Another name familiar to 49ers fans but not exactly recognized in NFL circles is fullback Tom Rathman.
Being a fullback, Rathman was never going to see the stat numbers former Niners tailback Roger Craig enjoyed during his stellar career. And with fullbacks a dying breed in today’s NFL, it’s easy to see why league-wide recollection might leave out a player like Rathman’s overall impact.
But when it came to being a bruising lead blocker and short-yardage guy, few others could get the job done like Rathman.
Between 1986 and 1993, the 49ers finished in the top three in rushing four times. And while a lot of the credit goes to San Francisco’s tailbacks, Rathman needs to get his due for opening holes and engaging in more than a few key blocks.
Sometimes what you do doesn’t reflect on the stat sheet, which is why Rathman has been so underrated in NFL memory.