Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports



The 2017 San Francisco 49ers bear no resemblance to the team that running back Frank Gore parted ways with just over two years ago. The 49ers are on their third head coach since Gore left for the Indianapolis Colts via free agency in 2015.

Last year, Gore returned to the Bay Area with the Colts. However, it wasn't to face his former team. Instead, it was a matchup against the Oakland Raiders. On Sunday, Gore will finally face his former team – the team that drafted him in 2005 – for the first time since he left.

On Wednesday morning, the 49ers' all-time leading rusher spoke to Bay Area media via a conference call. While these conference calls typically feature the players or coaches simply responding to questions from reporters, Gore was different. He sounded like he remains a fan of the 49ers and asked the media what they thought of the team. Indianapolis may be 2,000 miles away from San Francisco, but it was obvious from the conversation that Gore keeps up with what the 49ers are doing.

"They're young, Frank," one reporter answered when Gore asked what those on the call thought of the 49ers. The former 49ers running back then started to share his opinion of the team.

"I think they're going in the right direction," Gore said. "They're really tough. I like their coaching staff. I like what they're doing on offense."

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Gore went on to say he also likes what he sees from the 49ers defense, identified Jaquiski Tartt as a player who jumps out to him, and said Eric Reid was playing well before getting hurt.

"I like their D-line," Gore continued. "I think they're going to be alright. I think Jed [York] did a great job of picking the guys he picked to run the team. I think they're going to be ok, especially in the NFC West. You know how it is. It goes in circles. I don't think Seattle's the way how it used to be. Arizona -- you know. I think the Rams got a lot better."

Gore believes that the 49ers have a lot of good pieces in place and will be back making a run at the NFC West soon.

"I want to see them do great," Gore said. "I've been there 10 years. That's what I bleed. I want to see them do good."

Earlier during the conversation, Gore was asked if he regretted how things ended between the 49ers and himself.

"It's the business of the league," Gore responded. "They had a young guy (in Carlos Hyde). Trent Baalke drafted him and that's the reason he wanted to play him. They wanted to go in a new direction. What can I do? I just know when I left, I left on good terms. I played great ball for the York family, for my fans out there."

During his career with the 49ers, Gore rushed for a franchise record 11,073 yards through 10 seasons. No 49ers running back in franchise history had more 1,000-yard rushing seasons than Gore, who had eight.

Gore is just four yards shy of passing the great Eric Dickerson (13,259 yards) on the all-time rushing list, which would rank him seventh. Last season, he finished with 1,025 rushing yards with Indianapolis. This season, he has 191 yards on 61 attempts and two touchdowns through four games. Gore is in his third season with the Colts.



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