Gore: “When we watch the film we see eight, nine men in the box. That’s one of the biggest things.”

SANTA CLARA – Frank Gore spoke at his locker Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.

Q: You haven’t had much production the first two games. Are you frustrated about that?

GORE: I’m frustrated about the loss, really. We’ve got to get better in the running game. We’ve got to get it done. A lot of teams are playing us with eight or nine men in the box. We’ve still got to find a way to get it done.

Q: Is there anything you can put your finger on why it hasn’t been there the first two games?

GORE: I can’t. Like I said, they’re playing the run hard. They know in the past years we have run the ball. Now when we watch the film we see eight, nine men in the box. That’s one of the biggest things, but we’ve got to find a way.

Q: Are the Seahawks unique because they have such a good secondary they can get away with stuffing the box like that?

GORE: They’ve got a good secondary. They kept 31 (Kam Chancellor) in the box the whole game. They didn’t want me or Kap to run. We’ve got to get it going. We know we can do it we’ve just got to do it.

Q: Most teams can’t get away with that?

GORE: Uh uh. They’ve got good corners. Sherman, he’s a good corner. The other guy was playing well.

Q: Overall it seems from talking to players the execution in the run game has been off. Is that what you’ve been seeing?

GORE: We’ve got to get better but people also are playing it real hard with a safety in the box. It’s tough.

Q: It seems your role these first two games has been more as a blocker than as a runner.

GORE: If they’re playing eight men in the box we’re bound to throw it. I’m a team guy. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. That’s what we’re about in this locker room. If we can win passing, I’m happy with it. If it’s running, I’m happy with that, too.

Q: Do the Colts have the ability to stuff the box?

GORE: I don’t really care what they do. It’s about us. We have to get better.

Q: Two years ago you got off to a slow start and we were all asking you what the problem was and then you have five-straight 100-yard games. Does that give you hope?

GORE: I know we can. We’ve just got to do it on the field. We’ll do it.

ME: How do your legs feel?

GORE: Good, man. I’m good.

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  1. I agree with everything Gore is saying here. Teams are stuffing the box, but too often it looks like 1 guy is missing on his assignment and that’s killing the play.

      1. Grant, why do you say his legs are gone? Yards Per Carry stats over two games are worthless, particularly given how much Green Bay sold out against the run. I’d also say that schematically (is that a word?) the Niner’s run game has been too slow too develop against opponents shooting into their gaps and disrupting things in the backfield. I think you even agree with that.

        I don’t think Frank has the explosiveness of his 2006 self. He’s older and has had quite a number of carries and injuries over the past 7 seasons. But I don’t think there’s that much of a drop physical decline from last year to attribute to his legs being gone.

        Are there holes that he’s just not getting to? To my eyes it looks like either D-linemen are pinching the middle or are getting into the backfield before a hole can open up.

        1. I’m using my eyes, not stats.

          His legs were going last year. No 100 yard games in the regular season after the first Seahawks game. He got them up for the first two playoff games and was shut down in the Super Bowl until Ngata got hurt and Gore broke off a couple runs through huge holes. But his legs have not come back this season and I’m think they’re not coming back. That’s what typically happens when a RB turns 30.

      2. again, Grant, is that because of Gore or because of a change in personnel, defensive scheme and game situation?

        The Niners were a power running, conservative passing offense. They morphed into a sometimes power running but schemed out tricked out running game to go with an aggressive passing game. Or to put it simply more Kaep less Gore.

        In the Super Bowl the Ravens were prepared to stop the Niner’s run game early in the game. The Ravens got up and settled into a more passive defense to prevent big plays. The Niners started running the ball effectively in the 2nd half. Different game situations.

        Ngata blew up the Niner’s line. He’s an elite Dlineman That’s hardly Gore’s fault. Ngata comes out. The Niners start to run again and Gore makes some runs….that’s how it’s supposed to work. Not sure again, how that’s a negative on Gore.

        I’m well aware of the dreaded Logan’s Running Back issue with rapidly declining skills at the position. Shaun Alexander was the steepest drop off I’ve ever seen for a decline in skills at the age of 29. I’m saying Gore already declined a few years ago. I don’t think he’s declined more in the past year.

        1. You’re telling me you really see life/explosion/snap in Gore’s legs this season? I don’t. Maybe the life will come back but I doubt it.

      3. Grant you may be right Gore’s legs might be gone but we wo’nt know for sure untill they play a D that does’nt bring 8 or 9 into the box. I think Gore looks just like he did a few times in his career when teams were loading the box and daring Alex Smith to throw the ball longer than 10 yards.
        Those times were scattered through out the combined history of AS\FG and many times there were whispers that gore had just taken to much punishment and he was done and as you know he proved the nay sayers wrong. So before you write his football obit lets see a game or 2 vs teams who do’nt load the box.

