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Top 5 with Coach Tom Rathman



Check out this Top Five with running backs coach Tom Rathman, who returns to the 49ers for his second stint on the coaching staff. Rathman played eight seasons in San Francisco and was a member of two Super Bowl Championship teams. Read up on his thoughts on returning to the 49ers organization, his memories of his playing days under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh and also make sure to view our Up Close segment with Rathman on TV49. Q: What was it like to walk again through those doors as a part of the 49ers organization once again?**

A: It was a fantastic feeling, obviously looking at all those Super Bowl trophies. Being part of that and being able to get back into this organization really means a lot to me. We have high expectations coming into this year and hopefully I can be a part of the solution.

Q: Coach Singletary has said that he wants the 49ers to be able to run the ball when the team absolutely has to, as a running backs coach, is that your mindset too?
A: Well whatever we're asked to do, we're going to try and get the job done. The bottom line is results in this game. My expectations are that we want the players to win every snap. For the running backs, I want them to win every snap. I think you can do that just from my experience. When you get 11 guys who start winning every snap, you're going to start winning football games and you're going to be playing at the end of the season.

Q: In your playing career on the 49ers, it seemed like you were part of a few teams who won every snap. You won seven NFC Western Division Championships in your eight seasons. What was so special about those teams that you were a part of?
A: I think more than anything it was the standard that we had. We tried to hold everyone accountable to those standards. Whether it be in practice or in a game, we wanted to execute at a high level. And for the most part, I think we were able to do that. That's the reason why we have five Super Bowl trophies in the lobby.

Q: With your head coach being Bill Walsh, what has his influence been on you as a coach?
A: I think more than anything it was the standards that we tried to uphold here at the 49ers. Certainly, his philosophy was that you had to uphold that standard every time you stepped on the field, whether it was practice or it was a game. That's one thing that we did, we didn't mess around at practice. There wasn't a lot of giggling or messing around on the practice field. The players were accountable and all the other players held everyone accountable. That's where it all starts. You were focused when you stepped on the practice field and we wanted to finish every play. That was the key to every play – finish. Obviously, everybody is familiar with the scheme he put in, the West Coast offense, was the top offense in the league for 20 years.

Q: You played nine years and have a wealth of coaching experience in the NFL, have you seen any changes in the game from when you started?
A: No, it's pretty much the same. It's all about fundamental football. That's one thing I try to emphasize as a coach, because I know if you're a tough guy, you play hard and you're fundamentally sound, you're going to win every snap. And that's what I really try to emphasize.


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