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Rathman leads 49ers' war cry to physically 'dominate' opponents

If you watched him play, it's nearly impossible to forget the bulldozing fury of Tom Rathman, the fullback who blasted holes for Roger Craig and the 49ers during the franchise's glorious run in the late-1980s.

Now Rathman's the running backs coach on Jim Harbaugh's 49ers staff, and if he's mellowed a tad, you wouldn't know it. That hunt-to-kill mentality is still evident when he speaks about the physical nature behind San Francisco's surprising 7-1 start.

"When we win, we want to dominate," Rathman said via the San Francisco Chronicle. "We want to take guys out. We want to hurt guys. We want to win. We just want to dominate, hit them in the mouth."

OK, we get it.

Sound like a guy coasting into the mellow days of later life?

Rathman's project this season has been the development of rookie fullback Bruce Miller, nicknamed "mini-Rathman" by Frank Gore. Rathman was thrilled to see Miller score his first NFL touchdown in the Niners' 19-11 win over the Redskins on Sunday, but he didn't think much of the rookie leaving the ball with the officials instead of taking it as a souvenir.

"He's not very smart. He should have kept the football," Rathman said. "I don't know if he's ever scored a touchdown before. Obviously he didn't know what to do when he got in there. I told him to act like a pro, like you've been there before."

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