Nothing illustrates the massive turnover the 49ers recently went through more starkly than comparing the current roster with the one that played in the Super Bowl. Of the 22 starters that day, only six -- four on offense, two on defense -- remain on the squad. The kicker, punter, longsnapper and return men are new, too.
It's hard to believe any team has experienced a greater sea change in the 32 months since the game.
But there's at least one. Of the 22 players who started for the victorious Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, only four currently are on the active roster. Quarterback Joe Flacco will be familiar to 49ers fans when the Ravens visit Sunday.
Super fans might remember offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda as well as outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw. (Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who didn't start in the Super Bowl but was prominent at the end, remains with the team).
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It's a plain-as-day common denominator for both teams, each of which has begun the season 1-4.
John Harbaugh on Monday said it was “obvious for us why we have turned over so many people,” a reference to the Ravens’ overall age at the time of teh Super Bowl and the salary-cap issues the team was facing.
“It definitely is a major change from what it was from just a short time ago that way,” Harbaugh said.
The remaining 49ers starters from the Super Bowl are quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tight end Vernon Davis and offensive linemen Joe Staley and Alex Boone on offense. On defense, linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks are the only two remaining 49ers who started the game.
Cornerback Tramaine Brock, tight end Garrett Celek, fullback Bruce Miller and center Daniel Kilgore also played in the game. Tony Jerod-Eddie and Ian Williams were among the inactive players.