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 58 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 Keena Turner (1980-1990)
We're back with another easy call for who wore this number best. Jim Sniadecki is certainly a decent second option, but Keena Turner gets this one without any doubt. The 49ers used a second round pick on the linebacker in the 1980 NFL Draft, and he spent his full 11-year career with the team. He earned one Pro Bowl nod during his career, and is one of a handful of players to earn four of the team's five Super Bowl rings.
Turner has spent much of his time since retirement working with the 49ers. He spent 13 seasons as a color analyst for 49ers preseason games. Following that, he joined the player relations department in 1998. He was promoted to Player Development Director in 2001, served as Alumni Coordinator in 2004 and 2005, Director of Alumni Coordinators in 2006, and finally VP of Football Affairs, which is his current position.
In his current role, Turner oversees the team's Player Engagement Program. The 49ers describe this program as being "aimed at optimizing and revolutionizing the personal and professional growth of players through continuous guidance and support during and beyond their NFL experience." The program effectively is there to help players off the field, both in terms of staying out of trouble, and preparing for life after football. He also works with Guy McIntyre, the 49ers Alumni Relations Director, in handling the 49ers alumni efforts.
Who wears it now: OLB Eli Harold (2015-present)
The 49ers added potentially serious depth to their pass rushing unit with the selection of Harold. The Virginia product will get his initial work primarily in passing situations. The 49ers have Harold and Lynch to rotate in with Ahmad Brooks and potentially spell Aldon Smith as needed to keep the unit fresh. I don't think we can automatically expect Harold to one day be mentioned in the same breath as Keena Turner, but it is certainly something to which he can aspire.