The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game is now a mere 75 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.
Who wore it best: OL Forrest Blue (1968-1974)
There is an argument to be made for defensive end Kevin Fagan. He had a couple big years for the 49ers, grabbing 16.5 sacks over the 1989 and 1990 seasons. And he had a mustache that would put many people to shame. Certainly worthy factors!
That being said, Forrest Blue had a great run with the 49ers, particularly during his final four seasons. From 1971 to 1974, Blue was named to four Pro Bowls and two All Pro teams. He was part of an offensive line that did a great job keeping John Brodie on his feet. In 1970, the 49ers led the NFL in points scored, and Brodie was sacked a mere eight times over 14 games. That line included Blue, tackles Len Rohde and Cas Banaszek, and guards Randy Beisler and Woody Peoples.
Blue passed away in 2011, after spending a decade-and-a-half dealing with dementia, caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His family donated his brain to Boston University for their continued research project on CTE and football players. Numerous ex-players have donated their brains to help improve the understanding of CTE and other brain ailments caused by repetitive brain trauma.
Who wears it now: OL Alex Boone (2011-present)
Well, at least for one more year. I suppose a trade is always possible given Alex Boone's desire for a new contract, but Anthony Davis's retirement would seem to make that a long-shot. The question now is if the 49ers will work a little harder to extend Boone, or if they will let him walk and continue the transition of their offensive line. I still think he walks, but the departure of Davis certainly made this situation a whole lot more interesting. He practiced at left guard in minicamp, but there still seems to be a chance he moves over to right tackle at some point.
If he were to take over at right tackle, would that make it more or less likely he sticks around? On the one hand, maybe it makes the 49ers more inclined to increase any potential offer. On the other hand, if he has a strong year at right tackle, maybe another team becomes interested in him as a long-term left tackle option. If Boone thinks that could be the case, maybe he just waits out the year and departs in free agency. Plenty of possibilities right now.