Monday, December 10, 2012

Dawson makes history

Browns veteran kicks 300th field goal in win over Chiefs

December 10, 2012

CLEVELAND - It was another historic day for Browns kicker Phil Dawson on Sunday as he reached the 300 mark in career field goals.

Dawson, who was good on three-of-three kicks and is now at 302, became the 25th player in NFL history to make 300 field goals with a 23-yarder in the first quarter. He has the best percentage (84.1) among all 25 kickers.
Matt Stover, who kicked for the Browns and Ravens, is second at 83.7 percent.

Dawson was admittedly nervous about reaching the milestone. He would have done it last week in Oakland, but he had a short attempt blocked.

"If you'd seen me kicking in pregame you could probably pick it up," Dawson said. "Fortunately, I kind of settled down a little bit. Having that first field goal be a short one I think helped me get a little comfortable, and as the game went situations kept coming and you really start to feel part of the game."

Coach Pat Shurmur was aware of Dawson's nervousness.

"Quite frankly, Phil was nervous about it," Shurmur said. "He said, 'Gosh, every time I've had one of these games it hadn't worked out.' I said, 'Just don't worry about it. It's going to be okay.' "

It was surprising to learn that Dawson was nervous. He has been the picture of calm confidence during 14 seasons with the Browns. He's made a long list of memorable kicks, including a 35-yarder and a 49-yarder in blizzard conditions against the Buffalo Bills in 2007, yet he was nervous about reaching what had become the inevitable 300th.

"I worked a long time to have a chance to get there," he said. "To be right on the doorstep sometimes is worse than being 50 away."

Dawson, who was signed as an undrafted rookie in 1999, has seen each of the Browns' 148 defeats since their return as an expansion team. He's enjoying the ride of the current three-game winning streak.

"I can get used to this," he said. "I caught some heat a couple of months ago saying I feel like we were right on the verge. My timing might have been a little off, but I think we're starting to see what I've been feeling for awhile."

Reaching a milestone during the stretch makes it all the better.

"I'm grateful for all the teammates I've had that have helped me get to that," Dawson said. "Kansas City was coming hard on the field-goal rush. After every field goal I'm picking up three or four guys who are flat on their backs. Those guys never get credit for made field goals."

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