Tom Rathman was a dominating fullback who set records at Nebraska averaging well over 7 yards a carry his senior season in 1985. He’d be drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL draft by the San Fransisco 49ers and immediately saw time on special teams while his playing time increased at fullback. During the 1987 season, head coach Bill Walsh shifted Roger Craig from fullback to runningback and started Tom at fullback blocking for him. For only catching 5 passes during college, Tom not only displayed a hard nosed inside running style, he also became an accomplished receiver notching a career high 73 receptions in 1989. Craig also benefited from Tom’s blocking rushing for 1502 yards in 1988, and 1089 in 1989. As Roger moved on to the Raiders after the 1990 season, the 49ers selected Ricky Watters in 1991. Tom continued paving the way, blocking for 1,000 yard backs. Tom played for the 49ers through 1993 and then signed with the Raiders in 1994 for one final season. Despite playing 9 seasons and leading NFL runningbacks in receptions in 1989, Tom Rathman was never named to the Pro Bowl- partially because the fullback position was never considered a separate position from runningback in Pro Bowl voting until 1993.
After 9 seasons, Tom would take some time off and then return to sport as a coach. In 1997 he’d become the 49ers runningbacks coach, on Steve Mariucci’s staff and then later followed Mooch to Detroit in 2003. In 2006, he coached with the Oakland Raiders, – a position that he held with the team until he returned to the 49ers staff in 2009.
The gods of Tecmo Bowl saw Tom Rathman, and looked favorably upon the stout fullback in his quest for glory. Rewarded by Tecmo he’d be graciously awarded monster hitting power and receiving ability becoming truly a one-two punch with Roger Craig. Well worth it, I was surprised to get Tom’s autograph on these 3 cards in a short 6 days care of the 49ers organization.
G/Gs 131/107 Rush 544 Yds 2020 Avg 3.7 Td 26 lg 35 | Rec 320 Yds 2684 Avg 8.4 Td 8 Lg 36