Dec/22/14 11:00 PM Filed in: Frank Gore
Frank Gore is 31 years old and in his 10th NFL season, all played with the San Francisco 49ers. Earlier this season, Gore became the 29th player ever to rush for at least 10,000 yards in his career. Of that 29, Gore has the seventh-highest yards per carry. Along with Curtis Martin, Gore is one of only two players on that list drafted outside the first two rounds, and one of only six not drafted in the first round. Suffice to say, he has had a terrific career in San Francisco and has exceeded all reasonable expectations from when he was drafted.
But his contract is up at the end of the season, and he knows some people will say he's finished because he's too old. "I know they're going to say that," Gore told SFGate.com. "Starting with my seventh year, they started saying that: I can't do it. I can't do it. I can't do it. I've prepared myself for that. That's why this year, I'm upset that I really didn't show the world that I'm still Frank Gore."
Gore's 3.9 yards per carry this season is the worst of his career, and his longest run of the season is only 28 yards. His 14.6 carries per game are his fewest since his rookie year, as are his 57.4 yards per game.
He's on pace to finish with less than 1,000 rushing yards in a season during which he played all 16 games for the first time in his career. The only years Gore has failed to run for 1,000 yards were his rookie season, when he split carries with Kevan Barlow, and in 2010, when Gore played only 11 games due to various injuries.
This year, Gore is on pace for only 233 carries, which would be his fewest ever in a full season.
As for the reason he hasn't gotten quite as many oppportunities to run the ball this year as in years past, Gore said game situations -- too many three-and-outs, getting behind on the scoreboard -- have dictated a different offensive flow for the 49ers than what we're used to seeing. "I know coach G-Ro [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] -- he loves to run the ball. This year, has just been totally different. As an offense, we never got into a zone, you know what I mean? That's probably the reason."
Gore made it clear that he would like to return to San Francisco, but if it's not in the cards, he still wants to keep playing. "If they want to bring me back, they will. They'll come to me in a respectful way. We'll sit down, see what they want me to do. See what my role is and if I like it, I'll sign. If I don't, I'll try to see what other teams think of me."