It’s safe to assume a team didn’t have a very good year on offense when the kicker is the team’s MVP.
That was the case for the 49ers, whose coaches voted Phil Dawson the MVP of 2015. Dawson, 40, had a very strong season, missing only three field-goal attempts – two were blocked – and kicking game winners against Chicago and St. Louis.
The same cannot be said about the 49ers’ offense. It finished last in the league in scoring and 31st in total yards, third-down conversions, first downs and sacks allowed (tie).
The last time a kicker was the 49ers’ MVP was 2005, when Joe Nedney was a co-winner with linebacker Derek Smith. Nedney accounted for 40.5 percent of the 49ers’ 239 points that season. In 2015, Dawson accounted for 38.6 percent of the team’s 238 points.
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The 49ers’ most prestigious honor and one voted on by the players, the Len Eshmont Award, was given to wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who led the 49ers in catches for the third straight season. Boldin also is the team’s nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year humanitarian award for which he was a finalist last year.
Dawson and Boldin are scheduled to be free agents in March, and both have said they’d like to return. So is nose tackle Ian Williams, who won the Perry/Yonamine Unity Award.
Tackle Joe Staley won the Bobb McKittrick Award, given to the offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the team’s longtime offensive-line coach who died of cancer in 2000. Staley will play tackle in this month’s Pro Bowl.
Jimmie Ward, who returned from a foot injury in 2015, won the Hazeltine Award as the 49ers’ most courageous and inspirational player, while the Thomas Herrion Award, given to a rookie or first-year player who has taken advantage of every opportunity, went to Ward’s former high school teammate, Jaquiski Tartt.
NaVorro Bowman, who also will be in the Pro Bowl, was the 49ers’ Ed Block Courage Award nominee. Bowman led the league in tackles a year after missing a full season because of reconstructive knee surgery.