mitch Wishnowsky demonstrated to a national-U.S. television audience he still has the skills from his Australia Rules Football background.
But Wishnowsky said he does not necessarily expect himself to run down the field every time as one of the 11 tacklers on his own punts or kickoffs for the 49ers.
“I like my tackling ability, but the other 10 blokes on the field are just freak athletes,” Wishnowsky said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “So I’m more of just a last line of defense.”
He was more than a last line of defense on Monday night in the 49ers’ 24-15 victory over the Denver Broncos in a preseason game.
Wishnowsky provided the big hit of the evening with a left shoulder-to-left shoulder form tackle that drove Broncos rookie return man Devontae Jackson into the turf.
He said he typically sits back and acts as a safety, but Wishnowsky said he saw a gap between Broncos blockers and 49ers cover men to make the tackle the jarring tackle at the 22-yard line. Each of Wishnowsky’s other kickoffs went for touchbacks.
“I just saw it kind of open up and it was more, I thought I’d just plug a hole,” Wishnowsky said. “I was almost expecting to get side-stepped, but it didn’t happen.
“I reckon that’s about as good as I’ve got.”
Wishnowsky is an Australian native who was a fourth-round draft pick from Utah, where he was a three-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award as the best punter in college football. He won the award in 2016.
Wishnowsky averaged 48.0 yards on six punts on Monday night with a 39.3 net average after two punts into the end zone.