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Jim Harbaugh: I think great things will happen for Marcus Lattimore

Marcus Lattimore AP

Running back Marcus Lattimore had what amounted to a redshirt year for the 49ers in 2013.

Lattimore practiced for a few weeks in December, but was otherwise rehabbing from a major knee injury that ended his final year at South Carolina and left him available for the 49ers to draft in the fourth round. Lattimore reiterated this week that he thought he could have played at the end of the season if the 49ers needed him to play and coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that Lattimore’s work this season has him heading in the right direction.

“I believe so, yes. I think this has been an outstanding year for Marcus. Tough at times, but I think great things will happen for him,” Harbaugh said, via CSNBayArea.com.

Those feelings could impact the 49ers’ approach to the offseason. If they really feel that Lattimore is ready to step in and have great things happen, Frank Gore’s time in San Francisco could be running short. Gore, who turns 31 in May, is set to make $3.3 million next season and is coming off a postseason that saw him run 48 times for 164 yards. That includes a 39-yard scamper against the Panthers, so the majority of Gore’s work was on the unimpressive side and that could lead to a changing of the guard in the 49er backfield.

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40 Responses to “Jim Harbaugh: I think great things will happen for Marcus Lattimore”
  1. ttommytom says: Jan 22, 2014 12:33 PM

    Just push the most underrated player of his generation aside because you know, it’s a ‘business’.

    I hate that ‘it’s a business’ thing.

  2. charmcityravens says: Jan 22, 2014 12:37 PM

    Gore’s performance was absolutely abysmal in the NFC Conference Championship Game. He looked old, slow and washed up.

  3. babyjesus69 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:38 PM

    Gore is not going anywhere next year. Now Boldin, Whitner and Rogers I’m not so sure about but Gore is staying put. He is the heart and soul of that team.

  4. tennis22drew says: Jan 22, 2014 12:39 PM

    The post season running stats weren’t great, but so was the quality of the rush defense competition.

  5. braceyourselffor12 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:40 PM

    With the season over, there’s still plenty to look forward to for the 49er Faithful. Harbaugh and Baalke got two absolute steals from last years draft in Tank Carradine and Lattimore.

    While it would be incredibly sad to see our workhorse leave I’d understand it from a business perspective. Lattimore has time and potential on his side while Gore is on the wrong side of 30 for a RB.

    Either way I’ll root for the Red & Gold till I die.

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  6. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 22, 2014 12:41 PM

    harbaugh said the same thing about NaVorro Bowman.

  7. bradleyj520 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:43 PM

    LOLLLLLL at “most underrated player of his generation”

  8. floratiotime says: Jan 22, 2014 12:43 PM

    Jim Harbaugh: I think all my players are great … and in all the years I’ve coached none of my players have ever committed a penalty.

  9. mrheavyhustle says: Jan 22, 2014 12:43 PM

    Come on man Gore didn’t look old. Every time he got the ball Seahawks were ready for that. They wasn’t going to let Gore beat them again. They clearly wanted to make Kap beat them in air. I will admit though Gore is reaching that age where RBs usually decline. Can’t beat father time man. Rogers most likely out. I see Boldin and Whitner staying put. They won’t lose 2 Pro Bowl safeties back to back seasons. I want him to get a ring so bad, he struggled for so long with them and never once heard him in the media wanting out of there. Loyalty

  10. jayniner says: Jan 22, 2014 12:47 PM

    Gore has been one of the pillars of the team and no one can detract from his contributions to the organization.

    But…it is time to start considering his replacement and a committee-type RB approach using Lattimore, James and Hunter might just be the key to a continued successful running game.

  11. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 22, 2014 12:48 PM

    Gore ain’t going anywhere for $3.3M. Ain’t like we’re talking about CJ w/ his $12M tag.

    Lattimore will have his rookie season next year, essentially and Gore will probably get fewer carries. But they’ll both be effective and Lattimore won’t be as blown away by the speed of the game as most rookies. By the end of the season Lattimore, if healthy, will be fresher than Gore for another run but Gore won’t have as much wear & tear.

    It looks like a great plan to me.

    And +1 to all the kudos for the defenses Gore played against in the playoffs. On the road, too.

