New 49ers kicker Phil Dawson ready to start fresh

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Phil Dawson has been to Candlestick Park for numerous kicking workouts to try to learn the stadium's tricky wind. He has hit it off with his teammates and begun to settle into life in the Bay Area.

Here he was a few months back, a 14-year NFL veteran nervous about joining a new team for the first time. Dawson felt "intimidated" by the process of leaving the Cleveland Browns and starting fresh with the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

From the moment Dawson joined the 49ers, he put together a daunting to-do list for himself to get acclimated in a hurry. He will make his 49ers debut Sunday against Green Bay.

And those swirling winds off the bay? Dawson's not even pretending to have that down yet.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org