The San Francisco 49ers get to face Frank Gore and the Indianapolis Colts, and that certainly will bring back a wave of memories for everybody. Each week the 49ers media chats with an opposing player, and of course it was going to be Gore this week.
Gore is in his 13th NFL season, and his third with the Colts. He spent a decade with the 49ers, and acknowledged that he was a little bitter that first year after leaving the team. However, he recognized that the NFL is a business, and the 49ers had a young running back they wanted to move on to. He still respects the organization and hopes they do well.
On the conference call, he was asked how much longer he wants to play. Gore said he still loves the game, but he also re-assesses himself after each season. He looks at how he performed, how his body feels, and how he feels about the training that will be required of him to keep going. He had a great line, saying he’s still the ol’ Frankie G out there.
Gore has scuffled a bit with the Colts, averaging 3.7 yards per carry in his first 2+ seasons, after averaging 4.5 yards per carry during his time with the 49ers. The Colts have struggled, particularly along the offensive line, but he continues trucking along.
He said his main goal remains a championship. Gore will be a free agent after this season, and it will be interesting to see if he can land a role on a team closer to a title. He might not be best suited as a traditional workhorse, but he can bring plenty to a team, between his running skills and the leadership and football intelligence he brings to the table.
Gore currently ranks No. 8 on the NFL’s all-time rushing leaderboard. He is three yards back of Eric Dickerson, which means he will pass him on Sunday against the 49ers. He is 406 yards back of Jerome Bettis for No. 6 all-time, which should be doable this season. LaDainian Tomlinson is 22 yards ahead of Bettis, so top five is very possible this year. If he does continue after this season, he very well could surpass Curtis Martin next year. The top three though will be tough. Barry Sanders is No. 3 with 15,269 yards, followed by Walter Payton with 16,726 yards, and then Emmitt Smith with 18,355 yards.