SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Tomsula turned the captain vote over to his players and then stepped out of the way, he said.
“I stayed out of this for a reason, because I wanted them to do it,” Tomsula said on Tuesday. “I saved all the voting forms and sheets in case we had a recount. This was solely the guys.”
The 49ers ended up electing nine captains for the season: quarterback Colin Kaepernick, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, tight end Vernon Davis, left tackle Joe Staley, nose tackle Ian Williams, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid, and kicker Phil Dawson.
If there was a surprise, it was Williams, who has appeared in just 15 games over four NFL seasons since signing as an undrafted rookies in 2011. Williams has started nine games in the league.
“I just try to keep my head down and stay working and learn everything I could from guys that were older than me,” Williams said.
Tomsula said the captains will not wear “C” on the uniforms, as the NFL allows.
“I’m into the team game,” Tomsula said.
And that might explain why the 49ers are going with nine captains, too. The 49ers typically selected four captains during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as coach.
“I think that’s Jimmy T trying to show that this is a team and he doesn’t want to single out any one player or two players,” Williams said.
It also appears Tomsula’s way of demonstrating he is just one piece of the organizational puzzle and he’s looking for significant contributions and leadership across the board.
“I honestly don’t believe this is the Jim Show. This isn’t about Jim Tomsula,” he said. “It’s about the Niners, it’s about the locker room, it’s about everybody who puts a piece together to make this happen, organizationally.
“I take the piece that I have very seriously. And I feel a sense of responsibility to do it in the absolute best way I can possibly do it to make sure everything else can move forward in their way.”