Recently on Niners Live we brought the Forty-Niner faithful: Why the 49ers Should Re-sign Carlos Hyde; but Will They? And now we look at other avenues to explore and additions that would help this team transition back to their winning ways; Why the San Francisco 49ers should Re-sign Frank the “Tank” Gore.
First off, I don’t plan to start this article off like rapper 50 Cent and go twenty-one questions on you. No pun intended, of course. However, I do plan to point out reasons why the San Francisco 49ers need #21 back in the Santa Clara building.
1). Check the resume instant credibility- Frank Gore, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, recently moved past LaDainian Tomlinson and Jerome Bettis into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He now has 13,858 career rushing yards, currently under 400 yards behind Curtis Martin for fourth all-time and counting. Gore has 93 career touchdowns scored; 77 coming from rushing and 16 from receiving. Since 2006, Gore has 7,951 yards after contact, 334 missed tackles forced and 157 runs of 15 + yards.
2). His durability is unmatched- They say father time is undefeated, well he hasn’t got in the ring yet with Frank the “Tank” Gore. At the young age of 34, Gore has defied the odds and the Gods when it comes to football players lasting (3.3 years According to the NFL Players Association) in the NFL, which really stands for “Not For Long” let alone running backs who’s football life/shelf age is an average of just 2.57 years which is the shortest in the NFL.
Important to note: Gore has played in 194 Could the 49ers use Gore as a mentor to help other running backs and players on the team on how to take care of their bodies? Wait…before you answer that, have you seen how many players went on injured reserve so far in 2017? The answer is simple… Yes, they can. games, 179 of those games he started. But wait, there’s more; Gore has only missed 12 games in his entire career and since 2011, he hasn’t missed a game (via ESPN.com).
3). He’s still productive – In 2015, Gore’s first year with Colts, he posted 967 yards rushing on 260 carries at 3.7 yards per rush while adding 34 catches at 7.9 per catch. In 2016, Gore rushed for 1,025 yards on 263 carries at 3.9 yards per rush while adding 38 catches at 7.3 per catch. Currently, in 2017, Gore has 762 yards on 210 carries at 3.6 yards per rush while adding 21 catches at 8.5 per catch. Gore against the Buffalo Bills ran for 130 yards on 36 carries.
Stats to know: Gore has had 18 combined touchdowns and counting during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts and he’s in his mid-thirties. Gore is among the elite with career average yards per carry: Emmitt Smith 4.2, Walter Payton 4.4, Barry Sanders 5.0, Curtis Martin 4.0, Frank Gore 4.4, LaDainian Tomlinson 4.3, Jerome Bettis 3.9 (via Matt Maiocco of NBCS).
Thinking out loud: Imagine if the 49ers were to lower his carries and had a running back by committee approach utilizing the hot hand when applicable. Something fans expected to see this season from head coach Kyle Shanahan much like he did when he was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons (2015-16).
4). Gore’s heart is still with the team – When Gore squared off against the 49ers leading up to week 5 this is what he had to say, “I’d been there 10 years. That’s what I bleed” (Via Mercury News).
5). Gore’s an easy/perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s system — What did the defensive coach that was gearing up to stop him have to say in week 5? “He’s still a tough SOB, man,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said of Gore. “He’ll still running downhill. He’ll still put his face right on you. He’s still pretty good out of the backfield. He’s still a dynamic running back and he’s still able to create when there’s nothing there.” Let me add this; Gore is one of the all-time greatest at pass protection.
My final thoughts on re-signing Frank the “Tank” Gore
Gore still has the desire to play: “I always want to get back and get that trophy,” Gore said. “It hasn’t happened yet, but I feel I can still play, still feel good and still train with young guys in the offseason. My body feels good, I still love it.” It’s time to do right by Gore and send him off with class. Frank Gore, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, deserves to end his playing career right where it started, with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers would sell his jersey like crazy; he would help fill seats and the fans and the media love Frank Gore.
It’s a great PR move and it would help the team and younger players while giving General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan another beacon to help show players the light/right way to do things and be a pro’s pro (ala utilize Gore to help establish the new culture) … Case closed, thanks for joining me on Niners Live…..
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course. Often imitated, but never duplicated.
All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims