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49ers bubble watch: Holding kickoff duties are what to watch in preseason

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The San Francisco 49ers start up training camp at the end of the month. We continue our pre-camp depth chart breakdown with a look at special teams. Position-by-position bubble watch: QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OL | DL | OLB | ILB | CB | S | Specialists

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tThe San Francisco 49ers are less than a month from their first practice of 2015 training camp. Once camp gets going, there will be daily media reports leading up to the preseason opener on August 15. That time will give us a better grasp on the depth chart, and which players have climbed onto the bubble.

As we approach training camp, we'll be assessing the roster in several ways. We'll start with this bubble watch post. We'll go position-by-position, and break down whether players are locks, strong bubble, weak bubble and longshots. The discussion for each article will not follow a specific format, but rather will focus on the more interesting aspects of the particular roster competition. In July, we'll follow this with a look at contract numbers for each position, and we'll close with a look at key questions facing each position.

Locks: Phil Dawson, Bradley Pinion, Kyle Nelson
Strong Bubble: None
Weak Bubble: None
Longshots: Corey Acosta

The San Francisco 49ers special teams are set for the 2015 season. The team signed rookie kicker Corey Acosta, but he will serve as a camp leg, likely cut during the first round of roster cuts in late August. The team made their big move when they drafted punter Bradley Pinion and traded away Andy Lee. Dawson returns for his third year with the 49ers, while Nelson returns for his second season as the starting long snapper.

There are two interesting questions to take out of training camp for these three special teamers. The first is how Pinion handles the holding duties for extra points and field goals. The second is whether or not Pinion will take on kickoff duties this year. He has the leg to handle it, and very well could get some preseason opportunities on longer field goals.

This also marks Dawson's final year under contract with the 49ers after signing a new two-year deal with the team last year. He is making $3.134 million this season. If he puts together another solid season, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers give him a modest raise, or if they make another transition at the kicker position. I think the safest bet is on the latter. But for now, he will be the kicker in 2015.