Over the weekend former 49ers running back Frank Gore hit another landmark, passing Jim Brown in total career yards rushing. Gore moves up to the ninth spot with 12,368 yards and only needs 371 more yards to match Tony Dorsett.
Although Gore is technically no longer a 49er, he will always hold a special place in the team’s history. He was third of a trio of threatening running backs at the University of Miami that included Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis. Gore is now the only one of the three still playing, even though at the time he was deemed the least likely to succeed. Gore had two knee surgeries in his college career and was declared an injury risk before he was drafted. Once with the 49ers he had two shoulder surgeries, making him a bionic man, literally.
After being promised by two teams that he would be drafted in the first and second rounds respectively, he fell to the third and was drafted by the 49ers and Scot McCloughan in 2005. It was the first draft that McCloughan headed up for the team and he still reminds his scouts that Gore is the type of player to look for: all football, on and off the field. Gore called McCloughan after the weekend and the conversation is covered in MMQB’s article. The two are still very close and the former 49ers GM has nothing but great things to say about his former RB.
McCloughan recalls Gore telling Kevan Barlow he was going to take his job before he did it and how he became a incredible pass blocker after he was told that was an area that needed improvement in his game. Gore respected McCloughan for being honest, telling Gore that if he was still there, the team would take him with their third round pick.
The most consistent thing you hear about Gore is that he is football in and out. People that cover him say he has one of the highest football IQs they’ve ever seen. Coaches talk about his selflessness and total enthusiasm for the game.
I was in the locker room after Frank Gore’s last game with the 49ers when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach. Both men were going to be headed out to new venues and the two shared a few precious moments together appreciating each other’s dedication to the game of football. He is a man of few words which almost make them that much more powerful.
How does Gore feel about hitting this historic landmark? In another MMQB article Peter King spoke to the 33 year old RB, who got a little emotional. He reminisced about the time the 49ers brought in Jim Brown to meet the team and how surprised he was when he discovered that Brown knew his name. Getting the stamp of approval from the prominent NFL alum who added he loves the way Gore plays, was truly moving to the .
How much longer can Gore play in the game that many thought he wasn’t durable enough to? He says only the man upstairs knows. Until then, he will keep moving up the list, one carry at a time. (He’s already registered 2,779 in his career)
“I just attack the game. I attack every day.”