Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
IMO, we are holding on to Gore way too long.....Unless we believe Hunter is his replacement, it's time to start upgrading.
If Harbaugh is as savy as I think he is, Gore could be the suprise cut this year when we draft his replacement. Maybe we keep him on for leadership and blocking ability.
Bold prediction my friend! I have us going Fleener with #1 and a RB at #2. Hunter is a stud but hasn't been utilized correctly...think he could be a Sproles in our offense, not to mention he has the speed to get outside and hits holes inside very quickly. You can use him out in space and with screens and move him around. Great find.
That said, on to Gore. Who doesn't love this guy, his effort and his heart!? He's a true Niner. That said, if Bill Walsh was here, I doubt he signs a LT deal with us. He is not a WCO-type of back. Clearly, he is more than injury prone and has not only lost speed but quickness esp, getting up in the holes. He's also one-dimensional. He has never been able to run off tackle and this makes it very easy to defend him (see, 8-9 men in the box run blitzing between the Tackles en route to crushing Alex on overloads). He has also been getting progressively worse at catching. His blocking last year was the worst I've seen since his rookie year.
That said, "perhaps" with another weapon like Fleener and two outside threats in Moss and Manningham and Hunter being used correctly, perhaps Gore gets healthy this offseason, he works on his quickness/burst and speed and the holes open up again against less 8-9 men, run-blitzing fronts. BUT he better work on his pass catching and focus on stellar blocking again.
Like with Crabtree, until Hunter, Gore has never been challenged either. I suspect that will change this year with the #2 pick.