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Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Staley to Frank Gore: ‘You’re my favorite player in the history of the world’

Nov 15, 2018 at 9:17 AM--

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Former San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, currently with the Miami Dolphins, remains a fan favorite among the Niner Faithful. He currently ranks No. 4 all-time with 14,554 career rushing yards and is just 715 yards shy of the No. 3 spot owned by Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

Gore remains the 49ers' franchise rushing leader with 11,073 yards. No San Francisco running back has had more 1,000-yard rushing seasons than his eight.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh this week called Gore his favorite player of all-time. Harbaugh, of course, coached Gore when the two were together in San Francisco.

Gore hit a milestone this past weekend becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for 500 or more yards for 14 consecutive seasons, passing the 13-season marks of Hall of Fame running backs Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

"14 years of each year rushing for over 500 yards, surpassing Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith, is incredible, just incredible," Harbaugh said unprompted during a press conference this week. "And most of those 14 years, he rushed for a thousand each year."

Gore has rushed for over 1,000 yards nine times in 14 NFL seasons. The last time he accomplished the feat was in 2016 while with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gore responded to Coach Harbaugh's accolades by calling him one of his best coaches.

Few players who were teammates of Gore remain on the 49ers roster. One of those players is tackle Joe Staley, who has been with the team since San Francisco drafted him No. 28 overall in 2007. Staley and Gore played eight seasons together. The veteran tackle responded to Gore's tweet about Harbaugh with an acclamation of his own.

Conversations surrounding Gore have shifted over the years from whether or not he makes the Pro Football Hall of Fame to when he will be inducted. There is no doubt in Staley's mind that the running back should be a first-ballot inductee.

"Not only a Hall of Famer but a first-ballot Hall of Famer, I believe," Staley said on 95.7 The Game back in December. "He's an unbelievable running back. You just don't see that longevity, and the physicality, and everything at the position. For himself to be able to play as long as he has and also at a high level, it's unbelievable."

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