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49ers' Andy Lee plans to use knuckle punt vs. Chargers

Andy Lee has a secret weapon.

He's hoping to unveil it Thursday night when the San Francisco 49ers close out their preseason schedule against the San Diego Chargers.

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Lee has been working for years on a knuckle punt, which, when executed successfully, acts as a direction-shifting nightmare for return men. He first learned it from former Niners kicker Joe Nedney, who learned from The Godfather of The Knuckle Punt, former Tennessee Titans punter Craig Hentrich.

(We suggest Hentrich copyrights that moniker before we do.)

"It's definitely something I want to do in a game to see how it actually happens in a live situation," Lee said, according to CSN Bay Area. "In practice, you can do things and you can mimic as much as you can, but you never really know how a new thing you're going to do is going to react in a game situation. So I'd love to hopefully be able to pull it out and try it and see if it's something I can work in my regular routine."

Niners return man Kyle Williams remembers the first time Lee sent a knuckle punt his way. It was weird.

"It's literally sideways, and then it just kind of shifts around," Williams said. "It moves around. It's tough. If he can get that down all the time, that's going to be tough to deal with."

Lee already is the best punter in football. If he can master the knuckler at Candlestick, it could be a legitimate weapon.

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