Dawson stays with 49ers, but must learn new stadium

Dawson stays with 49ers, but must learn new stadium
March 11, 2014, 6:30 pm
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As everyone was marveling at first set at automatic goal posts, I was just staring at the flags Then I went to weather.com and noticed it was only a 10 mph day. That’s the life I live.
Phil Dawson

Programming note: NFL free agency begins today at 1 p.m. Check out Matt Maiocco's 49ers free agent tracker and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the latest football news.

Veteran kicker Phil Dawson may be remaining with the 49ers, but No. 1 on his list of priorities is to get acclimated to a new environment.

When Dawson originally signed with the 49ers a year ago, he made it known he wanted to get into Candlestick Park as often as possible to try to learn more about the unpredictable winds on Candlestick Point.

Now, Levi’s Stadium is the subject of his offseason obsession. Dawson agreed to terms Tuesday on a two-year contract about 90 minutes before the opening of free agency.

Last week, the NFL’s first collapsible goal posts were installed at the Santa Clara stadium. Dawson said he watched the video online.

“As everyone was marveling at first set at automatic goal posts, I was just staring at the flags,” Dawson said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Then I went to weather.com and noticed it was only a 10 mph day. That’s the life I live.

“There will be some adjustments and learning curve going into the new stadium. But that’s exciting and makes it fun. It’s a similar situation I was in last year going into a new stadium and figuring it out. I welcome that challenge.”

Dawson, who spent his first 14 NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns, etched his name into the 49ers record book with 27 consecutive made field goals last season. He made 32 of 36 field-goal attempts during the regular season. He was 7-for-7 in the postseason, including a game-winning 33-yard kick as time expired against the Green Bay Packers.

Dawson’s re-signing was the first move the 49ers made on Tuesday. Shortly after the start of free agency, safety Donte Whitner agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns and the 49ers landed former Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea.

“We’re going to miss him,” Dawson said of Whitner. “He was a great player. He’ll be a huge addition to that (Cleveland) organization. But the thing I love about the 49ers is when they lose someone, they pick someone up. And we certainly did that with Antoine.

“I’m excited to get to know him and certainly have followed him through the years. We’re just to going to try to keep on plugging forward and keep on getting better."

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