  12. hummer53 says: Jan 22, 2014 12:55 PM

    Lordy, I’d take Gore in a New York minute.

  13. ninersblogger says: Jan 22, 2014 12:55 PM

    3.3 million for Frank Gore?

    FRANK FREAKING GORE FOR THREE MILLION A YEAR?!?

  14. drewniner420 says: Jan 22, 2014 1:01 PM

    Whether Gore will take a pay cut or not may be the deciding factor.. even if he has to give his starting job away to some younger legs, he is STILL a NINER for life!!! He should transition into coaching wth the niners the second he retires!! Hes the backbone of our team, will be PISSED if things dont wrk out for frank..

  15. 64post says: Jan 22, 2014 1:03 PM

    Running Gore into 8-9 man fronts and expecting big results falls on the coaching. It’s not Gore’s fault there is nowhere to run most of the time. But he does get caught a lot from behind so speed is a factor for phasing in the new.

  16. jiggybone says: Jan 22, 2014 1:04 PM

    Well numbers speak for themselves and 164 yards on 48 carries isnt very good cause thats an average of 3.4 YPC. Without that little 39 yard run against the panthers it goes down to 2.6 YPC. I’m not saying that Gore is looking old but he’s going to need some help next season.

  17. toooverbearing says: Jan 22, 2014 1:17 PM

    I’m not a Niner fan or a Niner hater… I’m Niner Switzerland.

    But I cannot think of a better situation for Latimore to be in than to redshirt a year behind Frank Gore who went through EXACTLY the same thing he did in college and had to go through the same paces to overcome a potentially career threatening injury to not only run in the NFL, but to be a top tier running back in the NFL.

    I haven’t followed Gore as anything more than a football player, so I don’t know if he’s a great guy or a chump. But if he’s a good teammate to Lattimore, he could be a unique asset to the kid because of his own bio.

  18. joetoronto says: Jan 22, 2014 1:21 PM

    We know, coach. Don’t forget that you also have 5 #1 WR’s and Crabtree has the best hands ever.

    What a nut job.

  19. pillowporkers says: Jan 22, 2014 1:22 PM

    I love the classic twist of, “well if you took out this 39 yard run, his stats are even worse”. Twisting stats to fit your point. Well, he actually did have a 39 yard run. “well if you took out that fumbled handoff carry for -3 yards, and a couple of the ones where there were 8 men in the box and his blocking was bad, his stats are way better.”

  20. bennyb82 says: Jan 22, 2014 1:27 PM

    $3.3 million for Gore is a steal even if you only used him in the regular season. Don’t forget the weather against GB and the fact that Seattle has a great defense…plus he had a broken finger. I absolutely hope the 49ers cut him because Gore is about as hard of a runner that a team could find.

  21. killitandeatit says: Jan 22, 2014 1:28 PM

    I now see Seattle fans dragging NaVarro Bowman into the conversation . Wasn’t pelting him with food enough after his devastating injury ? Marcus Lattimore is the subject and to bring Bowman into this conversation shows the true depth of depravity of the Seattle food thrower fans. I guess when you worship a player like Sherman the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

  22. goldblooded415 says: Jan 22, 2014 1:28 PM

    Gore deserves to be on this team. He’s carried us when times were tough. Hopefully things work out.

  23. maddog111 says: Jan 22, 2014 1:29 PM

    No way do they cut Gore with a salary of $3.3MM in 2014. Especially not for a guy who couldn’t stay healthy throughout his college career, coming off a major knee injury. Rooting for Lattimore, but they’ll ease him in this coming year, and if things go well, he could take over in 2015.

  24. mi6agent says: Jan 22, 2014 1:29 PM

    Gore’s time is not done yet. Gore’s ability to pick up blitz is so crucial for Niners passing game. If not for running, they will need him for passing down until the new RBs proved to be capable of this task. Just ask Steve Young on how Laurence Phillips sent him to retirement.

  25. hopper15 says: Jan 22, 2014 1:39 PM

    Gore’s cap number is 6 mil for next year.

  26. blabidibla says: Jan 22, 2014 1:42 PM

    Gore is a Niner legend, but he has been in decline for years.

    We let Montana go. We can let Gore go too.

