49ers great Roger Craig shrugs off Hall of Fame snub

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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, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

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Terrell Owens, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

Wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, who rank Nos. 2 and 3 in all-time receiving touchdowns, are among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Lynch, the 49ers' general manager, was also among the finalists. Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at safety over the course of a 15-year career with Tampa Bay and Denver. He is a five-time finalist for the Hall of Fame and advanced to the final 10 last year.

The Hall of Fame announced the list of finalists who will be discussed by the 48-member selection committee on the day before Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. Four to seven individuals will be inducted as the Class of 2018.

The list of finalists includes four players in their first years of eligibility: Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and guard Steve Hutchinson.

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls was voted as a finalist for the first time in his 20th and final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig did not advance to the round of finalists in his final year of eligibility. Craig made it into the top 15 of the voting in 2010 – the deepest he ever got in the process.

Craig, who also played for the Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, remains eligible for the Hall of Fame in future years as a seniors candidates.

This is the third year Owens has been a Hall of Fame finalist. In his first two years of eligibility, he did not receive enough votes to be included within the top 10 among the candidates.

Owens ranks behind only Jerry Rice in NFL history with 15,934 yards receiving. Moss and Owens are second and third behind Rice in receiving touchdowns with 156 and 153, respectively.

Owens spent his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers before playing two seasons with Philadelphia, three seasons with Dallas, one year apiece in Buffalo and Cincinnati.

Moss played for six different teams with two stints with the Minnesota Vikings. He played two seasons (2005 and ’06) with the Oakland Raiders and he finished his career with the 49ers.

Here are the 2018 modern-era finalists with their positions, years and teams:
Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
Brian Dawkins, Safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
Steve Hutchinson, Guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
Joe Jacoby, Tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
Edgerrin James, Running Back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
Ray Lewis, Linebacker – 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens
John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Kevin Mawae, Center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
Randy Moss, Wide Receiver – 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers
Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
Brian Urlacher, Linebacker – 2000-2012 Chicago Bears
Everson Walls, Cornerback – 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns

In addition, there are two senior finalists -- Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and Green Bay guard Jerry Kramer -- and one contributor finalist, long-time NFL executive Bobby Beathard.

Those individuals will be voted on separately and must receive at least 80-percent of the votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Roger Craig, Terrell Owens, John Lynch among Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Roger Craig, Terrell Owens, John Lynch among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig, in his final year on the modern-era ballot, is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the 10th consecutive year.

Craig is among 27 semifinalists announced for the Class of 2018. The list includes six first-year eligible candidates and four other players who have been eligible previously but are semifinalists for the first time.

Wide receiver Terrell Owens and safety John Lynch, currently 49ers general manager, are among the return semifinalists. Lynch was among the final 10 players last year, while Owens made it to the top 15.

The list of first-year eligible semifinalists includes wide receiver Randy Moss, defensive back Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

The four previously-eligible players who are semifinalists for the first time are safety LeRoy Butler, defensive ends Leslie O’Neal and Simeon Rice, and cornerback Everson Walls.

In January, the list of modern-era candidates will be trimmed to 15 individuals. There will be a total of 18 finalists, including contributor finalist Bobby Beathard and seniors finalists Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer. Hall of Fame rules stipulate from four to eight new members will be selected every year.

Beathard, Brazile and Kramer will be voted on separately and, like all other finalists, must receive 80-percent approval from the full selection committee at the annual selection meeting on Feb. 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Craig's teams made it to the playoffs in each of his 11 NFL seasons, including his first eight years with the 49ers. In 1985, he became the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.

Owens, who played his first eight seasons with the 49ers, was a first-team All-Pro performer six times. He ranks second all-time in receiving yards (15,934) and third with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Lynch, a hard-hitting safety with Tampa Bay and Denver, was selected to nine Pro Bowls in his 15-year career. He recorded 26 interceptions, forced 16 fumbles and recovered nine in his career.

2018 MODERN-ERA SEMIFINALISTS
Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2012-18)
Ronde Barber, CB/S – 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2016-18)
Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2015-18)
LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2005, 2010-18)
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2009-18)
Brian Dawkins, S – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2017-18)
Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2016-18)
Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2015-18)
Steve Hutchinson, G – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Joe Jacoby, T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2005, 2008, 2013-18)
Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2015-18)
Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2014-18)
Ty Law, CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2015-18)
Ray Lewis, LB – 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2013-18)
Kevin Mawae, C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2015-18)
Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2012-18)
Randy Moss, WR – 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Leslie O'Neal, DE – 1986, 1988-1995 San Diego Chargers, 1996-1997 St. Louis Rams, 1998-1999 Kansas City Chiefs | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Terrell Owens, WR – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2016-18)
Simeon Rice, DE – 1996-2000 Arizona Cardinals, 2001-06 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2007 Denver Broncos, 2007 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Brian Urlacher, LB – 2000-2012 Chicago Bears | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Everson Walls, CB – 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2018)
Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2017-18)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area is one of 48 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.