Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by pwillis52beasty:
Originally posted by BobS:Um no. He still had 1100 yards going against 8 men boxes. Drastic decline? You along with so many others are just assuming that there has been a big drop off in his play simply because he is now over 30 years old and so many running backs are done at that time. Frank Gore's numbers suggest otherwise. And Frank has never had breakaway speed so I don't know how you're going to say two years ago he would have scored. There was a similar play that happened two years ago against the Lions in Detroit. And you know what, he was run down by Chris Houston. That's never been his game. His game is his great vision and immediate burst through the hole. He still has both of those. His running style is very similar to Emmitt Smith, who played until he was 35 years old. If he's still going well over the 1000 yard mark against 8 men in the box, the dude is still playing at a very high level and is still a top back in the league.
True Frank Gore was the consistent hard working lone bright spot on this team for many of the 8 straight years of not making the play-offs. The NFL needs to allow a few cap exceptions so people like Frank don't get dumped in their twilight years because of salary cap constraints. Everybody here loves Frank but those that didn't see his drastic decline last year are blinded by that love. The stand out one was the 50 yard run against Seattle where he had a 5+ yard lead on the closest defender and was run down from behind. That would have been a 70 yard TD two years ago. We ended up with a field goal and had to sweat a 2 point win. I say bring him back as a third down back, but not at his current cap number.
I think where I saw the drop off is in his explosion through the line. The old Gore explodes through the line and is decisive and hits defenders low and his momentum alone helps picks up additional yardage (and he doesn't go down right away/spirts through for another yard or two). I also saw him get tackled from behind going into the hole a lot...so explosion, quickness, burst and well, he's never had speed and Father Time are working against him and I think Harbaugh's comments right after he NFCCG re: Lattimore was his way of ushering in a new era and preparing fans for the inevitable. And b/c Gore doesn't have the lateral speed to get consistent runs off tackle, it makes it much easier for defenders to stack the box inside the T's and run blitz (and predictable play calling doesn't help at all either). So IMHO, we NEED a complete back if we're going to lean on this offensive philosophy.
TBH, some of these issues may have been d/t to nagging injuries but Gore seems to have nagging injuries every year and some may eb d/t to his style of play and age.
Well he may not have quite the same burst as he did when he was 24 years old, but the guy is far from being done. If you're still gaining over 1100 yards, over 4 yards per carry, with close to 10 touchdowns against 8 men boxes, you obviously still have the burst. I've seen it with the eye test too. He's always been north and south runner and he still has the ability to burst through the hole.