The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game means San Francisco is now a mere 65 days away from kicking off its 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: LB Dave Wilcox (1964-1974)
As much fun as it would be to give this one to a guy nicknamed Hacksaw (Jack Reynolds), this is an easy choice. Linebacker Dave Wilcox spent all 11 seasons of his career with the 49ers, and put together a Hall of Fame run. He was named first team All-Pro twice and second team All-Pro another two teams, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times. He retired after the 1974 season, but it took the voters a while to give him the Hall of Fame recognition he deserved. He was inducted in 2000.
Wilcox was a third round pick of the 49ers in 1964, but was also drafted by the Houston Oilers in the AFL Draft. He opted to sign with the 49ers, moving to outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. While with the 49ers he earned the nickname "The Intimidator". He ranks first among linebackers with 14 interceptions, and tied for second with 12 fumble recoveries. You can read more about Wilcox over at 49ers.com, the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, and a San Francisco Chronicle article leading up to his HOF induction.
The picture is Dave Baas because I could not find an adequate Wilcox picture, and I enjoyed his time with the 49ers!
Who wears it now: DL Mike Purcell (2014-present)
Mike Purcell enters his third year with the San Francisco 49ers. He signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft, and spent the entire season on the practice squad. He came back for training camp the following year, and was once again placed on the practice squad. He was promoted to the 53-man roster in December, and was active for the final two games of the regular season.
Purcell enters 2015 facing stiff competition for a roster spot. He has an experience edge on some, but even with the departures of Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, Purcell faces long odds of making the roster. The addition of Arik Armstead only makes it more difficult.