San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig has some sharp criticism for his coaches, saying he doesn’t think they are committed to the running game.
“Evidently, it’s not a big deal with the organization,” Craig said in today’s editions of The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa. “If it was, you would see Tom (Rathman) and I out there all the time, running the ball.”
The 49ers’ rushing attack is ranked 24th in the NFL, but Craig said in a copyright story that the team’s problems could be solved with a simple coaching decision: Let him and fullback Rathman play an entire game and run the ball.
“You have to wonder what (the coaches) really want. I know what I want. I want to help the team get the running game on track. But I can’t do it if I’m on the sidelines, and I can’t do it if I’m running in and out of the ballgame,” he said.
Craig’s comments didn’t ruffle Coach George Seifert or offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren.
“I think that’s a very logical way to feel on his part, and I would expect him and Tom both to feel that way,” Seifert said.
Holmgren, the man who calls most of San Francisco’s offensive plays, agreed with Seifert.
“As long as I’ve been here, Roger wants the ball more. Jerry (Rice) wants the ball more. They all want it,” he said.
Craig has gained just 313 yards this season. He returned to the lineup four weeks ago after missing three games with a partially torn ligament in his right knee.
Since then, Craig has been alternated with rookie Dexter Carter, while Harry Sydney has split time with Rathman.