49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 3, 2014
All-pro team announced; Bowman, Boldin honored by teammates


A 49ers team that led the league with a franchise-record six, first-team all-pro selections a year ago, had just one this year -- inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman. The team's leading tackler and a candidate for defensive player of the year also won the 49ers' most prestigious team honor, the Len Eshmont Award. Receiver Anquan Boldin took the Bill Walsh Award, which is given to the 49ers' most valuable player.

Last year, Bowman, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Dashon Goldson, Mike Iupati and Andy Lee were voted to the all-pro team by The Associated Press. Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Joe Staley made the second team. This year Staley, Brooks, Justin Smith and Vernon Davis, who led the 49ers with 13 touchdowns, made the second team.

Patrick Willis, who was voted to the Pro Bowl last month and who for years has been considered the league's top inside linebacker, did not make the all-pro team, the first time in his seven-year career he did not make the first or second team.

Carolina's Luke Kuechly joined Bowman as a first-team selection while Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict, who led the league in tackles, and Arizona's Karlos Dansby made the second team.

The 49ers had five first-team selections in 2011.

Team awards:

Len Eshmont Award: LB NaVorro Bowman

The Len Eshmont Award is voted on by the players and is given to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team. Eshmont, who coached at Navy and Virginia following his career in San Francisco, died in 1957. The award was established that year.

Bill Walsh Award: WR Anquan Boldin

The Bill Walsh Award was established in 2004 in honor of San Francisco's Hall of Fame Head Coach. Walsh served as the team's head coach for 10 seasons from 1979-88. In that time, he compiled a record of 102-63-1 and led the team to three Super Bowls. He was twice named Coach of the Year (1981, 1984) and was later named Coach of the Decade for the 1980s. The award, which is voted on by coaches, is given to the 49ers team MVP, honoring his outstanding individual performance.

Bobb McKittrick Award: G/T Alex Boone

The Bobb McKittrick Award is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime offensive line coach, during his 21 years of service to the 49ers. The award was established by the 49ers in 1999, and is voted on by the offensive line.

Hazeltine Iron Man Award: DT Justin Smith

The Hazeltine Iron Man Award is named for former linebacker Matt Hazeltine, a 13-year performer who played more seasons at linebacker than any other 49ers player. Known for his durability and dedication, Hazeltine passed away in 1987 from ALS, and Bill Walsh established the award in his honor that year. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player as voted upon by the defensive coaches.

Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: S Eric Reid

Thomas Herrion Memorial Award was established in 2005 by 49ers owners Denise and John York and is presented to a rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion. The recipient has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into a reality. The award is voted on by the coaches.

Blue Collar Players of the Year (voted on by the players and coaches)

Defense: Glenn Dorsey
Offense: Frank Gore
Special Teams: Bubba Ventrone

-- Matthew Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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