On Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers held their third annual State of the Franchise at the California Theatre in downtown San Jose, Calif. San Francisco’s CEO Jed York, team president Al Guido, general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, special teams coordinator Richard Hightower and a number of 49ers players highlighted the team’s marquee event of the offseason.
Here are five takeaways as key members of the organization outlined the franchise's goals in 2019 and beyond.
1. Forever a Niner
During a chat with members of the 49ers front office, Jed York announced the 49ers signing of tackle Joe Staley to a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season. As the longest tenured member of the 49ers, Staley has started all 174 regular season games in which he has played, as well as all eight postseason contests throughout his 12-year career in San Francisco.
“Honestly, Jed, since the moment you guys drafted me in 2007, it’s been my absolute honor to play for this franchise, and I wanted nothing more than to complete my entire career here with one franchise,” Staley said. “Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to play for 15 years, who knows, maybe even more.
“But really what we want to do is bring you a championship trophy. And I want to because this is the only franchise that matters to me. I know there’s a lot of guys back there and everybody on this whole entire roster. It’s the only franchise that matters to everybody, and we want to bring a championship. And I will play until my legs fall off until we bring a championship to this franchise.”
Staley has earned Second-Team All-Pro honors in 2011, 2012 and 2013, in addition to being selected to six Pro Bowls (2012-2016 & 2018). He was regarded as one of the best tackles in the league in 2018 and will be a cornerstone along the 49ers offensive line.
2. Can’t Be Blocked
During the defensive session of Wednesday night’s event, DeForest Buckner told a story of when Dee Ford borrowed his notebook on his first day with the team. Inside of Buckner’s notebook, the first page read the words,“I can’t be blocked.” Buckner is already coming off of a career season, racking up 12 sacks, 67 total tackles and three passes defended in 2018. Now coupled with the edge rushing talents of Ford and first-round pick Nick Bosa, Buckner plans to continue to focus on his personal goals in 2019.
“I can’t be blocked. I approach that every day,” Buckner said. “That is my mindset going in every day for practice, and that’s how I approach every game. I want to be the best at my position.”
3. Throwbacks are Back
All year long, the NFL is celebrating its 100th season through programs, events and initiatives recognizing players, fans and their communities. To celebrate, the 49ers will host their annual alumni game in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 27. That game, the 49ers will don their heralded all-white “throwback” uniforms. All proceeds raised during Alumni weekend will go to support the Golden Heart Fund.
At last year’s State of the Franchise, the 49ers unveiled the 1994-inspired uniforms with the help of Staley, Jerry Rice, Richard Sherman and a host of other current players in attendance. The team went on to wear their new threads during their Week 7 divisional match against the Los Angeles Rams.
4. Double the Bobbleheads in 2019
Guido discussed various enhancements and improvements fans can expect this year at Levi’s® Stadium on gameday. Over the last two seasons, the 49ers have provided fan giveaways for each home game during the regular season. Last season, fans received a one-of-a-kind Jimmy Garoppolo bobblehead at the home opener against the Detroit Lions. This year, two other offensive staples will be immortalized with their very own figures.
Staley and George Kittle bobbleheads will highlight two of this season’s gameday giveaways. On Sunday Oct. 27 against the Panthers, fans will receive a Kittle bobblehead, and Staley’s will be offered to fans in attendance in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
5. Open Training Camp
The 49ers are opening their doors to fans for every training camp practice later this summer. Last year, the team hosted more than 30,000 fans over the three-week event. This year, the team plans to add additional seating to accommodate more fans. Dates and times will be released in the coming weeks.