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11 days until 49ers kickoff: Who wore it best? Who wears it now?

The San Francisco 49ers season starts in 11 days. We take a look at jersey No. 11, worn by an old friend.

Jed Jacobsohn/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 11 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 Alex Smith (2005-2012)

The San Francisco 49ers have had several interesting quarterbacks wear No. 11 over the years. Steve Spurrier sported it from 1967 to 1975. Since then, Jeff Brohm, Ty Detmer, briefly Brandon Doman, and of course Alex Smith have all worn the jersey.

Spurrier did some good work during his time with the 49ers, but I have to go with Alex Smith for this one. It is interesting to ponder all the what ifs with Smith's career. The big one is of course what happens if Jim Harbaugh never arrives. But my most notable prior to that is what would happen if Norv Turner did not get the Chargers job, or at least had given the 49ers more notice. Had Turner stuck around after 2006, I think Smith's career path ends up entirely different. Maybe that ends up not being the case, but I seriously believe he would have built on some strong 2006 momentum. We have to factor in the shoulder injury as well, but if he stays healthy and keeps Norv, the story would probably be different.

But it ended on a fairly happy note. Smith had a career resurgence, landed in Kansas City, and has found some solid success there.

Who wears it now: WR Quinton Patton (2013-present)

It is kind of fitting that Patton is the guy wearing No. 11. I don't think he will ever reach Alex Smith level of discussion, but there is certainly plenty of discussion surrounding the third year wide receiver. He is getting a significant opportunity to earn the third receiver role. It has not been a strong performance by the first team offense this preseason, but hopefully they are holding some things back for the regular season. It is a big season coming up for Patton.