The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game is now a mere 71 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 Keith Fahnhorst (1974-1987)
The number 71 has not been retired, but there is a clear-cut top dog when it comes to the history of the jersey. Some talented names have come through, but Keith Fahnhorst gets the nod. The 49ers spent a second round pick on Fahnhorst back in 1974, and he ended up spending his entire 14-year career with the team. He played in 193 games during his career as an offensive lineman, after coming into the league as a tight end. He earned one Pro Bowl berth and All-Pro nod (both in 1984), while winning two Super Bowl rings.
The number 71 has had an interesting history with the 49ers. Charles Mann (1994) and Larry Allen (2006-2007) both played the final year(s) of their respective careers with the 49ers wearing No. 71. Mann was a situational pass rusher, while Allen was a key component as a guard in Frank Gore's dominant 2006 season.
Who wears it now: OL Erik Pears (2015-present)
Heading into training camp, another veteran will sport No. 71. Since Allen, Derek Hall, Brian Bulcke, Quinton Dial and Jonathan Martin have all worn the jersey. This year, Erik Pears will sport it. He heads into training camp having spent time at right guard and right tackle in the offseason workout program. Fans are not exactly enthused about Pears heading into camp, but for now he is getting the starting nod.
The big question is what to make of Alex Boone's status with the departure of Anthony Davis. If he moves to right tackle, Pears potentially moves to one of the guard positions. If Boone sticks at guard, Pears is the likely starting right tackle. Make what you want of that at this point.