For the 49ers, the most recent decade was a like a cross-country trip: some highs, some lows and a long distance traveled.
From 2010 through the just-completed 2019 seasons, there were two Super Bowl appearances, four trips to the playoffs, five losing seasons, five head coaches and a move into a new stadium in Santa Clara.
Through it all, there was one constant: left tackle Joe Staley. The All-Pro and Pro Bowl pick provided leadership and excellence on the offensive line in the good years under head coach Jim Harbaugh and Kyle Shanahan to start and finish the decade, as well as during the low points in between.
This week, Staley was one of four 49ers players recognized for that long run of excellence, voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s NFL All-Decade Team. Also selected were linebacker Patrick Willis, running back Frank Gore and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Staley, who was drafted by the Niners in 2007, has played 181 regular-season games and 11 postseason games, ranking fifth in franchise history for games played on the offensive line (the record is 208 by Len Rohde). Staley’s been All-Pro three times and chosen to the Pro Bowl six times.
Gore joined the 49ers in 2005 and played with San Francisco through 2014, going to the Pro Bowl five times. He had 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 2011 through 2014, then went on to the Colts, Dolphins and Bills and is still active at 36.
Willis was drafted by the 49ers in 2007 and retired after the 2014 season at age 29. He was first-team All-Pro five times and a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Sherman was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 49ers in 2019, his second season with the team. From 2011 through 2017 he was a three-time, first-team All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl pick for the Seattle Seahawks.
Of the 52 players and two head coaches selected to the All-Decade Team, only eight were unanimous selections: quarterback Tom Brady, running back Adrian Peterson, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, guard Marshal Yanda, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, edge rusher Von Miller, defensive end J.J. Watt and kicker Justin Tucker.
The head coaches on the team are Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll.