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Has Frank Gore *truly* lost a step?

Every RB going into his 30's loses a step, especially one with over 1600 career carries under his belt. The question is, do you let him walk just before it becomes glaringly apparent or just after? If you take the Bill Walsh approach, you let him walk just before he hits the proverbial "wall" and not after. It's a cold-hearted approach, but it worked for years.
[ Edited by GhostofFredDean74 on Apr 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM ]
get the dude his ring doe
He's lost several steps. RB was one of our biggest needs this offseason, and we certainly addressed it.
Yes, next year we trade a few picks move up and draft Monty Ball.
Frank stopped being frank after the 2008 season (and people don't wanna admit it); although he has not been as productive/fast since, he's still been very serviceable, AND STILL a hard player to replace at his position (given that our offense still revolves around the RB position).
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Frank has NOT lost a thing. He looked as quick as ever during the playoffs. When he hesitated or dove forward for short yards, it was because he lost faith in his blocking and just tried to get what little he could.

I don't understand why Frank gets constantly questioned. The only thing he has to get back to strong is catching the ball and smart pass blocking (focus).

I'm with you man. I'm willing to concede he's lost maybe half a step. Which means to say he's not completely out of his prime, but is beginning his descent down the mountain. Last year he debunked the myth that he was done, a myth that existed even back in 2010. Lot of my friends kept saying that during the first few games, then he tears it up the next 5 weeks and the same friends were saying "man frank gore is a beast". He got banged up eventually (not because of his age, but because he's frank gore and has ALWAYS had injury issues ala Fred Taylor) but came back and was in top form in the playoffs .

i feel like ppl who say Gore is done are the same people that spend more time paying attention to their fantasy teams on Sundays instead of watching football
What I'm concerned most about Gore are the injuries. If he's healthy, Gore should still be as good as ever. It wasn't coincidental that in the last two drives in the game against the Saints in the playoffs, Gore and Davis were the go-to guys for Smith.
He's lost health reliability and a step. He keeps taking himself out of games at the end of the season and in the playoffs. I don't think we can count on him much longer.
After slow start Frank came back strong last year. I dont know how much longer he can play but I think he is fine.
I think Frank's time is closing down soon, and that's coming from someone who absolutely loves him as a player. He's simply wearing out. He's been the only power on our offense for years and years, and it took a toll. He's still great, but he isn't as dominant as he was, and the injury factor still bothers me.
I'm actually surprised at how reasonable all of the responses are. I've seen so many posters who talk as if Gore should just hang it up commenting on this subject that I expected more of the same out of this thread.

Based on age and what we saw this season, he has lost a step. I'd say that we can't count on him to consistently give us multiple 20+ carry games each year. With the proven talent we have in the backfield (Hunter and maybe Jacobs) and the addition of LeMichael James, he shouldn't even half to at this point. The tank may be closer to empty than it is to being full, but he still has enough to finish out the contract extension that was given to him and hopefully retire as the greatest 49er RB of all time and have at least one ring. He does have a few things going for him this season. Not only is he in the 2nd year of this offense, but there are multiple offensive threats, short range and deep, all over the field now that teams cannot stack 8-9 guys in the box anymore in fear that we have guys that can gash them for huge yards in the passing game if not take it all the way to the house.

I'd say he goes from being a 250-300 carry per season guy to being closer to 200, still getting near or just above 1,000 yards since he will be the featured back and will transition from being the feature guy at this point to a key back in the rotation by the time he's at the end of this contract (2014 season?).
I am not sure if Gore has lost a step as he was never fast to begin with, what I dont see is the explosivness that he use to demonstrate when he hit the line.
If he's healthy than I don't believe he's lost much of a step

His major problem is that he just can't stay healthy any more and it seems like he's always nursing injuries that limit his effectiveness.

So the fact of the matter is that he just can't stay healthy enough to be a feature back anymore and he's going to need a significant drop in carries this season in order to hopefully keep him healthy and keep him effective when we need him most at the end of the season and playoffs.
Okay people. Frank Gore made the freaking pro bowl this past season didn't he? Im going off memory here but didn't he amass over 1200 yds rushing? Frank is older and he might have lost a little something but from what I have seen, he is still our number one back. What has always made gore special is his ability to be an every down every situation back. He has impeccable vision timing and explosion THROUGH THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE and upon getting to the initial defender he always gets additional yards after contact. He has never been a burner but he is a positive yds move the sticks running back with soft hands football intellect and top tier blocking. Upstairs Frank has the football understanding to play this game and he still has enough health to contribute in a way to earn another pro bowl berth. I see Kendall Hunter if he bulks up enough to be Frank's replacement and LMJ as the change of pace. What I like about all of them is that they explode THROUGH THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE for chunks of yardage. BTW I believe we lost that NFC chip because we got away from Gore toting the pill on early downs. He was averaging over 5.6 ypc that game. We put the game in Alex's hands when we should have put it in Gore's the second half. NYC dline was smallish and unable to stop the run without putting nine in the box. We outsmarted ourselves and Harbaugh realized it post game.
Originally posted by pakalolo415:
get the dude his ring doe

This...

Give him one more year.