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67 days to 49ers kickoff: A nice center history

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The San Francisco 49ers season starts in 67 days. We take a look at jersey No. 67, currently worn by a competitor for the center position.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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 67 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: Chris Dalman (1993-1999)

The San Francisco 49ers have had some great offensive linemen in their history, some high profile, some sliding under the radar. 49ers fans know Dalman, but overall, he was a bit of an under-the-radar player for the team. He was a reserve on the last Super Bowl squad, and emerged as a starter in 1996. He started through the 1999 season, and then retired.

Dalman was a solid center, but arguably his most famous play was a mistake. In January of 1999, the 49ers were hosting the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card round. The Packers took a late lead, and Steve Young was driving the 49ers down the field. On what would be the game-winning touchdown, Young took the snap and stumbled. After the snap, Dalman stepped on Young's foot, and it caused Young to briefly stumble. Young thinks that stumble was what opened the throwing lane to Owens.

Dalman has led a fairly low key life following his NFL career. He was an assistant offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons, and coached the offensive line and run game at his alma mater, Stanford. However, before that he taught junior high English and was an assistant football coach, and after all that, he was most recently the director of admissions and offensive line coach for his former high school. Here is a great interview from 2013 about how he prepared for the Super Bowl.

Who wears it now: OL Daniel Kilgore (2011-present)

The 49ers are entering the second year of a transition at center. The team signed Jonathan Goodwin following the 2011 lockout, and he settled into the center position for three seasons. He departed in free agency prior to the 2014 season, and Daniel Kilgore had the next opportunity following an offseason contract extension. However, a lower leg injury cost him the second half of the season.

The 49ers had spent a third round pick on center Marcus Martin, and he took over after the bye week. He had his ups and downs, but is a very talented offensive lineman. And now he and Kilgore are competing for the center position. Kilgore is still rehabbing his leg injury. He says he thinks he can be ready for training camp, but it would not be at all surprising if he started training camp on the PUP list. I suspect he would come off the list fairly quickly, but we won't know until it actually happens.