By Michael Andrews
That’s right, it’s going to happen… or maybe it just should? I am a long time Frank Gore supporter but there are issues I have with the 31 year old (when season starts) RB. Let me start off by saying that I am grateful for everything Frank has done for this organization. He deserves a ring and a spot on this roster as long as he’s playing. The man should/better retire a niner! Now let’s get down to it!
Kicking off the 2013 season, pundits expected to see a decline in the RB strictly because he was 30 years old. Anyone who has been watching the NFL can tell you that it’s amazing to see 30 year old rushers and rare to see them still in the starting role!
With 44 yards in week 1 vs. the Packers we didn’t think too much of it because Kap threw for over 400. But in weeks 2 and 3, Frank combined for 98 yards on 20 carries (respectable right)? Frank seemed to hit his stride in week 3 and continue for a while until week 11; we saw a consistent decline from out bell cow carrier until the Seahawks matchup in week 14, where he went for 110 on 17 attempts. *It’s worth and important to note that at the end of the game, Gore had a rush for 51 yards. Take that out and he is 16 attempts for 59 yards.*
Frank finished the year with great numbers but showed a decline down the stretch not having 100 yards since week 14 and having 6 games with fewer than 50 yards, and 4 with less than 35 yards despite ample carries in those games. Now this includes playoff games. Not counting playoffs, Frank finished with a career low of 4.1 yards per carry. Including the playoffs Frank’s totals are 324 for 1292 (3.9 p/c)
Playoff time is money time! That’s when it all counts and I, for one, was very disappointed with the way the team utilized Frank and the way he ran with the ball. I have this horrible replay of him retreating from the Seahawks’ defense, going backwards 5-7 yards at a time! It’s lingering in my mind and maybe that’s the cause of all of this… so what does the future have in store for us? Let’s see…
Kendall Hunter has been patiently waiting for his chance to show what he’s got; and when he has an opportunity, more times than not, he makes the best of it. Keep in mind that we also have Marcus Lattimore waiting in the wings and chomping at the bit to get on the field.
Lattimore would’ve been a top 10 pick had it not been for a significant injury causing him to fall to us in the 4th round. This is a stacked back field without including our athletic FBs that are also ready and willing.
This isn’t a Frank bashing article… this is a WHAT IF write up!