- Until this season, the San Francisco 49ers had not made the Super Bowl since 2012.
- The 2012 49ers did not win the Super Bowl that year, but they were a dynamic team featuring a breakout star in Colin Kaepernick, a popular coach in Jim Harbaugh, and an offence and defence stacked with All-Pro players.
- Eight years later, see where the key members of the 2012 Niners are today.
- Read more of Business Insider’s Super Bowl 2020 coverage here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The San Francisco 49ers are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2012.
While that 2012 team did not win the whole thing, it was still a dynamic team that featured a cast of players and coaches who have made an impact on the NFL today.
The 2012 Niners featured a breakout star in Colin Kaepernick, a few all-time great offensive skill players, a dominant defence with a variety of names, and coaching staff still heavily involved in the game today.
Check out where the key members of the 2012 49ers are today.
Colin Kaepernick took over the starting quarterback job in November and flourished, showing off his huge arm and play-making on the ground.
The 49ers went 5-2 with Kaepernick as a starter. He continued his strong play in the playoffs, accounting for 699 total yards and 5 touchdowns in two wins leading to the Super Bowl.
Kaepernick is not in the league today. He famously kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice and has not played since 2016.
Kaepernick is still active in his community work today and held a workout for teams in November 2019 to try to get back in the NFL.
Alex Smith was in his eighth season as 49ers quarterback. He suffered a concussion midway through the season and lost his job to Kaepernick. He was traded to the Chiefs after the season.
Smith spent five seasons with the Chiefs, then was traded to the Washington Redskins in 2018. He suffered a devastating leg injury in 2018 from which he’s still recovering. It’s unclear if he will play football again.
Frank Gore was the team’s starting running back. He had an All-Pro season, with 1,214 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns.
Gore is still in the league today. He rushed for 599 yards and 2 touchdowns with the Buffalo Bills in 2019 and moved into third all-time in rushing yards.
Michael Crabtree led the team in receiving with 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Crabtree has since bounced around the league, playing for the Raiders, Ravens, and the Cardinals in 2019.
Mario Manningham, fresh off a Super Bowl win with the Giants the year before, was also on the roster, racking up 42 catches for 449 yards that year. He did not play in the Super Bowl because of injury.
Manningham played just one more season, then retired as a Giant in 2014.
After playing, he took part in football camps. It’s unclear what he does today. He was arrested in December 2019 after failing to appear in court over a driving citation.
Source: Cleveland 19 News
Veteran tight end Vernon Davis produced 548 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.
2019 was Davis’ second season with the Redskins, but he only appeared in four games.
Legendary wide receiver Randy Moss was on the 49ers, but he was in the late stages of his career and had just 28 catches, 434 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Moss is now an analyst with ESPN. He is a Hall of Famer and fourth all-time in receiving yards.
Delanie Walker was a backup tight end. He had a then-career-high 344 receiving yards in 2012.
Walker joined the Titans the following year and has been productive, producing four seasons of 800-plus yards. He is still with the Titans today.
Speedster Ted Ginn was a return specialist for the Niners.
After stints with the Cardinals and Panthers, Ginn just finished his third season with the Saints in 2019.
The 49ers defence featured several stars, with six All-Pro members. Aldon Smith was one of the faces of that defence, racking up 19.5 sacks in 2012.
Despite a promising start to his career, Smith ran into a series of legal issues during his career.
He was suspended in 2015 for violating the league’s substance-abuse and personal conduct policies. The Raiders released him in 2018 after he was named a suspect in a domestic violence incident.
According to Jay Glazer, Smith is now sober and trying to work his way back into the league. He has not played since 2015.
Linebacker Patrick Willis also made the All-Pro and Pro Bowl that year and was something on an anchor to the Niners defence.
Willis retired in 2014 because of ongoing foot problems, to the surprise of many. He said in 2019 he was “doing a little bit of real estate, a little bit of technology and really just enjoying my time.”
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman also made both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro roster, posting a team-leading 148 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception during the season.
After playing with the Raiders in 2017, Bowman returned to the 49ers in 2019 and retired.
Safety Dashon Goldson led the team with three interceptions.
Goldson would go on to play with the Bucs, Redskins, and Falcons, retiring after 2016. He is now into real estate.
Source: LA Times
Safety Donte Whitner also made the Pro Bowl that year.
Whitner retired in 2016. He is now an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area.
Defensive tackle Justin Smith also earned a Pro Bowl selection.
Smith retired in 2015. He was nominated for the Hall of Fame in 2019.
Right tackle Joe Staley was in his sixth season with the 49ers and earned a Pro Bowl selection.
Staley is still with the Niners today.
Mike Iupati earned a Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection at left guard that season.
Iupati has hopped around the NFC West, playing for the Cardinals from 2015-2018 and then the Seahawks in 2019.
Jim Harbaugh was the 49ers head coach.
Harbaugh coached the 49ers until 2014, going 44-19-1 over four seasons. He is currently the head coach of Michigan.
As defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio designed the 49ers’ dominant defence.
Fangio went on to serve as defensive coordinator for the Bears and is now the head coach of the Broncos.
Greg Roman was the 49ers offensive coordinator.
Roman is now the Ravens’ offensive coordinator and was credited with helping design a system that led to Lamar Jackson’s breakout season.
Jim Tomsula was the defensive line coach.
Tomsula took over as Niners head coach in 2015 following Harbaugh’s exit. He went 5-11 and was fired after one season. He was a defensive line coach with the Washington Redskins in 2019 and was hired to the Cowboys coaching staff in 2020.
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