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 29 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: CB Don Griffin (1986-1993)
The San Francisco 49ers have had a lot of recent cornerbacks sport the number 29, but the best belongs to Don Griffin. Chris Culliver wore it for four years before leaving in free agency. He was solid with the number, but injuries and inconsistency keep him off the top. He had a very solid 2011 campaign, and 2012 was looking good before things went south in the latter portion of the year and the Super Bowl. He missed 2013 with a torn ACL, and then had a strong 2014, in which I contend he was the team's best cornerback.
Griffin was not a monster in the secondary, but he was a very capable cornerback. The 49ers selected him in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL Draft, and he moved into the starting lineup in his rookie year, replacing Eric Wright. Injuries cost him playing time in 1987 and 1988, but he would start every game from 1989 to 1992. He started and played in 12 games in his final season with the 49ers before departing for Cleveland.
Griffin had 22 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries during his 49ers career. He played on winning teams throughout his career, with only one season (1995 Cleveland Browns) on a losing team.
Who wears it now: S Jaquiski Tartt (2015-present)
The 49ers invested a second round pick in small-school safety Jaquiski Tartt. He did not start playing football until his final year of high school, which meant he did not get recruited to the big college programs. He is a big hitter, who needs to work on coverage. His rookie year likely will focus primarily on special teams, barring injuries on the safety depth chart. There has been some talk as well about using him as a linebacker in a big nickel defensive package.
Tartt got a good chunk of work in the preseason opener, and looked solid. He lived up to his billing as a strong run stopper and big hitter.