After settling on Leo Nomellini as the #1 defensive tackle for our all-time team, I was thinking we'd go to a vote for the #2 defensive tackle. However, upon reviewing the 49ers rosters over the last 60 years, I realized Bryant Young is the clear cut #2. The next best options are: 1) Charlie Krueger, who played defensive tackle from 1962 to 1973, as part of a 15 year career with the 49ers and 2) Michael Carter, nose tackle on the three of the 49ers Super Bowl squads. Both ere excellent, but BY is on a whole other level, thus the reason I didn't even open it up for a vote.
We already had much of the discussion on Young in the Hall of Fame thread. While this post might thus seem a little repetitive, I figure the timing is good for this All-Time Team position. BY finished his career this past season as the 49ers all-time leader in sacks. While sacks have only been counted since 1982, the number is still impressive because of the position Young played. Young was always a superb run stopper and the defensive/nose tackle position is less glamorous than the defensive ends and outside linebackers running up sack totals. However, that is probably why it is such a fitting position for Bryant Young. He was a quiet leader who never complained even when he was playing on some seriously bad teams. In this modern era of the me-first athlete, BY was the antithesis of that.
Although one could argue Young hasn't received nearly enough credit outside of the Bay Area, there has been quality recognition. Young was UP Rookie of the Year in 1994, 1999 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, a member of the 1990s All-Decade Team, a four-time All Pro and a 4-time Pro Bowler as well as being named an alternate in 2006. His mark in the franchise is second to none as he is an 8-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award, given to the 49er who best exemplifies courage and leadership. While he may not make it into the Hall of Fame, he has definitely made a lasting impact on 49ers fans. Also, I was looking at his bio on sf49ers.com and apparently he plays electric bass guitar at jazz clubs in the Bay Area. I'm going to have to find one of these clubs and check it out. Unrelated, but interesting nonetheless.