Greg Roman Explains Frank Gore's Limited Carries

In Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Frank Gore carried the ball six times for 10 yards. Neither total stacked up to what the veteran running back is used to tallying.

According to offensive coordinator Greg Roman, however, the limited touches were a result of the San Francisco 49ers game plan – at least at first.

The team hoped to utilize its depth at wide receiver early on to set up the ground game in the second half.

“I think Frank knew going into the game, we kind of outlined our game plan that we were going to start the game out a certain way and see how it went,” Roman said Tuesday on KNBR.

The 49ers began Sunday by deploying an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. San Francisco used a five-wide formation, which essentially left quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the lone running threat out of the backfield.

The surprise aerial attack helped stake the team a 14-6 halftime advantage, but the second half of the 49ers game plan went awry when the Cardinals took the lead midway through the third quarter.

“In a perfect world, you're letting Frank and the offensive line take over the game at the end of the game,” Roman said,  “but we weren't in that situation, so we were never really able to transition into that.”

Gore’s six carries tied for his fewest since Nov. 29, 2010 – also against the Cardinals – when he recorded five rushes. His 10 total yards were his fewest since Jan. 1, 2012, when he had nine yards on seven carries versus the St. Louis Rams.

Despite Gore’s smaller numbers on Sunday, Roman reiterated the team’s commitment to the running game and its stalwart tailback. The coach complimented Gore’s focus on winning and letting the rest take care of itself.

“Frank is the ultimate pro, and he's the ultimate team guy,” Roman said. “He wants to win, and he wants to play in the big games in January and February. So I think he totally understood what we were doing.”

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