Yesterday afternoon, Mike Sando had an interesting post about Alex Smith and the 49ers offense. One of the sub-headings of the post discussed "The Gore Factor." In particular it mentioned how he was an outspoken advocate of the two-back offense featuring a traditional fullback. That's not surprising news, but it does have me wondering a couple things.
Last week we had our 49ers roster projection for the fullback position. While Moran Norris seems to be a lock for the roster, Brit Miller is also hanging around. We've heard Frank Gore repeatedly express his disdain at any kind of running back by committee option, and also his love for having a fullback like Moran Norris leading the charge in front of him. And yet, many folks are displeased with the quality of production coming from the fullback position. It's certainly not an easy position to assess given that it's primarily about lead-blocking. Considering Frank Gore's success, it would be easy to just assume the fullback is performing well, without looking at what he's actually doing.
In addition to the fullback position, we've heard Frank Gore express his disdain about losing carries to other running backs. While it seems logical to taper off his carries to maintain his health, he's always said he needs all those carries to really get into the flow of the game. Certainly not inspiring words for Glen Coffee and Anthony Dixon. Of course, it's not like those two have the greatest street cred, but it's still something to consider.
So at this point, as Frank Gore expresses his very strong opinions, is there any concern those opinions will force the team into a corner? I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. After all, Gore remains a highly productive running back. While he's had stretches of inconsistency, one could argue that has as much to do with poor performance by the offense as a whole, as opposed to the fullback issue or the losing carries issue.
I'm not really sure what I'm asking, other than whether the team should just stick with what Frank Gore wants as long as he's a key member of this team. Does any of this really matter in the 49ers quest to return to the playoffs?