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Phil Dawson Sees Seattle Crowd as Advantage

Posted Jan 14, 2014

Phil Dawson said the rowdy Seattle home advantage will sharpen his focus come championship Sunday.

Phil Dawson used the code of NFL kickers last week to get a leg-up on his second playoff appearance in an impressive 15-year career.

Dawson called Panthers kicker Graham Gano for weather insight before San Francisco’s NFC Divisional Playoff game against Carolina. Dawson said it wasn't too fruitful of a conversation.

“There wasn’t a lot of answer there,” Dawson said of the pre-game talk between playoff kickers. “It’s not all uncommon for guys to reach out during the week to figure out what’s going on. We were able to kid and joke around about it before the game. It’s all good.”

But is Dawson reaching out to Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka for knowledge prior to Sunday’s NFC Championship game?

“Probably not,” said Dawson, who is six-for-six on his postseason field goals with the 49ers this year.

Dawson has played in Seattle several times and will instead rely on his own experience and pension for using weather apps to gain an advantage.

Coincidentally, the challenge of playing in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL isn’t so much of a burden for a kicker.

Although Dawson can’t hear the sound of the ball going off his right leg, he doesn’t mind the roar of Seattle’s crowd.

“I love it,” Dawson said. “You can’t hear individual voices. Sometimes the individual voices messes you up more than just noise.”

Dawson might be the only member of the 49ers who will make such comments this week. The noisy atmosphere will create definite challenges for other positions.

Dawson, however, believes his San Francisco teammates are equipped to handle the task.

“I think we have a group of guys who are excited to play in it and don’t fear it at all,” the veteran kicker said. “It’s definitely a great environment, an NFC Championship game, it’s going to be pretty crazy. That’s something we’re all looking forward to.”

The topic of Seattle's is really nothing more than pre-game noise at this point.

“I’m on a team with a bunch of grown men,” Dawson added. “These aren’t guys getting caught up in all the stuff surrounding the game. These are guys who will show up any time, any place, any weather, anywhere and play.

“We’re a confident group, but we also know we have to perform.  We’re in here today starting the process. We’ll build through the week and show up on Sunday to give our best effort.”

 

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