49ers great Roger Craig shrugs off Hall of Fame snub


49ers great Roger Craig shrugs off Hall of Fame snub

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig did not make the list of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate.

In fact, Craig was a finalist just once (2010), and he never again gained enough votes to crack the top 15.

"I thought I'd go in a long time ago," Craig said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. "It's kind of funny all these other guys went in before me when I kind of changed the game for the millennials today.

“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.'"

In 1985, Craig became the first player in NFL history to enter the 1,000-1,000 club. He rushed for 1,050 yards and caught 92 passes for 1,016 yards in the season after he became the first player to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl.

Fourteen years later, Marshall Faulk became the only other person to accomplish the feat, rushing for 1,381 yards and catching 87 passes for 1,048 yards for the St. Louis Rams. He was inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Craig played on three Super Bowl-winning teams with the 49ers, and his teams made the playoffs in each of his 11 NFL seasons. He finished his career with 8,198 yards rushing and 4,911 yards receiving.

But, now, if he makes the Hall of Fame, he will have to be nominated as a seniors candidate. Craig noted he is in the 49ers Hall of Fame, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame and he has been enshrined in his home state of Iowa.

"It's not for me to judge," Craig 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.'

"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."

On the podcast, Craig also talked about the current 49ers and how he would like to see Carlos Hyde re-sign with the 49ers and improve in an area in which he excelled.

"I think Carlos Hyde is an ideal running back for the team," Craig said. "He can make it happen. He just needs to catch the ball more because I know they're going to be throwing the ball a lot. Jimmy (Garoppolo) is going to be throwing the ball a lot, so you've got to be more of a receiver now.

"You got to be able to catch the ball and run routes and do the things that I kind of did in the ‘80s."

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.