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Westbrook more valuable than Gore in a Harbaugh offense?

What do people think? Is Brian Westbrook, arguably one of the top 3 NFL running backs in terms of receiving ability (and not a bad runner either) a better fit than Frank Gore in a Harbaugh WCO-style offensive scheme?
no
That's an interesting question.

Being on the East Coast, I didn't get a chance to see Stanford play as frequently as I had wanted, but over the course of the three games I did see I was impressed by the frequency with which Harbaugh uses power running plays. That said, many of these runs came off of the sweep (oh God no! not the sweep again! ;) ) so that raises as many questions in my mind as it answers.

Last, while we tend to think if Westbrook as the prototypical WCO back, Gore is no slouch coming out of the backfield either. Just ask Alex.

I say split the middle. Keep both and use both!
I think I recall Toby Gerhart, a big bruiser type back have MUCH success under Harbaugh so I will EASILY say....NO

Frank Gore can make you miss, run through you, big up blockers (with the best of them) and catch out of the backfield.

Westbrook can do all of that EXCEPT run though you so I'd give the edge to Gore. I think Westbrook is more shifty of course but that doesn't mean Gore can't be elusive. Westbrook CANT run through anyone on a consistent basis
Gore's receiving skills = Great
Wesbtrook's receving skills = Amazing

They're both great, but Gore is a better overall back.

But Harbaugh's offense in Stanford liked to run 60% of the time. They had A LOT of good backs, so we BETTER keep Westbrook!
  • buck
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Originally posted by BubbaParisMVP:
That's an interesting question.

Being on the East Coast, I didn't get a chance to see Stanford play as frequently as I had wanted, but over the course of the three games I did see I was impressed by the frequency with which Harbaugh uses power running plays. That said, many of these runs came off of the sweep (oh God no! not the sweep again! ;) ) so that raises as many questions in my mind as it answers.

Last, while we tend to think if Westbrook as the prototypical WCO back, Gore is no slouch coming out of the backfield either. Just ask Alex.

I say split the middle. Keep both and use both!

yes, this.
Roger Craig and Tom Rathman were power runners and Gores receiving abilities are under rated.

I'm just happy that we wil see a lot more trap plays.
Originally posted by Wubbie:
But Harbaugh's offense in Stanford liked to run 60% of the time. They had A LOT of good backs, so we BETTER keep Westbrook!

That's an excellent point.
Originally posted by TheGoldenState:
no
  • Kelv
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I agree with all you guys about Gore's receiving ability. Way above average and could get better with a well run O.
Anthony Dixon will be his main back.
NO. Gore is in my mind every bit the pass protector and route runner that Westbrook is. He's also a better runner overall and Harbaugh does like to load the line of scrimage and get between the tackles. Gore is more important. Harbaugh also uses his fullback plenty.

Now if you asked me I'd like to see Gore play some FB with Westbrook as the tail. I think if gore would be the Roger Craig style FB you could see something special in the backfield like our 84 team.
Originally posted by VA49er:
NO. Gore is in my mind every bit the pass protector and route runner that Westbrook is. He's also a better runner overall and Harbaugh does like to load the line of scrimage and get between the tackles. Gore is more important. Harbaugh also uses his fullback plenty.

Now if you asked me I'd like to see Gore play some FB with Westbrook as the tail. I think if gore would be the Roger Craig style FB you could see something special in the backfield like our 84 team.

Gold Coast Twins Part Deux? I like it . I think the coming of Harbaugh looks very good to Westbrook and he may be more likely to sign with us knowing that he will be used and will have a coach that knows how to use his talents. Hope we lock him up for 2-3 years, extend Gore, and get Dixon involved more. A 60-30-10 split as it relates to carries for Gore, Westbrook, and Dixon respectively.
as westbrook and gore get older i think the real question is this

is dixon good enough to play in the west coast offense. i like what i see out of him rushing the ball although he needs to learn when to just drive ahead instead of making moves however im not so sure he is all that capable catching the ball out of the backfield.

if we bring westbrook back are we capable of drafting another rb this year after taking coffee and dixon in back to back drafts.
Originally posted by VaBeachNiner:
Anthony Dixon will be his main back.

It might be interesting to look at the RBs (not including FBs) Harbaugh had at Stanford this past year, all of whom he recruited:

Usua Amanam 5-10 184
Ricky Seale 5-9 192
Michael Spanos 5-10 185
Jeremy Stewart 6-1 218
Andrew Stutz 6-1 202
Stepfan Taylor 5-11 208
Anthony Wilkerson 6-1 220
Jackson Cummings 5-9 195
Tyler Gaffney 6-1 216
Matt Walter 5-11 180

Stepfan Taylor was by far the leading RB in Harbaugh's offense, with 223 carries and 28 catches (tied for third among receivers).

It'll be interesting to see what role Anthony Dixon has on the team in the coming years. Perhaps he becomes a multidimensional FB (depending on his blocking and receiving to complement his rushing skills) which would be a formidable combination with either Westbrook or Gore. If Rathman stays, Dixon will be an intriguing project for him in a Harbaugh-flavored WCO.

[ Edited by 49erThrowback on Jan 8, 2011 at 08:14:36 ]