Monday, December 15, 2008

Cleveland Browns' kicker Phil Dawson has put up numbers worthy of a Pro Bowl nod

December 13, 2008

By Mary Kay Cabot

Browns special teams coach Ted Daisher thinks kicker Phil Dawson is deserving of his first Pro Bowl this season, especially considering the adverse conditions he kicks in every week.

"If you took into account his whole body of work, he would [make the Pro Bowl]," said Daisher. "It didn't hurt to kick five field goals on a Monday night [in Buffalo], including the 56-yarder. He'd get my vote, but unfortunately we can't vote for our own guy."

Pro Bowl teams will be announced Tuesday.

"That would mean a tremendous amount," said Dawson. "It's been a goal of mine for a long time. There's been a couple of years sprinkled in my career where I thought I might have a chance and obviously haven't made it. Given how much respect I have for the other kickers in the AFC, if it happens it would mean a great deal."

Dawson has made 29 of 34 field goals this season, including 3 of 5 from 50-plus yards. His 29 field goals tied Matt Stover's team mark set in 1995.

"Obviously, with three games left we'd like to think he'll break that record," said Daisher. "I think that Phil is one of the best kickers in the NFL. I really do. He kicks in an environment that is challenging to kickers. Adam Vinatieri, was here a couple of weeks ago with Indianapolis, he may be in the Hall of Fame someday. He is maybe the best pressure kicker in the last 10-15 years. He missed a field goal that was two sections over from the goal post. It missed by 20-30 yards. With the combination of the wind and just being in this area of the country and playing on grass, it makes it very difficult to be a kicker.

"You look at Buffalo, New England, the Jets and Giants, they have turf. That's the firm footing that those guys get that we don't get week in and week out. Phil is under some adverse conditions. I think he's done a great job, I really do. He has missed two of the 50-yarders but other than that I think he has had a terrific year. I think he is one of the top two kickers in the NFL, along with Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed."

Dawson, third on the Browns' all-time scoring list behind Lou Groza and Don Cockroft, needs seven points to reach 900 for his career.

"I think that his numbers put him right up there [for the Pro Bowl]," said coach Romeo Crennel. "Unfortunately, if your team is not winning, that kind of knocks you down a little bit. I think that all plays into it, but he's having a really good year."

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