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Has Frank Gore *truly* lost a step?

Gore is a true Niner and nobody loves his heart and love of the game more then me. He's a winner and a leader. Period.

That said, he's been abused physically over the years and I can't remember the last time he's been truly healthy for a long stretch. If we were to look at Gore through the eyes of Bill Walsh, Gore is done and we never would have signed him LT like we just did. That contract was for what he had previous produced and our loyalty to him for all he's done for us.

If we were to objectively look at his skill-set, here are the issues:
1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
2. Gore has lost a LOT of quickness as well. I counted a number of times he was caught from behind by a DL before he even got to the hole (not good). He's clearly lost his burst.
3. Gore psyche is waning as we saw the emergence of Hunter last year and his initial reaction on sidelines (no happy). Now we added Jacobs and James and other depth.
4. Gore, last year, was the worst I have ever seen him in blitz pick up and dropped passes.

In short, if you don't have a RB who can beat defenses inside the tackles AND outside the tackles, who struggled in pass catching (e.g. screens esp.) and struggled in blitz pick ups, this offense becomes one-dimensional. This is why we picked up James as he can rush inside, outside, can ad lib, is a great receiver, excels at screens, you can line him up at WR, has the vision/quickness/top-end speed, etc. Nobody has better vision in the NFL over Gore and Gore will squeeze through holes like no other. He can still be productive but last year really showed, esp. in the Giants game, that when you have a one-dimensional back, defenses can stack the box and run blitz between the tackles all day (en route to stacking the box - look at both our 1st and 3rd down yardage gains).

The FO sees this. Like with Ginn out, their presence on the field alone, forces teams to back off the LOS and respect their speed (see how Davis scored 2 TD's against them). Now, with deep speed and proven production with Moss and Manningham and Davis, you add a Sproles-like guy in Hunter/James and another sure-handed burner in Jenkins, defenses will HAVE to play off the LOS which Gore and the RB-by-committee can exploit inside and outside and in the passing game AND allow them to roll out in the flats (vs. staying in to block extra blockers = provide more outlets for Alex).

Smart FO indeed. As to Gore, don't be surprised if Gore is initially successful but tailors off as the year progresses as guys such as James/Hunter get more and more carries and the offense evolves into a more multi-dimentional threat!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Gore is a true Niner and nobody loves his heart and love of the game more then me. He's a winner and a leader. Period.

That said, he's been abused physically over the years and I can't remember the last time he's been truly healthy for a long stretch. If we were to look at Gore through the eyes of Bill Walsh, Gore is done and we never would have signed him LT like we just did. That contract was for what he had previous produced and our loyalty to him for all he's done for us.

If we were to objectively look at his skill-set, here are the issues:
1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
2. Gore has lost a LOT of quickness as well. I counted a number of times he was caught from behind by a DL before he even got to the hole (not good). He's clearly lost his burst.
3. Gore psyche is waning as we saw the emergence of Hunter last year and his initial reaction on sidelines (no happy). Now we added Jacobs and James and other depth.
4. Gore, last year, was the worst I have ever seen him in blitz pick up and dropped passes.

In short, if you don't have a RB who can beat defenses inside the tackles AND outside the tackles, who struggled in pass catching (e.g. screens esp.) and struggled in blitz pick ups, this offense becomes one-dimensional. This is why we picked up James as he can rush inside, outside, can ad lib, is a great receiver, excels at screens, you can line him up at WR, has the vision/quickness/top-end speed, etc. Nobody has better vision in the NFL over Gore and Gore will squeeze through holes like no other. He can still be productive but last year really showed, esp. in the Giants game, that when you have a one-dimensional back, defenses can stack the box and run blitz between the tackles all day (en route to stacking the box - look at both our 1st and 3rd down yardage gains).

The FO sees this. Like with Ginn out, their presence on the field alone, forces teams to back off the LOS and respect their speed (see how Davis scored 2 TD's against them). Now, with deep speed and proven production with Moss and Manningham and Davis, you add a Sproles-like guy in Hunter/James and another sure-handed burner in Jenkins, defenses will HAVE to play off the LOS which Gore and the RB-by-committee can exploit inside and outside and in the passing game AND allow them to roll out in the flats (vs. staying in to block extra blockers = provide more outlets for Alex).

Smart FO indeed. As to Gore, don't be surprised if Gore is initially successful but tailors off as the year progresses as guys such as James/Hunter get more and more carries and the offense evolves into a more multi-dimentional threat!

all of this
Originally posted by NCommand:
Gore is a true Niner and nobody loves his heart and love of the game more then me. He's a winner and a leader. Period.

That said, he's been abused physically over the years and I can't remember the last time he's been truly healthy for a long stretch. If we were to look at Gore through the eyes of Bill Walsh, Gore is done and we never would have signed him LT like we just did. That contract was for what he had previous produced and our loyalty to him for all he's done for us.

