SANTA CLARA – Kicker Phil Dawson is making a bid to win the Bill Walsh Award as the 49ers MVP in back-to-back seasons.
Dawson on Sunday kicked field goals of 49, 48 and 46 yards in the 49ers’ 41-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He might be the only player on the team that coach Chip Kelly does not even have to worry about.
“I don’t know if I’ve been around, regardless of position, a person that takes his individual job to the level that Phil takes it to,” Kelly said on Thursday. “The amount of work that he puts in to be so special at his craft. I don’t care if Phil was a kicker or an inside linebacker or a defensive end or whatever, he has it down.”
In his 18th NFL season, Dawson ranks tied for second all-time in field-goal percentage (84.6 percent) among players who made 300 or more kicks.
Dawson is an expert when it comes to forecasting wind patterns at stadiums. Kelly said Dawson paid him a visit on the Tuesday before the 49ers’ game at Buffalo to inform him about the conditions that could be expected during the upcoming game.
“It’s kind of our ongoing joke, tell me what you want to do,” Kelly said. “And he’s always right. It’s awesome to have that and then just his perspective from being around teams for such a long time. You just talk to him about dynamics of different locker rooms he’s been in. His experience. He’s a wealth of knowledge. He’s really been great for me to have around.”
Dawson has made 11 of 12 field-goal attempts this season while also converting all 18 extra points. His lone miss was from 53-yards out in Seattle in Week 3.