      4. No I don’t see explosion or snap in his legs. At least not like it was 5-6 years ago. but I haven’t seen it for 3-4 years I think as far back as 2009 (maybe 2010) you started seeing tackler get to Gore when he used just side step them or bounce off of them and even more so, you’d see tacklers chase him down to the sideline (his vision would get him some yards outside but nothing big) and worst of all you’d see tacklers catch him from behind.

        But again, Gore has been this way for 3+ years. So I don’t see a huge change in his skills set this year. His resurgence under Harbaugh and even more so last year (in terms of yards per carry), I attribute to changes in scheme and the need for defenses to finally have to respect the deep ball (something they haven’t done for god knows how long).

        Gore still has vision, leg drive and enough pop to get you a consistent 5 yards with a decent hole while contested by a tackler. the problem is he hasn’t been getting a decent hole.

      5. Grant, assuming you are right and Gore doesn’t have the same explosion, what would you do with the 49ers RB situation this season? Is Gore still the best RB on the roster?

      6. “Why would a defense not put eight in the box against this offense? No cornerback is afraid of Boldin running by them.”

        Grant, come on man…basic passing 101. It’s hard to defend any receiver if you just have 3 in coverage (with a 4th/SS flexing in and out of zone/man coverage in and out of the box). You can attack and stretch the coverages so many more ways horizontally and vertically when there are 8 in the box. And if the Strong Safety is pattern matching then combo routes horizontal/vertical (like a sluggo) to confuse the DB reads can really cause havoc with the coverage.

        The key of course is for the line to block the pass rushers long enough for the QB to read the coverage and make the throw. And of course the QB has to read the coverage quickly. Seattle used press man 1 hybrid coverage and could get away with it because their Corners were good enough to stick with the receivers long enough while the all ears pinned back attack front line defenders came after Kaep. Not many teams have the talent to do that.

        1. Yes, most teams do. Boldin and Kyle Williams aren’t hard to stay with. No starting corner needs safety help on Kyle Williams.

      7. His legs were going last year. No 100 yard games in the regular season after the first Seahawks game.

        In order to have 100 yard games you have to have the attempts to do so. Gore averaged over 4.5 yards a carry in 4 of the last 8 games of the season, and over 4 ypc in 6 of the final 8. His legs were not dead. His carries were being monitored and when he played he played well.

        He got them up for the first two playoff games and was shut down in the Super Bowl until Ngata got hurt and Gore broke off a couple runs through huge holes.

        Right so he averages over 5 yards a carry in two of the 3 playoff games yet his legs were gone? You are the same guy that is trying to say Lynch dominated when 21 of his 28 carries went for minimal or negative yardage and he averaged under 4 ypc.

        But his legs have not come back this season and I’m think they’re not coming back. That’s what typically happens when a RB turns 30.

        It’s happened before, but I haven’t seen it yet mainly because I’ve yet to see the blocking up front open any holes for him. What you shouldn’t do is draw conclusions from 30 carries, most of which have come against 8-9 man fronts and featured guys missing their blocks.

      8. i’m getting frustrated.

        Grant you really need to open a playbook and learn basic passing concepts. you don’t have to be a burner to stretch and challenge coverages.

        and Williams was OPEN for much of the Seattle game

      9. Kyle Williams was never open… get a clue ALLFORFUNNPLAY. WHEN HAS KYLE WILLIAMS DONE ANYTHING IN HIS CAREER. He shouldnt be starting over Patton. Gore shouldnt be starting over Hunter. Maybe it will take 2 or 3 losses in a row for them to figure it out.

  2. It is a tough situation with regard to Seattle. Unless they have a true deep threat (maybe two) the safety is not going to back off. And drafting a player who can be a true deep threat in the NFL is easier said than done. I don’t think it’s a good idea to draft WRs in the first round. Overpaying FAs is not feasible. The best bet is to draft a couple of candidate deep threats in the mid to lower rounds every year until they find the right guy(s). Until that happens (or until salary cap takes a toll on the Seattle defense), I don’t see the Niners defeating them at CLink.

  3. Is Gore getting hit in the backfield? No. How many yards is he gaining after contact? None. Does he posses the speed to get outside? No. Should the Niners look at Hunter and Dixon more RIGHT NOW? Yes.

    1. It’s obvious but 49ers fans don’t want to see it. I understand why. Gore is an all-time great 49er and it’s never fun to watch a legend hit the twilight of his career. But look how drastically Barry Sanders’ play fell off when he turned 30. His ypc dropped almost 2 full yards per carry. It happens suddenly.

      1. Walsh would have cut Gore last year. I hate to say this, but his best years are clearly behind him. Gore has been a tremendous RB for the 49ers, but now it’s time to look at other options.

      2. And they have, Nick, with Lattimore. Unfortunately, I think the front office gambled that Frank would have another year in the tank… which remains to be seen.

    2. While I agree with what you’re saying, Hunter and especially Dixon are not the blocking back Gore is. So, you sort of pick your poison there. I also think that Hunter is not yet 100%. It’s going to be growing pains while we try to hide that.

      1. I actually agree and thought he should have been traded a few years ago. The Niners sort of painted themselves into this corner with Gore and the RB position.

        Across the league, in general the running position has been the easiest to replace, usually replacing a workhorse with a stable of various types of runners. But here’s the problem: The Niners Front Office has not been able to find his replacement over the years. They’ve tried. I think they really hoped Glenn Coffee was going to be that replacement. But that didn’t work out. And so they drafted complimentary running backs like Hunter and James. Because they have Gore under contract one more year (that contract was basically the result of the failed Coffee/replacement RB by the front office), I think they just decided to give it a whirl with Frank one more time until Lattimore or a 2014 rookie is ready to step in.

    3. Lameareafanatic, So quick to dismiss just two games in. Like usual, you will be singing a different tune when Gore rattles off a couple big rushing games.
      BTW, wasn’t Kap suppose to prevent teams from playing 8-9 men in the box with his laser like arm? Or is it maybe that teams have watched film on him, studied him and now he is as predictable as everyone else, and he now needs to adjust. Kinda makes the Bears game seem like an anomaly doesn’t it clown?

      1. What is the matter Nick row, cannot answer the question or cannot form an arguement? There’s that Cal education at its finest!

    4. Nick row, Green Bay put all their eggs in one basket, stop the run and don’t worry about anything else. They let Q run around at will. MCCarthy’s game plan was one dimensional. Carroll took away everything and what happened?

    5. He actually has been hit in the backfield a few times Bay. There’s no doubt he is not the same player he was in his prime, but to write him off and say he’s done after a couple of games is ridiculous to me.

      The problem is missed blocks. Just saw this on NFL.com:


      I haven’t had a chance to go over the all 22 myself yet but based on that and what Jack said after looking at it, the problems are missed blocks; not the running backs. Iupati not only didn’t block anybody on that play, he ran up the back of Bruce Miller who was trying to seal off the outside and was actually doing a good job. Iupati has been terrible through the first two games and that has to change in a hurry. Goodwin is struggling as well.

    6. I agree Gore isn’t getting much after initial contact, but you are wrong about him not getting hit in the backfield. He’s been getting hit in the backfield or near the LOS almost every time. In the past couple of seasons that hasn’t been the case, he’s been getting holes to run into.

  4. Don’t know if anybody has reported this according to ESPN injury report they reporting that Davis tweeted he is good to go Sunday. Manningham and Wright look to return after week 6 and Crabtree may return 1st week of Dec. Seattle is Dec. 8th hope all is true.

  5. I seriously doubt if the coaches felt that Gore couldn’t get it done they would stick with him anyway. I mean they put in Kaepernick over Smith when Smith was winning for the team! And thats a high profile QB move! He hasn’t been that fast the last two years and they still get the job done. They just need to get it together all around. Watching the film there is a few times the linemen missed huge assignments and there are a few times where gore just miss-read the blocking scheme. I have a lot of faith they will get it together. The super bowl wasn’t that long ago and he had a 100 yard game against a stout ravens D.

  6. The most successful run by a running back in the last 8 qtrs was Hunter running a play designed to go wide, right vs Green Bay. Strangely, I don’t remember a run wide right since then.

    I think Gore’s legs are OK, but his hips can’t handle turning the corner so his presence telegraphs inside runs. When he does rip off a long run, he tends to be shot for the rest of the game.

    He’s still an absolute stub blocker and has big value as an inside runner (at least until he breaks a long run)

  7. So the defense shows 8 or 9 men “in the box”…
    Just imagine if the Niner QB had a Larry Fitzgerald
    in such situations?
    Oh, well; at least we can dream…..

  8. As far as the running game, the line is not performing. It wasn’t performing in the pre season either, but most people were blaming LaMic and the other backs. There has been many plays where the oppositions defense was in the Niners backfield immediately. Hard to judge any type of offense without the line performing. Gore is definitely not as fast nor as explosive as he once was but till the line starts blocking I will rest judgment till that happens.

  9. I can’t really say whether Gore’s legs are gone until I see the OL block better than what it has in the first two games.

  10. Frank Gore has not adjusted to the read option, they have went away from his staple which was whams and counters and instead threw a gimmicky run game at him and he hasn’t adjusted to it. When he goes from the read option you can see him hesitate more whereas before he would slam right into the hole. Also the weather last game cant have helped the run game.

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