SANTA CLARA — Here’s what the 49ers all-time leading rusher, Frank Gore, said at his locker this morning.
Q: Do you put the division championship aside and move on to the next piece of business?
GORE: Our goal was to be division champs. Now our next thing is to try to be No. 1 or No. 2 seed and we’ll go from there.
Q: You’re not going to want to rest?
GORE: Nah, nah, we’re playing ball. We’ve got four more games left, man, so we’re playing ball. We’re trying to win these last four and hopefully whatever happens with Green Bay, we’ll get the No. 1 or No. 2 seed and it would be great for us.
Q: Since those five 100-yard games, have defenses geared up against you?
GORE: Yeah, they are. But we’re winning so it don’t matter to me. In some of the games, I haven’t played. The Arizona game, I didn’t play some of the plays in the fourth quarter. It could have been a 100-yard game. Yesterday I didn’t play the fourth quarter. We’re still doing good in the running game. Guys have been gearing up to stop the run but the big thing is that we’re winning and I’m good with it.
Q: Do you like to see those big plays in the passing game?
GORE: Oh yeah, I love it, I love it. If they keep running eight, nine guys in the box Alex will just keep killing them. As long as we get the win, I’m good with whatever happens – whether it’s running, passing, whatever, as long as we’re winning.
Q: What’d you do last night?
GORE: I just hung out with some of my teammates and enjoyed the win. It’s the first time in a while and our first time being in the playoffs since 2002. We just enjoyed it. Now we got that out of the way and our next goal is trying to get a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
Q: Who were you with?
GORE: My boy Vernon, Moran, Crabtree, really everybody.
Q: House of Prime Rib?
GORE: We just chilling at The House.
Q: Are you able to contribute to the end-arounds because defenses are focused on you?
GORE: Yeah, a lot. I’ve been a having a pretty good year this year and we’ve been having a great year on the ground. You see eight, nine men in the box, whatever step I take you see a lot of people flowing that way. So I think I help other players.
Q: Why did you feel the need to reassure Harbaugh all week? Is he a worrier?
GORE: Just looking at him. Coming into the game looking at St. Louis’ record, as a coach you think your players might take it easy because these guys’ record is this or that. I just wanted to let him know ‘we’re all right, we’re going to get it done’ because we’ve been in St. Louis’ shoes and we understood they were going to come in and play hard and we had to take care of business.
Q: Three straight road games against the division? Will those teams look at it like their Super Bowl?
GORE: They’re going to play hard. We’ve been there. When Arizona was winning like that, when they came here or we went there we’d try to beat them. We have Arizona, Seattle, and St. Louis again. I know they’re going to play hard.
Q: How did you react to seeing Willis go down?
GORE: I was kind of nervous, kind of scared because we need Pat. He’s a big part of this team, he’s our leader. I feel real good with 52 on the field, you know? I’m happy it was a hamstring and he’ll be fine.
Q: What’s his mindset?
GORE: He’ll be good. He’s good. Pat, Pat, he’ll be back. He’ll be good.
Q: Do you think you’ll get a game ball?
GORE: I don’t know, I might. (smiles)
Q: How many game balls do you have for your career?
GORE: I don’t know.
Q: What do you do with them?
GORE: I’ve got some at home, I’ve got some here, I’ve got some up there, right there (Points to two boxes on top of his locker).
Q: This one mean a little more?
GORE: Yeah, this one will ‘cuz that’s big, especially coming for this organization with a lot of great guys who have been here. I’m going to cherish this one.