Expect a different role for Frank Gore this season

Frank Gore is only 28 years old but he has carried the ball 1,371 times already in the NFL. His career average of 4.7 yards per carry is superb. But Gore is entering a time in which much-used running backs start to wear down.

To that, apparently, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh has an answer.

“It’s not that my running style will change,” Gore told SI.com. “He’s just going to get me catching the ball more and getting me a lot of space. He’ll be doing a lot of different things instead of (running against) eight or nine men in the box. He’s just trying to get the box loosened up for me.”

Former head coach Mike Singletary didn’t believe in such nuance. It was smash ’em and then smash ’em again and kept doing it to they wither. Gore suffered a season-ending hip injury last season and was it a coincidence? I don’t think so.

Gore is fearless but there’s nothing wrong with playing smarter and keeping such talent on the field more because of it.

Gore’s 4.2 avertage per carry last season was his lowest seasonal average of his career.

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