“The adventure has been loopy,” Mostert stated Sunday night. “No longer everyone can take care of that form of pressure and ache and agony that I went thru. I saved the religion in no longer handiest myself, however whoever gave me the chance.”
In San Francisco’s storied historical past, no working again had ever produced an afternoon like Mostert on Sunday. He rushed for 220 yards — second-most in NFL playoff historical past — on 29 carries and scored 4 touchdowns. Whilst Jimmy Garoppolo handed handiest 8 instances, Mostert exploded thru holes, sprinted clear of defensive backs and shocked defenders. Teammates appreciate each his taste — “fearless,” left take on Joe Staley stated — and his tale.
“There’s not anything misleading about him,” 49ers take on Mike McGlinchey stated. “He hits the opening, and now and again it looks as if a blur goes via you. He runs with such hearth, runs so onerous, is so sturdy and fast. There’s no longer sufficient good stuff you’ll be able to say about Raheem Mostert.”
For Sunday to occur, Mostert needed to first look ahead to a broader alternative, person who salvaged his occupation. Mostert entered the league out of Purdue after each crew handed on him within the draft, signing as a loose agent with the Eagles in 2015. The Eagles cut him after training camp — the date in Mostert’s telephone is Sept. 7, 2015 — and signed him to their apply squad. The Dolphins signed him, handiest to chop him a month later. He spent two months in Baltimore, and completed the season with the Browns, who would narrow him within the offseason earlier than the beginning of the 2016 season.
After his rookie yr, Mostert used to be not sure he may just resist the psychic toll of having reduce once more. He talked along with his spouse about leaving soccer in the back of.
“She informed me should you in point of fact love this recreation, you’re going to do what you want to do,” Mostert stated. “That’s what I wished.”
However his moment season spread out like his first. The Jets picked him up, handiest to chop him every week later. The Bears signed him, and Mostert lasted about two months earlier than Chicago launched him.
“Simply getting reduce such a lot of instances, I was proof against it,” Mostert stated. “It used to be a type of issues the place, it doesn’t matter what, simply play my recreation to the most productive of my skills, and when I am getting my alternative, simply let it shine.”
Mostert signed with the 49ers 4 days after the Bears reduce him, and shortly they increased him from the apply squad to the 53-man roster. Mostert had performed for 6 groups and not recorded a unmarried raise, however he had proven indicators he belonged. San Francisco fullback Kyle Juszczyk overlapped with Mostert all through his temporary Ravens tenure, and he believed then Mostert may just thrive in the precise spot.
“He used to be doing exceptional on particular groups,” Juszczyk stated. “It didn’t topic the place we punted. He used to be making the take on or he’s forcing an excellent catch each unmarried time.”
Through happenstance, within the 49ers Mostert in any case discovered the very best crew for his skill. In a while after he arrived, the 49ers fired Chip Kelly and employed Kyle Shanahan to be their head trainer. Shanahan predicates his offense on working backs who run with out flash, who see a hollow, take one reduce and blaze thru it. Mostert’s pace and fearlessness made him a great are compatible.
“Defenses, they underestimate his pace,” tight finish George Kittle stated. “You’ll simply see it. He’ll hit a hollow and the man will take what he thinks is a great attitude, and the following factor you realize, he’s via him. Doesn’t even contact him. His zero-to-60 is actually two steps.”
It nonetheless took Mostert time to ascertain himself in San Francisco’s backfield. He earned his roster spot thru protecting kicks and punts — “he’s arguably the most productive particular groups participant within the league,” McGlinchey stated. However the 49ers received a bunch of working backs, in each loose company at the draft, with out plans for Mostert. He gained six carries in an injury-shortened 2017 and handiest 34 closing season. He carved a bigger position this season, working for 772 yards on 137 carries.
“Numerous guys say this can be a particular crew, particular crew,” Staley stated. “It’s on account of guys like him. He by no means complains about his rule. He’s a unique groups ace. By no means complained as soon as. He’s persisted to paintings as onerous as he may just and take a look at to be the most productive participant he might be for this crew. He used to be by no means a man if he wasn’t getting carries after he had good fortune, he wasn’t like, ‘Why aren’t I getting the ball?’ ”
“He’s simply earned the whole thing,” Shanahan stated Sunday night. “He earned lately. He’s any such just right particular person. I will be able to’t say sufficient just right about Raheem.”
Mostert is paying homage to the working backs Shanahan’s father, Mike, leaned on all through his two-Tremendous Bowl run as Denver’s head trainer within the 1990s. Terrell Davis used to be a sixth-round select who was a Corridor of Famer, and Mike Anderson (some other sixth-round select) and Olandis Gary (fourth around) each produced 1,000-yard seasons. Mostert raved about studying from 49ers working backs trainer Bobby Turner, who held the similar position for Mike Shanahan.
“What he’s going to do is get you that additional yardage,” Mike Shanahan stated.
This yr, Mostert added two extra essential dates in his lifestyles. On March 19, the 49ers signed him to a three-year, $eight.7 million contract. His first kid, Gunnar Gray Mostert, used to be born June 22. Sunday night, Mostert stood on a level at the Levi’s Stadium box and held Gunnar in his hands, dressed in an NFC champions T-shirt and taking questions from an interviewer.
“That’s a second I’m going to cherish ceaselessly,” Mostert stated. “For him so that you can have that chance, be on level with me after what I achieved, after what I accomplished been thru, I will be able to’t put it into phrases the way it feels.”
Mostert known as Sunday the happiest day of his lifestyles in the back of his marriage ceremony and the delivery of his son. He’ll take note Jan. 19, even though he by no means has to write down it down.