Coach Tom Rathman leading strong 49ers run game

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 16, 2011
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer Tom Rathman is slow to hand out praise and quick to tell it like it is. San Francisco's intense, no-nonsense running backs coach played for the 49ers during their glory days, and he knows what it takes to get to the top and stay there. That's why he demands so much from his players. It's their job to get first downs. It's their job to get in the end zone. And it's because of the 49ers' impressive play so far in the running game that quarterback Alex Smith was so successful in the passing attack in Sunday's win against the New York Giants. Rathman has what coach Jim Harbaugh calls ''tough love'' with the men he leads. Two-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore not excluded.
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