SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers had four team captains last year. In 2015, they'll have nine.
Head coach Jim Tomsula announced Tuesday quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left tackle Joe Staley, tight end Vernon Davis, receiver Anquan Boldin, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, safeties Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea, defensive lineman Ian Williams and kicker Phil Dawson were all named captains. However, they won't be wearing the captaincy patches on their uniforms. "I'm into a team game," Tomsula said.
The team-wide vote allowed players to vote for as many candidates they wanted, leading to nine players getting the selection. Kaepernick and Staley are the only holdovers from last year's group of four captains. Justin Smith and Patrick Willis were the other two before retiring in the offseason.
"That's a player vote. Nice crew of guys. Congratulations to them, obviously," Tomsula said. "The one thing that's neat about all of that is when they tally everything up and pick, some of the other guys on the roster that got some votes, just, that's a heck of a compliment."
Williams was named a captain after appearing in 10 games over the last two seasons while suffering two lower leg fractures. He's earmarked to start at nose tackle in base situations, and could play some defensive end in nickel packages on passing downs.
"It's a huge honor to know that the teammates and coaches think of me in such high regards," Williams said.
Nine captains more doubles last year's total, which was on more than the 49ers had in 2013, when Kaepernick, Willis and Justin Smith were the trio of captains.
"I think that's just Jimmy T's part of just trying to show that this is a team," Williams said. "He doesn't want to single out any one player and that we're 49ers. We're not one player or two players."
Players had Tuesday off and return to the practice field Thursday, a day later than a normal week, because they play the Vikings Monday night in their season opener.
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been on the beat writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
E-mail Niners Digest: NinersDigest@gmail.com