Akers not concerned about past or future

Posted: January 29, 2011

HONOLULU - Kickers are in an ironic situation as it is. They spend most of the football game standing around on the sideline, except for the few seconds on the field when they often decide the fate of their team.

Dichotomy reaches a new level this week for David Akers. The veteran Eagles kicker finds himself in Hawaii for tomorrow's Pro Bowl, being rewarded for another fine season . . . but one that ended ingloriously for him, and with his future in Philadelphia up in the air.

Akers - who missed 41- and 34-yard field goals in the Eagles' 21-16 wild-card playoff loss to the Packers - knows success as an NFL placekicker requires a short memory. He also knows that doesn't matter when it comes to job security, and that people tend to remember what happened recently.

Some disgruntled fans will think more of his failure in the loss than the 93.3 percent of made kicks from inside 40 yards in his 12-year career with the Eagles or his NFL record of 19 consecutive postseason field goals made.

"You can't hold on to those [misses]," he said, after picture day and NFC practice at the Ihilani Resort yesterday.

While Akers, 36, doesn't replay the misses in his head and think of what might have been, he does realize that, as an unrestricted free agent, they could signal the end of his time with the Eagles.

"You always are as good as your last kick. I hope to be back to make more kicks and give everyone some made kicks to remember instead of those. More positive kicks," Akers said. "Some of that's not up to me. I would love nothing more than to be back with the Eagles. But, as we all know, this is a business."

Hawaii has been a good escape for Akers, who is here with his wife and three children.

"This is beautiful, one of the most beautiful spots in the world," said Akers, a five-time Pro Bowler. "We've done a lot. Whale watching, snorkeling, submarine trips, luaus."

He has no time line on negotiations with the Eagles and is trying to be philosophical about what could be a career crossroads.

"I'm using this as an adventure. With the Collective Bargaining Agreement situation, everything is up in the air," said Akers, referring to the expiration of the league's contract with players in March and the potential of a lockout by owners.

He said he is unaware of any specific criticism or support from those who follow the Eagles.

"The fans have been spectacular the past 12 years," he said. "To be honest, I haven't looked at a lot, haven't been reading the newspapers."

Jackson suits up

Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson confirmed that the injury keeping him out of the Pro Bowl is a second-degree sprain of his left medial collateral ligament and a bone bruise. It is the same knee he hurt during the playoff loss to the Packers. He dressed anyway for the NFC picture yesterday, then participated in stretching exercises with the team before practice. *

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