FLORHAM PARK (N.J.) — Roger Craig, a running back, made his first Pro Bowl appearance with the San Francisco 49ersHe was able to meet up with him and learn from them Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton. This was taken in Hawaii following the 1985 season. Craig was so impressed by Payton's willingness and ability to offer career advice that he decided that the best way to honor Payton would be to pay it forward.
Craig would later pass on Payton's wisdom to his younger cousins many years later. Breece HallA rookie running back with New York Jets.
“[Payton]Craig, 61, shared his stories with us, including how to train, run each play as if it were your last, and how to maintain that mindset,” Craig said in an interview with ESPN last week. “Walter really helped my out a lot. I was so sad when he died. [in 1999]. My cousin came over and I thought, “Oh, my god, I must talk to him.” I had a conversation with him in college. It was awesome, my God.
Hall seemed certain to make it to the NFL. Hall was not only gifted with sweetness but was also raised in a running family.
This is a full house backfield.
Hall's stepfather, Jeff Smith, was a star Iback on many great Nebraska teams that Tom Osborne coached in the 1980s. He played four seasons for the Kansas City ChiefsAnd Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kenton Keith, a cousin, was second in rushers for the competition. Indianapolis ColtsIn 2007, I had a cup with the Jets.
Craig, Hall's third cousin, is also there. Hall is very aware of Craig's NFL achievements. Hall was asked about his family's football playing past at the rookie minicamp. Craig was the first person he spoke to when he smiled at him.
Hall viewed YouTube videos as a child to learn the moves of his favorite running backs. They were almost like home movies when Craig was there.
There was much to love. Craig was a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the 49ers and one of the greatest dual threats of his generation. He became the first NFL player to record 1,000 receiving and 1,000 rushing yards in the same NFL season in 1985. He amassed over 13,000 yards of scrimmage in the three years 1983-93, and was named NFL Offensive player of the year in 1988.
Hall received a message from Craig each time he played at Iowa State. Each text was full of congratulations and wise advice. Sometimes he shared his own stories. Sometimes he shared his own experiences. Other times, he relayed the words and phrases of Payton all those years ago at Pro Bowl.
“[Payton]Craig stated that Breece told him to “Hit force with force” and that he shared this with me. “My cousin wanted me to inspire him and I shared lots of things with him. He did his thing. He did what he wanted. He is the man. He's my cousin, and I was able to share some things with him.
Craig, who is from the San Francisco Bay Area, attempted to see every Iowa State game.
Craig said Hall was capable of running 1,000 to 1,000 miles and catching 1,000 balls. Hall is a great player. He has the right tools. He can run the ball, he can catch out of the backfield and he blocks. Like me, he does everything. That is something I love to see. This means that he is a team player, willing to do whatever it takes in order to win.
Hall, an Iowa State former star, was prolific in college. He ran for 3,941 yards and scored 50 touchdowns over three seasons. Hall ran for a touchdown in rushing in 24 consecutive games between the 2020-2021 seasons, which is the longest streak of rushing touchdowns in FBS history. He demonstrated long speed (nine runs of 50-plus yards since 2019, the most among Power 5 schools) and enough elusiveness to lead all FBS running backs with 92 missed tackles in 2021, per ESPN Stats & Information.
He was rated so highly by the Jets (18th on their draft boards) that they attempted to trade him into the last round. They moved him up two spots from 38th to 36th when he fell to the second round because they were afraid that another team would take him. Blair Thomas was No. 2 in 1990, so they made him their highest-drafted runningback. 2nd overall in 1990.
General manager Joe Douglas stated, “The thing that leaps out with him it's his home run threat.” “He can score anywhere on the field.”
Hall felt he should have been selected in the first round, but running back has seen a decline in value over recent years.
“It was demoralizing and frustrating. At times, I would be looking at the past running back statistics who were in the first round. I compared my film with theirs,” he stated. “I was like, “Oh, there isn't too much difference here, why am I not set at a higher standard?” It's what it is. It's a blessing to be here.”
Hall kept his family close to him. No. He wore No. 28, the number that his stepfather used to wear. It is no longer available for him to wear with the Jets, as the number was retired and last worn by Curtis Martin, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. At the moment, he is wearing No. In practice, he's wearing No.
Hall recalled his childhood and how his family used to get very competitive on the basketball court. His stepfather and his older cousins made it difficult.
He said, “They were older than me so I was just a kid.” “They picked on me and blocked me from getting the ball. I was made tougher by that experience. Playing with my older cousins, and older sibling gave me an advantage and made me feel better.
Over the years, players with family ties to the NFL have done well for the Jets. Safety Jamal Adams (2017-1999 with Jets) is the child of former NFL players. New York GiantsGeorge Adams is the running back. Darrelle Revis, former cornerback (2007-2012 and 2015-16), is the nephew to Sean Gilbert, ex-NFL defensive lineman.
Hall is special, according to the Jets. Craig acknowledged that he is biased but believes so.
He said that “my cousin” reminded him of himself.