Since the new league year kicked off exactly one week ago, the San Francisco 49ers have been active in improving their roster. They’ve traded for wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and signed Glenn Dorsey and Craig Dahl to help shore up their defense.
Their latest acquisition is 15-year kicker Phil Dawson, who spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns. Last season Dawson made a remarkable 93.5 percent of his field goals. He also went a perfect seven-for-seven on attempts of 50 yards or more. The fact that he continually played in harsh, wintry conditions makes his numbers even more impressive.
Dawson’s signing is another indication that the 49ers are making the moves to win now. At 38-years-old, Dawson is an experienced veteran, but has only seen the postseason once. Playing for a Super Bowl contending team should be a breathe of fresh air for the newly-added kicker.
In two career games at Candlestick Park, Dawson converted on just one of two field-goal attempts. However, his lone make was a 52-yarder. Even though the sample size is very small, Dawson is a proven player who is use to inclement weather.
Compared to former 49er David Akers, both kickers are similar when looking at their overall age and experience. But last season, Akers converted on just 69 percent of his field goals. Who knows how much his pelvis injury affected his poor performance. Whether he was truly hurt or not, change was definitely needed. Among placekickers who started all 16 games, only Mason Crosby posted a lower percentage (63.6).
When it came to searching for Akers’ successor, just about anyone would have been an upgrade. It just so happens that San Francisco netted the best available option on the market.
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