A very strong case can be made to justify the induction of Roger Craig to the Football Hall of Fame. This makes it all the more bizarre that the powerful Running Back had to wait ten years to even get nominated.
There could be no doubt that during his prime that Roger Craig was an integral part of every offensive play. Craig initially was a fullback in the pro ranks, but it became clear that he was equally adept at carrying the ball as blocking for others. In 1986 he became the first football player to both rush and catch for 1,000 yards each. Opposing defenses feared his high knee running style and had to keep all eyes on Craig during every play.
He was a major part of three Super Bowl Championship teams. Despite his groundbreaking style, Craig is often overlooked as he played on some of the most prolific offenses in football and critics have said he was the beneficiary of the great offensive stars (Montana & Rice) around him. Regardless, Roger Craig was a brilliant weapon for the 49ers offense and though placing him into the Hall is very much open for debate, he should have received way more consideration than he has thus far.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin: Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A.
Eligible Since: 1999
Position: Running Back/Fullback
Played for: San Francisco 49ers Los Angeles Raiders Minnesota Vikings
Drafted: 2nd Round, 49th Overall in 1993
Major Accolades and Awards: NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1988) Pro Bowl Selections (4) (1985, 1987, 1988 & 1989) First Team All Pro Selection (1) (1988) Second Team All Pro Selection (1) (1985) NFL 1980’s All Decade Team Most Receptions (1) (1985) Most Yards from Scrimmage (1) (1988) Super Bowl Rings (3) (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XIX, XXIII & XXIV)
Other Points of Note: Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards (3) (1987, 1988 & 1999) Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Touchdowns (2) (1985 & 1988) Top Ten Finishes: Yards/Rushing Attempt (2) (1985 & 1988) Top Ten Finishes: Rushing Yards/Game (1) (1988) Top Ten Finishes: Receptions (4) (1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988) Top Ten Finishes: Touchdowns (2) (1983 & 1985) Top Ten Finishes: Yards from Scrimmage (5) (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 & 1989) Top Ten Finishes: All Purpose Yards (3) (1985, 1987 & 1988)
Notable All Time Rankings: 36. Rushing Yards: 8,189 44. Rushing Touchdowns: 56 35. Yards from Scrimmage: 13,100 71. Touchdowns: 73 51. All Purpose Yards: 13,143 72. Receptions: 566
Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame: Finalist: 2010 Semi Finalist: 2009