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Sports Then and Now



San Francisco 49ers: All-“No” Team, Linemen 3

Posted on October 09, 2009 by Blaine Spence
Jamal Anderson #32

Gabe Wilkins had one sack in two seasons with the 49ers.

Writer’s note: This is the second installment of the San Francisco 49ers All “No” Team; the first can be viewed here: The San Francisco 49ers’ All-“No” Team, Pt. 1: The Skill Positions.

To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!

— The Rolling Stones, 1978

Please remember that being bad doesn’t always get you on the team, though it does help. The decision to bring you in, or even to release you, might be the deciding factor for this team.

The Defensive Line

Defensive End: Israel Ifeanyi

The 49ers draft of 1996 was one of anticipation.  Having traded their No. 1 pick the previous year for the right to draft wide receiver J.J. Stokes at the No. 10 spot (sound familiar?), the 49ers didn’t have a pick until halfway through the second round.

I remember wondering if ESPN would even get to the pick before they passed the broadcast off to their fledgling sister station—ESPN 2.

The 49ers were in desperate need of pass-rush help after trading Charles Haley to the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and never adequately replacing him.

Who would be the next pass rush specialist in San Francisco?

The name was in: Israel Ifeanyi.

My reaction: “Who the hell is Israel Ifeanyi?”

Judging from Chris Berman’s non-verbal cues as he read the name, his reaction was about the same.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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