Frank Gore’s cool with his new backfield mates

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Frank Gore carried a heavy load for the 49ers offense last season, running for 1,211 yards and eight touchdowns on 282 carries to help the team advance to the NFC Championship Game.

Despite or because of that, the 49ers moved to pick up two new backs during the offseason. They signed Brandon Jacobs as a free agent and drafted LaMichael James in the second round. Kendall Hunter, who ran for 473 yards last year, is also back and it isn’t hard to catch the implication that Gore won’t be subjected to the same load.

That’s not a bad thing. Everyone knows the horror stories about backs on the wrong side of 30, especially if they are expected to be workhorses, and Gore turned 29 in May. A deeper backfield can maximize Gore’s effectiveness by limiting his usage. It could also create a problem if the back in question doesn’t want to share. That doesn’t soun like it is going to be a problem with Gore.

“They’re great dudes. Brandon is big and strong, and LaMichael is very quick and fast. Kendall is a great player. Everybody knows they’re all pretty talented,” Gore said, via Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That makes our team better, when you see good players at whatever position. That’s how you know how good your team is getting. I’m cool with it.”

Running back is going to be an interesting spot to watch at 49ers camp. There are a lot of different options for the team to look at, including veteran special teamer Rock Cartwright and Anthony Dixon. Dixon has asked to play fullback in camp in hopes of increasing his chances of sticking on the roster, but Bruce Miller is back after playing 15 games there last season.

However it works out, Gore will still be at the top of the list and that’s fine with him even if it doesn’t mean quite as much as it used to mean.

16 responses to “Frank Gore’s cool with his new backfield mates

  1. So…Frank Gore is 29 and averaged 4.3 yards per carry last year and is a beast but Ryan Grant is 29 and averaged 4.2 yards per carry and still is looking for a roster. Grant had more recieving yards and better average even in a part time capacity.

    Grant wasn’t even 100% till halfway through the season. Whoever puts him on a roster is getting a smart deal.

  2. He doesn’t need the load he got last year. Plus Smitty should put the ball in the air more as well. Niners offense will definitely not be as conservative as last year.

  3. What a difference a year and a Harbaugh makes. Us Niner Faithful know that this would have been an entirely different conversation as little as 2-3 years back. Then again, that is looking backward. And now its about what lies ahead. Frank is “good to go” and that cool attitude is all we need. Go Niners.

  4. @cakemixa….. Great insight. QBs in their second year in a system and in their 1st Offseason in said system NEVER improve! Can you walk and chew gum simultaneously? Probably not. Thanks for trying. I’m proud of you just for showing up, Sunshine.

    @gregm… Did you just try to compare Gore and Ryan Grant? Wow. Sometimes numbers lie. Gore ALSO plays hurt, but I know that when Gore is needed he comes through and Grant has never done that. I’m not trying to put him down, but Gore has been and continues to be, an elite back while I view Grant as a mid-tier (at best) back. So I guess we can agree to disagree?

    Frank Gore is all class! What a great teammate! Red N Gold!

  5. What is so funny that you had to LOL?

    People thinking the niners are going to repeat last year with a tougher schedule and alex smith at QB.

    Niners are the NFC west favorites this year – just like the rams were last year..

    we saw how that turned out..injuries can kill a team (ask the rams or most teams drafting in the top 10). Niners had 2 players on IR for the whole season last year, not the same for the rest of the nfc west.

    I can’t wait for the shockvalue to set in again for the Niners when they release Alex smith is still their QB after Defensive coordinators expose him.

  6. Grant isnt a complete RB like Gore. Grant can’t pass protect and he needs greast players around him to be good, unlike Gore. Whose been a beast since he joined the NFL!

  7. It’s laughable when people just arbitrarily throw out that last season was a fluke for the 49ers. Any truly informed football fan knows the team will certainly be challenged with a stronger schedule, however, defense travels well…..and the Niners have a historically great defense. But ignoring this one little fact isn’t the only measure of ignorance; it’s the overused anecdote of “Alex Smith is still the qb….” that shines a glowing light on jagged football ignorance. Smith doesn’t have to be Breese or Rogers (who didn’t even get any further than their first post season games last year!)….he just needs to be effective. Smith is surrounded by an offensive cast that holds ample and robust potential. Mark it…Kendall Hunter will be on everyone’s fantasy watch list come game 3……..and, gasp, probably some guy named Moss, too. But what do I know?
    CLEARLY it was just a fluke.

  8. Call me crazy, but I think part of Frank’s effectiveness is that HE IS used so much. He likes to grind 2-4 yard carries for the first quarter and a half, and then he busts one wide open for 40. I think he has to get into the rythm of how the game is going, and I don’t think he will be as effective if he loses 20% of his carries.


    He will be fresher on every carry and won’t wear down as much toward the end of the season and he will be a slashing, punishing, one-cut back that will have 20 carries for more than 30 yards behind a nasty O line. Has anyone ever noticed how much Anthony Davis (RT) LOVES to block in the run game? He is mixing it up with people 20 yards down field with a big smile on his face.

  9. I just love how there are so many 49er haters out there who just can’t help themselves but to post “last season was a fluke” or “Alex Smith is still the QB” or even (incorrectly, because it is the AFC South) “they play in the NFC West, which is the worst division in football”. I mean c’mon guys, if you hate so much and aren’t worried this team can beat yours, then why do you post on every single 49er story that comes out? Heck, the story could be “49ers visit childrens hospital” and there you all would be, rambling with your tired old nonsense about this team. Actually, on second thought, don’t stop posting…I need a good laugh everyday.

  10. I laugh at the people without football knowledge that say the Niners will fall. Their defense is insane and returns intact with great depth! Their offense will be much better with added weapons in moss, manningham, Jenkins, LaMichael, and Jacobs. And anyone following the niners knows about Alex smiths work on his mechanics and new found confidence which is only improving – better than Cam in the last 5 games of last season and beat brees head to head! But most of all, and get this in your head, Harbaugh has amassed an incredible coaching staff and that’s what will get the Niners their 6th title!

    Niners Forever!!!

  11. Alex Smith’s numbers were pretty good last year.

    61.3% Comp, 3,144 yards, 17 TD, 5 Int, 90.7 passer rating.

    He didn’t light the world on fire, but consider that he had yet another new offense/OC (6 in 6 years) and no training camp. And he really only had one WR to throw to.

    Anyone who thinks he won’t improve over last year is delusional. He has more weapons, a better grasp of the system (and it will be an expanded playbook this year), and an elite head coach. DELUSIONAL!

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