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 17 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: QB Steve DeBerg (1978-1980)
The number 17 does not have the most distinguished history, but the man who wore it best is of particular note. Quarterback Steve DeBerg is easily the call here, even with only three seasons under his belt. He was the guy who was supplanted by Joe Montana, and for 49ers fans, that will remain his claim to fame for the foreseeable future.
DeBerg was actually drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 10th round of the 1977 NFL Draft, and waived before the season started. He signed with the 49ers "taxi squad" in September 1977, and then joined the active roster in 1978. He started 11 games in 1978, and 15 in 1979. In 1980, he started the first six games, but eventually lost his job to the second-year Montana.
He was traded to the Denver Broncos after the season for a fourth round pick that was later packaged in a deal for Wendell Tyler. DeBerg had some bad timing throughout his career. He was in Denver when they drafted John Elway, and then Tampa Bay when they drafted Vinny Testaverde and Steve Young. I suppose it might not be bad timing so much as just not being a great quarterback.
And if you're wondering, the picture is fan favorite wide receiver Dominique Zeigler!
Who wears it now: WR Chuck Jacobs (2013-present)
This marks season three of Jacobs's time with the 49ers. He signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He impressed that preseason and worked his way onto the practice squad. A year later, he tore his ACL in the preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. He spent the season on injured reserve, and is back for a third shot at the roster.
Jacobs is a talented receiver, but the team has added a lot of young prospects to compete for a limited opportunity. He does have another year of practice squad eligibility, so the 49ers could very well try and stash him there one more year. Even that might be tough with the talented UDFAs they signed this year.