Phil Dawson gets kudos from Willis

One of the San Francisco 49ers' more under-the-radar -- but perhaps most influential -- move this offseason was adding kicker Phil Dawson.

Dawson signed a one-year deal with the 49ers to replace David Akers, who was released after being erratic last season. Dawson made 14 of 15 attempts from 50-plus yards over the past two seasons. He has made 13 of 14 attempts from 40 to 49 yards over that span. Akers made 9 of 19 attempts from 40 yards or longer last season.

For a Super Bowl contender the addition of Dawson could be a difference maker. It is clear Dawson has already won over his new teammates.

Linebacker Patrick Willis was raving about Dawson on Wednesday, calling him the hardest-working kicker he has ever seen. When a down-and-dirty inside linebacker praises a kicker for his work ethic, it means something.

Players want to be able to count on kickers. It is clear the 49ers count on Dawson.

Here are some notes and musings from 49ers camp Wednesday:

  • Left tackle Joe Staley met the media wearing a mechanic’s shirt complete with patch his name on it -- similar to shirts worn by Alex Smith in the past.

  • Pass-rusher Aldon Smith said he has gotten bigger but the third-year player would not divulge his weight. The 6-foot-4 Smith is listed at 265 pounds.

  • Its look like the John Skelton workout Tuesday was just a look-see. They happen all the time. But it was also a sign the 49ers have not closed the door at the quarterback position.

  • Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was limited in practice Wednesday with a collarbone injury.

  • Green Bay cornerback Casey Heyward (hamstring) will not play Sunday.