If we were to objectively look at his skill-set, here are the issues:
1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
2. Gore has lost a LOT of quickness as well. I counted a number of times he was caught from behind by a DL before he even got to the hole (not good). He's clearly lost his burst.
3. Gore psyche is waning as we saw the emergence of Hunter last year and his initial reaction on sidelines (no happy). Now we added Jacobs and James and other depth.
4. Gore, last year, was the worst I have ever seen him in blitz pick up and dropped passes.

In short, if you don't have a RB who can beat defenses inside the tackles AND outside the tackles, who struggled in pass catching (e.g. screens esp.) and struggled in blitz pick ups, this offense becomes one-dimensional. This is why we picked up James as he can rush inside, outside, can ad lib, is a great receiver, excels at screens, you can line him up at WR, has the vision/quickness/top-end speed, etc. Nobody has better vision in the NFL over Gore and Gore will squeeze through holes like no other. He can still be productive but last year really showed, esp. in the Giants game, that when you have a one-dimensional back, defenses can stack the box and run blitz between the tackles all day (en route to stacking the box - look at both our 1st and 3rd down yardage gains).

The FO sees this. Like with Ginn out, their presence on the field alone, forces teams to back off the LOS and respect their speed (see how Davis scored 2 TD's against them). Now, with deep speed and proven production with Moss and Manningham and Davis, you add a Sproles-like guy in Hunter/James and another sure-handed burner in Jenkins, defenses will HAVE to play off the LOS which Gore and the RB-by-committee can exploit inside and outside and in the passing game AND allow them to roll out in the flats (vs. staying in to block extra blockers = provide more outlets for Alex).

Smart FO indeed. As to Gore, don't be surprised if Gore is initially successful but tailors off as the year progresses as guys such as James/Hunter get more and more carries and the offense evolves into a more multi-dimentional threat!

Post of the mother f**king year!!!
  • titan
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,668
Frank Gore is one of my favorite players of all time! It's just the types of injury he accumulated just doesn't get better with time. Most athletes with the type of injuries Gore had are lucky to be backups or even be in the the NFL.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Gore is a true Niner and nobody loves his heart and love of the game more then me. He's a winner and a leader. Period.

That said, he's been abused physically over the years and I can't remember the last time he's been truly healthy for a long stretch. If we were to look at Gore through the eyes of Bill Walsh, Gore is done and we never would have signed him LT like we just did. That contract was for what he had previous produced and our loyalty to him for all he's done for us.

If we were to objectively look at his skill-set, here are the issues:
1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
2. Gore has lost a LOT of quickness as well. I counted a number of times he was caught from behind by a DL before he even got to the hole (not good). He's clearly lost his burst.
3. Gore psyche is waning as we saw the emergence of Hunter last year and his initial reaction on sidelines (no happy). Now we added Jacobs and James and other depth.
4. Gore, last year, was the worst I have ever seen him in blitz pick up and dropped passes.

In short, if you don't have a RB who can beat defenses inside the tackles AND outside the tackles, who struggled in pass catching (e.g. screens esp.) and struggled in blitz pick ups, this offense becomes one-dimensional. This is why we picked up James as he can rush inside, outside, can ad lib, is a great receiver, excels at screens, you can line him up at WR, has the vision/quickness/top-end speed, etc. Nobody has better vision in the NFL over Gore and Gore will squeeze through holes like no other. He can still be productive but last year really showed, esp. in the Giants game, that when you have a one-dimensional back, defenses can stack the box and run blitz between the tackles all day (en route to stacking the box - look at both our 1st and 3rd down yardage gains).

The FO sees this. Like with Ginn out, their presence on the field alone, forces teams to back off the LOS and respect their speed (see how Davis scored 2 TD's against them). Now, with deep speed and proven production with Moss and Manningham and Davis, you add a Sproles-like guy in Hunter/James and another sure-handed burner in Jenkins, defenses will HAVE to play off the LOS which Gore and the RB-by-committee can exploit inside and outside and in the passing game AND allow them to roll out in the flats (vs. staying in to block extra blockers = provide more outlets for Alex).

Smart FO indeed. As to Gore, don't be surprised if Gore is initially successful but tailors off as the year progresses as guys such as James/Hunter get more and more carries and the offense evolves into a more multi-dimentional threat!

Post of the mother f**king year!!!

Once again, Ncommand dropping knowledge.
Originally posted by NCommand:

1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
So, would you then say... Garrison Hearst... never had the speed to run off-tackle and never possessed top end speed? That Hearst is only a home-run threat if he can beat the 9 box?

I'm just gonna stop here, because I respect your previous posts too much to go further into your post here (which plenty I disagree with). If you'd care to answer the first questions though, that would be appreciated.
LOL. Thanks all.

With the kind of heart, familiarity in this offense and psyche Frank has, if he can remain productive while playing less and can pick up a mentorship role over the next two or three years, this would be ideal for the "team." And Gore has always seemed to be all about the "team" and winning. Be the better man Gore and this team may just get you the ring you've more than earned/deserved! That is in line with the SF player alumni tradition of passing down knowledge to the next guy - to a team that can manage itself. It's good to be getting back to tradition again and consequently, a WINNING tradition.

Red/Gold!
  • DRnSFw
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 48,046
I heard Frank Gire is into Dubstep
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by NCommand:

1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
So, would you then say... Garrison Hearst... never had the speed to run off-tackle and never possessed top end speed? That Hearst is only a home-run threat if he can beat the 9 box?

I'm just gonna stop here, because I respect your previous posts too much to go further into your post here (which plenty I disagree with). If you'd care to answer the first questions though, that would be appreciated.

My man! Hearst? You're taking me back some and testing my memory here. So I'll just focus on Gore in today's game. And to be fair to Gore, I would describe him as the best down hill RB in the game during his prime with unbelievable vision and an ability to slip through holes that are barely there and get the most yards out of them. He also used to be one of the quickest I've seen to holes AS they were opening up. But no, he's never been a strong lateral runner nor does he possess consistent top end break-away speed. And last year, I think he mightily struggled with pass catching and blocking (two areas he used to excel at). His inability to quickly hit the hole last year seemed to drop off as well. And again, he played through several nagging injuries as well. I don't want to minimize Frank b/c he STILL put up 1,200 yards last year but rather, provide rationale for why I felt (and the FO did) spend a high draft pick on a multi-dimensional RB for the next phase of our offensive roll-out in year 2.

PS: I do want to note that Gore has been ultra productive in a anemically creative offense where he was the bell-cow and everyone in the league knew it. And he paid the ultimate price for it with his health. Add in unimaginative OC's every year with an equally beat up QB and OL, few other consistent weapons and a team that has also struggled with consistently blocking for off-tackle runs all contribute to my views on Gore's production and abilities. I still believe Gore has never been a RB who is going to beat a defense to the corner on a consistent basis, however.

You know I love rebuttals so please, don't hesitate to challenge me any time. I might not be seeing something you do or I have overlooked some important point!s
Answer: yes. Just a few years ago, when he got into the open field, ahead of defenders, he could outrun them to either the end zone, or very close to it. He's getting caught from behind a lot more often now. It happens to most RB's after 7 years of heavy use. I'd expect Baalke to draft a big RB next year...thought he'd do it this year, but James was too much to pass up. Harbaugh had a lot to do with taking him, too, after getting burned repeatedly by his explosiveness at Stanford. Using Gore, Hunter, Jacobs and now James will provide a diverse running and receiving attack. It should help Gore avoid some hits and hopefully lengthen his career.
Originally posted by NCommand:
My man! Hearst? You're taking me back some and testing my memory here. So I'll just focus on Gore in today's game. And to be fair to Gore, I would describe him as the best down hill RB in the game during his prime with unbelievable vision and an ability to slip through holes that are barely there and get the most yards out of them. He also used to be one of the quickest I've seen to holes AS they were opening up. But no, he's never been a strong lateral runner nor does he possess consistent top end break-away speed. And last year, I think he mightily struggled with pass catching and blocking (two areas he used to excel at). His inability to quickly hit the hole last year seemed to drop off as well. And again, he played through several nagging injuries as well. I don't want to minimize Frank b/c he STILL put up 1,200 yards last year but rather, provide rationale for why I felt (and the FO did) spend a high draft pick on a multi-dimensional RB for the next phase of our offensive roll-out in year 2.

PS: I do want to note that Gore has been ultra productive in a anemically creative offense where he was the bell-cow and everyone in the league knew it. And he paid the ultimate price for it with his health. Add in unimaginative OC's every year with an equally beat up QB and OL, few other consistent weapons and a team that has also struggled with consistently blocking for off-tackle runs all contribute to my views on Gore's production and abilities. I still believe Gore has never been a RB who is going to beat a defense to the corner on a consistent basis, however.

You know I love rebuttals so please, don't hesitate to challenge me any time. I might not be seeing something you do or I have overlooked some important point!s

Frank is what he is.. what he always is.. He has shift quickness and great vision (like you said), and no, he's not nor ever was a 4.3 speed-back that scare the crap out of defenses outside of the tackles.

I definitely do agree that last year was his worst in regards to blitz pick-up as well as catching short passes out of the backfield.

Has he really lost his quickness? I'm not at all so quick as to believe so. There were times when Gore hesitated and was tackled from behind. There were times when he lacked patience and just ran up his OL's back.. he wanted to get what few yards he could and expected to get less in some circumstances where patience was needed.

