RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Craig on Hall of Fame snub: ‘I thought I’d go in a long time ago’

Jan 30, 2018 at 4:40 PM--

Year after year, legendary San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig fails to be among the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. His omission has been viewed as a longtime snub by the Niner Faithful. Craig himself believes he created a blueprint for the modern-day running back. He was among the first players at the position to show versatility as a running back, fullback, and receiver.

Craig was impassioned while discussing the Hall of Fame with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area on the "49ers Insider" podcast. Earlier this month, the former running back failed to make the list of finalists in his final year of eligibility as a modern-era player. If he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, it will have to be as a senior candidate.

"I thought I'd go in a long time ago," Craig said. "It's kind of funny all these other guys went in before me when I kind of changed the game for the millennials today. You think of the millennials today; you have to catch the ball. They're running our system -- the West Coast offense ... For me, being the first to do the thousand-thousand and being an all-purpose kind of running back, I see a lot of those guys today, and I'm like, 'Wow, man, that's what I used to do.'"

The "thousand-thousand" that Craig is referring to is when he had 1,050 yards rushing and 1,016 yards receiving in 1985. He also had 2,036 total yards from scrimmage in 1988 with 1,502 of those yards coming while rushing the football.

"I was a fullback when I did a thousand-thousand, but I did 2,000 as a running back as well," he continued. "I had 1,500 yards rushing. I had 600 receiving yards when I was most valuable, that year when we won in 1988 when we beat Cincinnati in the Super Bowl. I was most valuable in that year in the NFC and made [Sports Illustrated's NFL Player of the Year]."

In 11 NFL seasons, Craig accumulated 4,911 receiving yards and 17 touchdown receptions to go along with his 8,189 rushing yards and 56 touchdowns on the ground. He added 606 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions to his 841 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in 18 career playoff appearances.

Craig says he no longer obsesses over the snub and has moved on to other things in his life.

"It's not for me to judge," he said. "If people want to hold me out, that's ok. I'm doing other things to make the world a better place. I have so many different platforms and I'm having fun. I'm not going to sit around and worry about, 'Aw, I'm not in the Hall of Fame yet.' I'm in the 49ers Hall of Fame, Bay Area Hall of Fame. I'm good. The Iowa Hall of Fame.

"By me justifying I'm not in the NFL Hall of Fame, it's so political. I don't get into that anymore. I quit worrying about it really. I don't let it drain me."

How does Craig feel about possibly getting in one day as a senior candidate?

"It takes away from the excitement when you go in as a senior," he said. "It's like, 'Really?' You wait that long for me to go in after I made this impact for today's millennials?' I was the first to create this. The West Coast offense was built around me. That's what Bill Walsh said ... I guess it's an honor to go in whenever but it's kind of like the fans are tired, the fans are frustrated, family members are frustrated."

You can listen to the entire interview with Craig below.

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