2013 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers lean on Gore's smarts, savvy in key times

    2013-01-18 04:23

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman wants to be a head coach one day soon, and he already knows at least one person he'd hire on his staff.

Running back Frank Gore.

``I always tell Frank, `Man, when you're done playing, come find me or I'll find you,''' Roman said Thursday. ``Because he's a guy I love working with as a player, and I'm sure I'd love working with as a coach.''

Often underappreciated and overlooked around the NFL, Gore has carried the 49ers through good times and mostly bad the last eight seasons. Coaches are quick to credit the reliable running back's smarts and savvy, doing everything from breaking down film of opponents to scouting potential draft picks.

Gore's latest adaptation has come in the new read-option run game anchored by quarterback Colin Kaepernick that some thought might not suit his style. Instead, Gore surpassed 100 yards rushing in a playoff game for the first time in last week's 45-31 win over Green Bay, and the 49ers insist his knowledge is a vital part of the plan heading into Sunday's NFC championship at Atlanta.

``It's top shelf,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said of Gore's football acumen. ``Not to categorize it, but I know I have learned a lot from Frank, as well as the other running backs on our team. He sees it. He sees the big picture. He sees the whole picture. He sees it slowed down and he's got a very quick mind. He's able to make quick-minded decisions.''

Despite tearing ligaments in both knees at the University of Miami, Gore has rebounded to become one of the NFL's most durable players at a position that takes perhaps the biggest pounding.

Gore is the franchise leader in yards rushing (8,839) and touchdowns rushing (51) and has been a staple of San Francisco's offense under three different head coaches. His versatility is what makes him special, coaches said, running inside and out and catching passes from all kinds of formations.

``Frank is such an adaptable player that it doesn't take him long to pick something up,'' Roman said. ``He's one of the most gifted, knowledgeable, intelligent football players that I've been around really at any position. He just has a feel and an understanding for the game. It's funny, when you install something or put something new in, he can just see it. It's pretty impressive.''

Until last week, though, Gore's role had seemingly diminished since Kaepernick took over in Week 10 and the 49ers ran more of the Pistol offense.

Gore admits the first time he watched teams such as Oregon and Nevada run read-option plays on television he ``felt like that's not real football.'' With Kaepernick and the 49ers one win from the Super Bowl now, he's become a believer.

``It's helping us. If it's helping us get to where we want to go, I'm with it,'' Gore said. ``I feel like I'm a football player. I'm a ball player. I'll adjust to anything. I just had to be more patient getting the ball. That's about it.''

The 49ers also have kept Gore fresher as opposed to years past when he often wore down late from countless carries.

He split time with Kendall Hunter before the backup suffered a season-ending ankle injury in a Week 12 win at New Orleans. Speedster LaMichael James, the former Oregon standout, has limited Gore's touches since Hunter's injury and had an increasingly expanded role in the Pistol offense.

San Francisco's strategy showed results when it mattered. Gore ran for 119 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries against the Packers, even while Kaepernick set a quarterback playoff record with 181 yards on 16 carries.

``Hopefully, they keep looking out for him and 21 keeps getting the ball and I'll just do what he did last week,'' Gore said, referring to his jersey number.

Where Gore goes after his playing days are over is uncertain.

All of 29 years old, Gore doesn't think those days are happening anytime soon. After enduring six non-winning seasons to start his 49ers career, the last two under Harbaugh's guidance have rejuvenated the running back's career.

More than anything, Gore wants to avoid the kind of heartbreak that came with last January's 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. That doesn't mean he might not still have one eye on the future, often lending his instincts to coaches and even offering his opinion on players before the draft to 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.

``I think I'd be a great coach. For one, I love the game of football. I've been around the game all my life, since I was 4. I could tell who is a real football player. I've got an eye for talent,'' Gore said. ``I love being around football. So if Coach Roman ever gets a head job and he wants to hire me, I'll be ready.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Marcus TrufantApr 23 06:13p

Free-agent CB Marcus Trufant (Jaguars) will sign a deal with the Seattle Seahawks with the intention of retiring with the team.

Jason Pierre-PaulApr 23 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) said great and that he will not be limited during offseason workouts. Pierre-Paul has lost 15 pounds this offseason and is comfortable [ More ]

Ryan CladyApr 23 04:23p

Denver Broncos OT Ryan Clady (foot) would not give a timetable for his return but said he does expect to be ready for the start of the regular season.

David WilsonApr 23 04:03p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is feeling good and is just waiting for the doctors to clear him to play again. Wilson said he is [ More ]

Jamar TaylorApr 23 03:53p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor said he considered quitting football after he dealt with injuries during the 2013 season but is ready to play this upcoming season. 'It was [ More ]

Sam BradfordApr 23 03:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford (knee) will start the offseason conditioning program in a limited fashion while still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season. Head [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuApr 23 03:03p

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said FS Tyrann Mathieu's (knee) rehab is on schedule but believes Mathieu probably will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform [ More ]

Shaun DraughnApr 23 02:23p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent RB Shaun Draughn (Colts) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stephen BurtonApr 23 02:03p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed WR Stephen Burton on the Reserve/Retired list.

Antrel RolleApr 23 01:13p

New York Giants FS Antrel Rolle, who is entering the final year of his contract, said finishing his career with the Giants would be an ideal situation. Rolle said [ More ]

Frank SummersApr 23 12:33p

The Buffalo Bills have re-signed exclusive rights free-agent FB Frank Summers, WR Chris Hogan, and OG Antoine McClain. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithApr 23 12:23p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was present for the start of offseason workouts Monday, April 21, even though he was arrested in Los Angeles last week.

Dominic RaiolaApr 23 12:23p

Detroit Lions C Dominic Raiola said he would be fine with the team selecting a center during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he understands that he is near the [ More ]

Doug MarroneApr 23 12:03p

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone had a cancerous mole removed Tuesday, April 22. 'That's basically the end of the story,' Marrone said. 'The recent extraction procedure will have [ More ]

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group