The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game is now a mere 82 days away from kicking off their 2015 regular season. In the spirit of that approaching date, I thought I would steal this idea from our Oakland Raiders site. They are counting down to kickoff with a look at jersey numbers representing each day. They open the season on Sunday, September 13, and so they are 81 days away. Naturally, Tim Brown gets "who wore it best" for No. 81.
Who wore it best: WR John Taylor (1987-1995)
Taylor is the easy choice, although tight end Ted Kwalick is worth an honorable mention for his work in San Francisco from 1969 to 1974. However, Taylor was a solid all-around player who had one of the iconic moments in franchise history.
Taylor finished his 49ers career with 347 receptions for 5,598 yards and 43 touchdowns. He was overshadowed by Jerry Rice by a longshot, but he will forever live in the hearts of 49ers fans for his Super Bowl winning catch. In Super Bowl XXIII, Taylor hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Joe Montana with 34 seconds left in regulation to win the game. Rice took home MVP honors in that game, catching 11 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown, but Montana-to-Taylor is what people remember.
Taylor did not have a long career, but he was a capable No. 2 to Rice. He had thousand yard seasons in 1989 and 1991, plus a 940 yard season in 1993, and 748 yards in 1990. His 1989 season was his best, finishing with ten touchdowns. Taylor also returned punts for the 49ers for six years, and mixed in some kick returns in two seasons.
Who wears it now: Nobody (Errrrr... Torrey Smith)
Fooch's Update: First post in and I've already screwed it up. Whoops! Torrey Smith will be sporting 82 this year. I think we expect a few good things from him.
Mario Manningham sported it in 2012 and 2013, and the most impressive performance with the jersey belonged to tight end Eric Johnson. Other than that, the number has not quite lived up to Taylor's years. I don't expect the 49ers to retire the jersey, so we'll see if somebody ends up with it sooner rather than later.
There are no indications anybody currently on the roster will be switching over. It is interesting to note that only two 49ers wide receivers wear numbers in the 80s (Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith). Everybody else is 19 or less. It seems like the youngsters enjoy those college-type wide receiver numbers.