Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Today's foes had flap at coin flip

There's a little bit of history between Seattle and Washington, and not just because the Seahawks have won two playoff games against the Redskins in the past seven years.

Before the teams played on Nov. 27, 2011, at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, players had to be separated before the coin toss. Afterward, Washington's players said it was because they had stomped on the Seahawks' field logo during warmups.

Thursday, fullback Michael Robinson, one of the Seahawks who had to be held back last year, indicated it had more to do with something Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said before the coin toss.

There was a child at midfield before the toss, and she was ushered away by a team photographer after tempers flared.

"You got a little girl out there, you got to watch your mouth, man," Robinson said. "You're not going to come in our stadium and disrespect us like that. That's kind of how it was. It went from there."

Hall brought up that confrontation last week: "I can remember going up there last year and almost fighting at the coin toss," he told a Washington radio station, "so they don't like us, and we don't like them. It's going to be a heck of a game."

AKERS FIGHTS FOR JOB: David Akers spent Thursday auditioning for the job he has held the past two seasons under the watch of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and special teams coordinator Brad Seely.

It's a far cry from last season, when Akers was an All-Pro.

"I feel the same today as I've felt all season," Akers said. "I've kicked well in practice; I've kicked well in pregame. … I'm kind of frustrated and befuddled about the whole season."

Akers hit his first six field goals this season but made only 23 of his final 36 attempts. And six misses came in games the 49ers lost or tied. Now he's competing with veteran Billy Cundiff, not knowing which will kick when San Francisco plays Jan. 12 after its first-round bye.

"Right now, obviously, they're making some decisions whether I'm going to be here or not," Akers said. "It's really out of my control."

RARE FEAT: Shaun King, the St. Petersburg native who became the first rookie quarterback to win a playoff game in the Super Bowl era with the Bucs in 1999, has watched as more rookie QBs have had more success more quickly.

A rookie is guaranteed to win today when Russell Wilson's Seahawks face Robert Griffin III and the Redskins.

Now, 13 years later, King realizes how precious his experience was.

"There wasn't a lot of pressure on me because I still was too naive to expect big-time success at that level," he said. "It's hard to make it to the playoffs in the NFL, but when you're a rookie and you make it, you don't understand that yet. So that pressure of 'wow, this may be my only shot, so I'd better take advantage of it' isn't necessarily there yet."

PACKERS-VIKINGS: QB Christian Ponder was the most high-profile player inactive for Saturday's game at Lambeau Field, but the Vikings also missed wide receiver Stephen Burton, cornerback Brandon Burton and defensive end D'Aundre Reed. Defensive end Brian Robison (sprained right shoulder) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (broken right hand) started. For the Packers, wide receiver Donald Driver was a healthy scratch and running back James Starks (knee) was sidelined.

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