The 49ers have a monthlong vacation before training camp begins, but don’t expect to see Frank Gore, sipping piña coladas on South Beach this July. Instead, Gore will be a few miles to the west of the Miami beachfront, laboring up and down one of the highest hills in South Florida while tethered to a truck tire. It’s a grueling regimen Gore has performed since high school, and no amount of fame or money — the Pro Bowler signed a $28 million deal in March — will change that. “You’ve got to sweat if you’re going to be successful in this sport,” Gore said the Sacramento Bee this week.
And sweat he will. The average high temperature in Miami in July is 89.5 degrees, which ought to help Gore in shedding a few pounds before the start of the season. When players were weighed earlier this month, Gore came in at 215 pounds, which is about what he weighed last season. The running back, however, wants to drop about five pounds by September, which he believes will allow him to finish more of his runs in the end zone.
After finishing with an NFC-best 1,695 rushing yards last season, Gore is gunning for more than 2,000 yards this year. The coaching staff most certainly will give him the opportunity. Coach Mike Nolan has said that he wants Gore to get between 20 and 25 carries per game in 2007. If Gore averages 24 carries a game and has the same yards-per-carry average he had last season — 5.4 yards — he would finish with approximately 2,074 yards.