SANTA CLARA – Frank Gore spoke at his locker Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about LaMichael James.
GORE: LaMichael is still learning. I see that he got better from when he first got here to now. I see a lot of improvement.
Q: In what areas?
GORE: Running in small spaces. He got better in small spaces. When you watch his film from college, it’s a lot of big space. The NFL is different. Early on, he had a tough time with that. Now, from when I first saw him, he’s gotten a lot better.
Q: Have you talked to him about burrowing through small spaces, or has he just observed?
GORE: I just tell him it ain’t how fast you run to a hole, it’s about being patient and how fast you can get through it. When he used to get the ball, he used to just try to use his speed. I told him he needs to let things develop and be patient. When you see it, that’s when you should be fast through the hole.
Q: Is blitz pickup the hardest thing for a young running back?
GORE: Yeah, it’s tough. It’s real tough.
Q: How did it take you before you felt comfortable?
GORE: At Miami, the running back coach said if we couldn’t block, we couldn’t play. I knew that back in college. The only thing with me was knowing who to block when I first got here. Once I got that down, I was fine.
ME: Do you think LaMichael James can give the offense what it lost when Kendall Hunter gut hurt?
GORE: I think he can help, but Kendall is a different type of player. They’re both fast, but it’s hard to tackle Kendall.
ME: Kendall is stronger right now?