  27. billb49 says: Jan 22, 2014 2:01 PM

    Gore will probably rework his contract to cost the team less against the cap and he’ll be there on 3rd downs because most people call him the best blitz blocker in the league. Rathman simply won’t sanction an RB if he can’t block. Once in a while, they’ll change up and run with him to keep defenses honest, but I think Lattimore will be the main running back next season on first and second downs.

  28. maximusprime107 says: Jan 22, 2014 2:20 PM

    It’s funny that we’re talking about 3 million being a high number for a good RB. Oh how far the running games importance has fallen in the NFL

  29. granadafan says: Jan 22, 2014 3:16 PM

    Seattle fans have lost the right to even mention Navarro Bowman’s name unless it’s in the form of shame and an apology for the despicable way they treated him as he was carted off the field.

  30. mspeck68 says: Jan 22, 2014 3:44 PM

    We all love Frank Gore, and all he has accomplished. The fact is, if the 49ers rush for 80 yards in that game with running backs they win. Frank was worn down and can only speculate on the injuries he had. They need an all star running back to really get to the promise land. Sentimentally we all would love to see Frank stay and help with Marcus’s transition into his job, but that may not be likely.

  31. c0rvu5 says: Jan 22, 2014 3:53 PM

    Seen Montana leave to the chiefs, Rice, Lott to the Raiders wouldn’t be surprised. Agree with first post “hate that it’s a Buisness”

  32. dhragonn says: Jan 22, 2014 3:56 PM

    Gore was very effective this year, There isn’t a back in the league with his patience. May even be the best back I’ve ever seen that waits and uses his blocks appropriately. The Niners played Carolina & Seattle in playoffs, both teams focus was to stop the run. Those stats don’t paint of good picture of Franks effectiveness.

  33. getsome636 says: Jan 22, 2014 4:10 PM

    He expected great things from AJ Jenkins as well, LMAO. Harbaugh is such a clown, he has never won at any level and dont think that is going to change now.

  34. darkknight1680 says: Jan 22, 2014 4:59 PM

    The article is misleading. Gore is on the books for 6.45 million next year, none of which is guaranteed. SO cutting him in the offseason opens up all that money to re-sign guys like Brown (their best and only reliable corner) and Boldin (their most reliable receiver). Gore has done great things for this franchise, but he’s definitely not worth 6.45 million and he’s not better at age 31 than Hunter or Lattimore. Keeping him purely for emotion’s sake is a disservice to the team.

  35. adderal says: Jan 22, 2014 6:50 PM

    Lattimore runs with an upright stance which exposes you to huge knee injures. Two upright runners that come to mind are ED and Marcus Allen, Then theres a ton of other guys who have had there knees blown out. I don’t know which Lat will be but theres a lot more of the latter. Gore I don’t believe is done, he had no room to operate. For a line thats supposed to be one of the best that happened quite a bit this year.

  36. koudoes says: Jan 22, 2014 10:41 PM

    Gore should be put on the shelf til playoffs. Touch the ball 12-15 times a game and work hunter and latimore. James should be traded and possibly Dixon.

  37. sfniners4life says: Jan 23, 2014 2:01 PM

    Don’t worry gore will get the 3.3 million for atleast one more year. This spells trouble for hunter or lemicheal. Lattimore hopefully will get some work and if he got anything left like when he was Carolina then by the following year it will be his job to lose.

  38. superleadhead says: Jan 24, 2014 1:26 AM

    Gore can’t carry piles anymore. He needs a seam to succeed. He’s been great to watch but this may be the perfect changing of the guard if Lattimore succeeds. Still can’t figure out why they barely used those scat backs all season. If you’re not gonna use them why pay them?

  39. jk32724john49er says: Jan 24, 2014 1:12 PM

    They should never write those words about Gore being pushed out of the 49ers. It is sinful.

  40. romosclavicle says: Jan 24, 2014 7:54 PM

    Frank Gore only ran for limited yards because the “geniuses” calling the plays didn’t know what they were doing. Just like they didn’t know what they were doing at last years Super Bowl. How do you not use Gore off tackle when you are that close to scoring? These two losses speak more about the lack of coaching knowledge, than about Frank Gore’s abilities.

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