Frank Gore left the San Francisco 49ers week 15 contest with the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion. That, coupled with numerous rumblings that this will be Gore’s last year with the 49ers as he enters Free Agency, means that could have been his last contest in a 49ers uniform. That being the case, I am compelled to write an appreciation, and a thank you, to Frank Gore.
Frank Gore is almost certainly the best running back in 49ers history, and certainly the best 49ers running back of my lifetime. He holds numerous team records:
- Single Season Rushing Yards: 1,692 in 2006. He also holds the 4th (1,211 in 2011) and 5th (1,128 in 2013) spots on this list
- Single Season Rushing TD’s: 10 in 2009 (tied with 6 others)
- Single Season Rushing Yards per game: 105.9 in 2006
- Single Season Yards per rush (Min. 200 carries): 5.4 in 2006
- Career Rushing Yards: 10,771 (good for 21st in NFL history)
So, as you can see, he’s produced like a top back in team history. He’s also caught 340 passes for 2,878 yards and 11 TD’s. He could hurt you out of the backfield as a runner or receiver.
He was never blessed with the greatest speed, quickness, or size, but he more than made up for it with his vision, feet, and patience. It seemed like every carry started with him running into the line, shuffling his feet for a moment, and finding the hole to pick up yards. He was also as good as anyone at making people miss in the hole. His feet never stopped moving until he was on the ground, and he always seemed to pick up 2 or 3 extra yards when he was tackled.
As a fan of the 49ers during those lean years in the 2000’s, he was the lone bright spot on a number of those teams. He represented hope of victory. The thinking went: if we can give Frank Gore the ball over and over again, we can lean on Frank Gore and the defense to try to eke out a victory. There weren’t many to come by before Jim Harbaugh showed up, but he was responsible for a lot of the victories that were had. It’s no coincidence, to me, that the 49ers went away from Gore and the running game in 2014, and the team suffered.
So, if Mr. Gore is done with the 49ers after this year, I have only one thing to say to him: thank you.