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April Impressed By Henery's Development

The Eagles have squared off with the 49ers in each of the last three seasons, beating them each time.

Now, they look to make it four straight wins over the Niners. For the second-straight year, the Bay Area team will feature a potential Hall of Fame player who, until the season prior, had been a longtime staple of the Eagles' franchise.

Last season, it was running back Brian Westbrook, who ranks as one of the all-time playmakers in Eagles history. Westbrook joined the 49ers after the Eagles decided to go with second-year man LeSean McCoy. This season, the Eagles' all-time leader in points scored, placekicker David Akers, comes to town.

Through his impressive play, the man who replaced him, rookie Alex Henery, has quelled the fears of most who initially questioned the decision to let Akers walk. The most accurate field-goal kicker in NCAA history is 5-of-6 on the season, with his only miss coming on an end-of-half 62-yard attempt.

"I've come along pretty far," Henery said. "I've been getting accustomed to life in the NFL, and now it feels more natural. The pressure at this level isn't all too different from in college. The guys are a little bit faster, but at Nebraska, our goal was a 1.2 second "get-off time" (amount of time from snap until the ball is kicked); here in Philly, it's the same."

Once the Eagles selected Henery in the fourth round of last April's draft, Akers knew that his time in Philly would likely be coming to an end. However, he has no hard feelings towards his replacement.

"So far he's done a great job," said Akers. "He looks really good on film. Obviously, they made a very good decision in picking Henery.

Special teams coordinator Bobby April expanded upon Akers' sentiment in his weekly press conference Thursday.

"He's handled the pressure very well," said April. "I think he's everything we thought he would be, to be honest. He's a cool customer, he's got confidence, he's highly skilled, and he keeps getting better every day. Alex has a chance to really be good. He's actually a little stronger than I thought he was coming out of college."

The confident rookie isn't fazed by Akers' return to Philadelphia.

"This week is just like any other week," said Henery. "I'm not feeling any added pressure with him coming back into town. I just need to go out there and do my job, and everything else will take care of itself. That's going to be the same story every week. We just need to go out and execute."

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