49ers

49ers great Roger Craig shrugs off Hall of Fame snub

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AP

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."

Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

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Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

When the 49ers selected inside linebacker Fred Warner of BYU in the third round of the draft, it was easy to see how he fit into the team's plan with the degree of uncertainty surrounding Reuben Foster.

While Foster remained away from the team’s offseason program for five weeks, Warner felt a need to get up to speed quickly if he was needed to be a starter for Week 1 of the regular season. Warner said he was determined to learn as quickly as possible at whatever position he lined up.

“They want consistency over a guy who can make a play here and there,” Warner said on The 49ers insider Podcast. “Because if you’re a liability and you’re out there missing assignments, stuff like that, that’s going to get you cut. You have to be able to retain this information very quickly and be able to produce on the field and put a good product out there. That’s the biggest thing.”

The 49ers consider the middle linebacker (mike) and weakside linebacker (will) positions as nearly interchangeable. The major difference is the mike position is the player who communicates in the huddle. Malcolm Smith is lining up with the first team at mike, while Foster is at will. Warner is leading the second team at mike.

Foster joined the 49ers’ offseason for the final four weeks after a judge dismissed two felony charges of domestic violence. Warner knew all about Foster, the player, before meeting him as a teammate.

“He’s a very physical player, and something I didn’t know about him that I know now, he’s probably the smartest guy in the room,” Warner said. “This dude has the memory of an elephant. He doesn’t have to write notes down. He just retains things very quickly. And I think that’s what allowed him to play at such a high level as a rookie last year, aside from his physical talent.”

Warner has also learned a lot from Smith, who played six NFL seasons before sitting out last year with a torn pectoral.

“We’ve worked after practice on man coverage on tight ends and running backs.,” Warner said. “Even though that might not be something we touch on in practice or a meeting, he just wants to touch on that with me because he said, ‘If you can do this, you can play on any team in the NFL.’ “

One of the few critiques of the rookie during the offseason program is that Warner, who said he was a quiet kid as a youngster, has been a little too loud.

“He’s very smart and he plays like it on the field,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during the first week of OTAs. “He doesn’t hesitate. He’s a rookie out there, but he’s calling the plays maybe even too loud because I can hear him from the offensive side. But, he doesn’t mind speaking up. He’s confident in what he’s doing.”

Warner said he wanted to win the confidence of his teammates, so that might have contributed to his increased decibel level.

“I want to make sure that when I get in that huddle and I’m talking to these guys, that they know that I know what I’m doing and I’m ready to go,” Warner said. “I’m the one who’s going to set the tone in the huddle before the play even happens.”

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

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Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

Keith Fahnhorst, who played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started on two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

Fahnhorst was among a large group of players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl championship team that gathered at Levi’s Stadium in October in a celebration of Dwight Clark. Fahnhorst and Clark were teammates for the 49ers’ Super Bowl-titlle teams of 1981 and 1984. Clark passed away on June 6 from ALS.

Fahnhorst, who was in a wheelchair during his trip to the Bay Area last season, battled many physical ailments since his career ended in 1987. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2002. Fahnhorst was also later diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, Fahnhorst was a mainstay at right tackle as the organization struggled in the mid-to-late 1970s, then found success in the 1980s under coach Bill Walsh.

“Everybody knew they could count on Keith,” Walsh said in the 2005 book, “San Francisco 49ers: Where Have Gone?”

Fahnhorst appeared in 193 regular-season games, ranking behind only Len Rohde among offensive linemen in 49ers history. He started 170 games, including all 10 postseason games in which he appeared. He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was selected as a first-team All-Pro after the 1984 season. He was a two-time winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for best representing the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime 49ers offensive line coach.

Keith Fahnhorst and his younger brother, Jim, were 49ers teammates for the final four years of Keith’s career. Jim Fahnhorst, a linebacker, played for the 49ers from 1984 to 1990. Neither Keith nor Jim Fahnhorst played for any NFL team other than the 49ers.