I guess so many of these posts do come off to me as some fans prematurely ready to send him to the retirement home. Gore is what he is... is what he always was (with better focus applied to the pass blocks and receptions). I was ALL for us drafting a speed-back the past 3 years to complement him well. I like both Hunter and James, as they are my favorite types of RBs. But no.. I don't like all that I read about the recent opinions of Gore. He came out looking quick last season... and he finished looking quick (for the most part). We all probably remember how hard he trains each offseason.. and I for one am not yet ready to send him off to the glue-factory.
How many yards does he need to pass the other record?
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by NCommand:
My man! Hearst? You're taking me back some and testing my memory here. So I'll just focus on Gore in today's game. And to be fair to Gore, I would describe him as the best down hill RB in the game during his prime with unbelievable vision and an ability to slip through holes that are barely there and get the most yards out of them. He also used to be one of the quickest I've seen to holes AS they were opening up. But no, he's never been a strong lateral runner nor does he possess consistent top end break-away speed. And last year, I think he mightily struggled with pass catching and blocking (two areas he used to excel at). His inability to quickly hit the hole last year seemed to drop off as well. And again, he played through several nagging injuries as well. I don't want to minimize Frank b/c he STILL put up 1,200 yards last year but rather, provide rationale for why I felt (and the FO did) spend a high draft pick on a multi-dimensional RB for the next phase of our offensive roll-out in year 2.

PS: I do want to note that Gore has been ultra productive in a anemically creative offense where he was the bell-cow and everyone in the league knew it. And he paid the ultimate price for it with his health. Add in unimaginative OC's every year with an equally beat up QB and OL, few other consistent weapons and a team that has also struggled with consistently blocking for off-tackle runs all contribute to my views on Gore's production and abilities. I still believe Gore has never been a RB who is going to beat a defense to the corner on a consistent basis, however.

You know I love rebuttals so please, don't hesitate to challenge me any time. I might not be seeing something you do or I have overlooked some important point!s

Frank is what he is.. what he always is.. He has shift quickness and great vision (like you said), and no, he's not nor ever was a 4.3 speed-back that scare the crap out of defenses outside of the tackles.

I definitely do agree that last year was his worst in regards to blitz pick-up as well as catching short passes out of the backfield.

Has he really lost his quickness? I'm not at all so quick as to believe so. There were times when Gore hesitated and was tackled from behind. There were times when he lacked patience and just ran up his OL's back.. he wanted to get what few yards he could and expected to get less in some circumstances where patience was needed.

I guess so many of these posts do come off to me as some fans prematurely ready to send him to the retirement home. Gore is what he is... is what he always was (with better focus applied to the pass blocks and receptions). I was ALL for us drafting a speed-back the past 3 years to complement him well. I like both Hunter and James, as they are my favorite types of RBs. But no.. I don't like all that I read about the recent opinions of Gore. He came out looking quick last season... and he finished looking quick (for the most part). We all probably remember how hard he trains each offseason.. and I for one am not yet ready to send him off to the glue-factory.

Well stated and as always, very much respect your opinion. I believe I even stated his role would transition in year 2 or 3 from originally being the bell cow to sharing carries to a situation back who is now mentoring the young guys on work ethics, character, heart, desire and how to be a champion (e.g. a Niner). I think last year was the first year he had his ego challenged and it showed. For the first time in his career, his job/role isn't safe and he's sharing the workload despite signing the big, secure contract (the signifies security and commitment from the FO). I think THIS year though, he could be even more successful with less carries and less pounding and be more focused and get back to being who he is, like you say. I genuinely mean that. I certainly wouldn't write him off like many did last year before he went on a tear. Now its about sustaining that tear for the whole season and during the playoffs. This FO will take care of Gore but they will take care of the team first and get him a ring one way or another, no matter what his role is!
Gore actually had the second most carries in a season of his career last season. Add in his carries in the playoffs and he's only one carry below his career high in a season (312 in 2006). Given his age, is it any wonder he seemed to run out of gas after a great start?

People need to shut up about Gore being done. He isn't the bell cow he used to be, but if we can limit Gore's carries to around 200, in all likelihood those 200 carries will be the most productive of any running back on the 49ers.

Prediction:
Gore: 200 carries
Hunter: 150 carries
James: 100 carries
Jacobs: 50 carries

We'll mix in a good dose Gore with a sprinkling of Hunter and James on 1st and 2nd downs, Hunter and Jones on 3rd downs, and Jacobs on short yardage and goal-line situations.
  • BobS
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 7,814
Frank will be 29 before the season starts, that is the magic age when all running backs go downhill fast. Plenty running backs that are considered elite at 28 are out of the league at 30. Remember Shaun Alexander, pro bowler at 28 with career best average per carry and yardage. Next two years a 3.5 ypc scrub. I doubt Frank after facing 8 men in the box for years will defeat father time. Expect this year to be a big fall off.