The 49ers are honoring the memory of Hall of Famer Fred Dean, who died Wednesday, by having their players wear a No. 74 decal on the back of their helmets Sunday night.
Dean, who played for San Francisco from 1981-95 and was a huge force in the 49ers’ first two Super Bowl titles, passed away in his native Louisiana after battling COVID-19. He was 68.
Left tackle Joe Staley wore No. 74 the previous 13 seasons before retiring in April.
Fred Dean formerly of the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers poses with his bust after his induction during the Class of 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on August 2, 2008 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Dean helped transform the 49ers into Super Bowl champions when he was acquired in a trade with the Chargers early in the 1981 season. Although the NFL didn’t start officially counting quarterback sacks until 1982, Dean’s arrival and constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks paved the way to a Super Bowl XVI win over Cincinnati at the end of the 1981 season.
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Dean had 17.5 sacks with San Francisco in 1983, which stood as a franchise record until Aldon Smith had 19.5 sacks in 2012.
In 1983, Dean was again named an All-Pro before capturing his second Super Bowl with the 49ers after the 1984 season. He retired after the 1985 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports