On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Sep. 07, 2014 9:00 PM - 9:30 PM PDT The Fiahtful Episode 1 "The Faithful" is a documentary series by 49ers Studios that is truly for the fans because it is the fans. Narrated by two-time Super Bowl champion Dwight Hicks, the show will take fans on journeys into the lives of the greatest 49ers stories that need to be told.

News & Events

Print
RSS

49ers Camp Preview: Specialists

Posted Jul 19, 2013

San Francisco’s standout specialists come into focus to close out our “49ers Camp Preview” series.



The defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers will open training camp at the end of the month. But before the pads come on and the competition for 53 coveted roster spots begin, 49ers.com will preview the storylines to track for each position group on the team. San Francisco’s standout specialists come into focus to close out our “49ers Camp Preview” series.

OVERVIEW

The 49ers added to an established group of specialists with the signing of Phil Dawson, a respected 15-year veteran kicker who made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2012. Furthermore, Dawson comes to the 49ers as one of the most consistent kickers in NFL history. Dawson has the highest all-time field goal percentage among kickers with 300-plus attempts in league history with an 84-percent conversion rate. Dawson made 29 of 31 kicks for the Cleveland Browns last season and is poised to continue his consistent play at the age of 38.

[ PHOTOS - 49ERS CAMP PREVIEW: SPECIALISTS ]


Dawson signed with the 49ers to be reunited with his former special teams coordinator, Brad Seely. The opportunity to once again work with one of the most respected coaches in the league was too good to pass up. Plus, Dawson joins the standout tandem of punter Andy Lee and long snapper Brian Jennings, two specialists who’ve worked together now going on a decade.

Lee is coming off an All-Pro season in 2012, a year where he averaged 48.1 yards per punt and 36 punts inside the 20-yard line. The former sixth-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft is approaching a unique milestone in club history – Lee is set to join the team’s 10-Year Wall. At the conclusion of the season, Lee will be recognized for his decade-long tenure with the 49ers along several franchise greats, including Jennings, his long snapper.

DEPTH

RETURNERS: Brian Jennings (14th season) and Andy Lee (10th season). NEWCOMERS: Phil Dawson (15th season, free agent), Kevin McDermott (undrafted, UCLA), and Colton Schmidt (undrafted, UC-Davis).

Lee will face no challengers in training camp. Being a three-time Pro Bowler makes it an easy choice. However, Jennings will face competition from McDermott, an undrafted rookie free agent  who was praised this offseason by head coach Jim Harbaugh as one of the best long snappers available in this year’s crop of rookies. Schmidt recently signed with the 49ers to provide more kicking depth for Lee and Dawson during practice and preseason games. Plus, Schmidt has the ability to be a kick-off specialist should the 49ers elect to use a roster spot on that role.

STANDOUT STAT

70.6

Dawson ranks third in NFL history, making 70.6 percent of his field attempts from 50-plus yards (24 of 34).

QUOTABLE

“I’m trying to kick all over the place to get a general understanding of what the ball does in there. It doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have a better understanding of what it’s like in there on gameday, but in terms of knowing sight lines, certain scoreboards – where to aim – I’m getting used to that kind of thing.”

-Dawson on practicing at Candlestick Park this offseason.

49ERS.COM SUGGESTS:
______________________

  • 49ers Rookie Roundup: Class of 2014

    The San Francisco 49ers selected 12 players in this year's NFL Draft, all of whom are still on the team's roster heading into the regular season.

  • 10 Bold Predictions for San Francisco 49ers

    The 2014 season starts this Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers. We can’t wait. You can’t either. So let’s go out on a limb, put tongue firmly in cheek and make 10 bold predictions for the coming season.

  • 25 Countries #KaepernickingWorldwide

    Throughout the summer, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has asked fans to post pictures of themselves performing his signature move in exotic locations around the globe. Niners Daily brings you a few of the best.

  • What's in a Number? Depends on Who You Ask

    We caught up with many members of the San Francisco 49ers new 53-man roster to understand the stories behind their digits.