Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan, Fred Warner, Jerick McKinnon praise Frank Gore ahead of 49ers-Jets

Sep 16, 2020 at 1:34 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers will have to stop one of the team's icons on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when the team will face running back Frank Gore, who remains a beloved fan-favorite. Gore is in his 16th NFL season and is at the tail end of his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Still, he has the respect of the 49ers coaching staff and players.

"I love Frank Gore," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. "I think he's one of the best running backs to ever to play. I think one of the more underrated running backs to ever play. His longevity and numbers now have finally given him a little bit more attention that is past due."

The 49ers coach remembers when Gore was entering the league. Shanahan was an offensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — his first NFL job. He remembers studying Gore as the running back came out of Miami.

"I loved him then. I loved him every year," Shanahan said. "He runs so hard. The guys that run that hard very rarely can play to his age, which just shows how dedicated he is, how much of a football player he is, and obviously extremely talented. He's a special dude."

Fred Warner will be among the defenders entrusted to stop Gore on Sunday and to help lift the 49ers to a 1-1 record. The linebacker knows what he is up against.

"He's been playing for such a long time at such a high level," Warner said. "It's extremely impressive. It will be an honor to go against him this week. He's still got it. He's going to get downhill and be a tough, physical runner. So we're going to have to make sure we're getting all 11 to the football, as usual, and make sure we're gang-tackling."

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who made his 49ers debut this past weekend, is familiar with Gore and is also impressed by the veteran running back's longevity.

"I've seen clips of Frank Gore. His one-cut ability is just amazing," McKinnon told reporters. "He puts that foot in the ground, and he explodes. The thing that obviously sticks out with him? He's a future Hall of Famer, but just his consistency over the years. Year after year after year after year, he comes in there, he does the same thing. He proves himself. He gets the job done."

The New York Jets are the first of two back-to-back opponents the 49ers will face at MetLife Stadium over the next two weeks. The team is scheduled to play the New York Giants in Week 3.

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