There is no doubt that the San Francisco 49ers are preparing with the future without their star running back, Frank Gore. It started last season when they incorporated Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James into their potent offense and both had their moments. In this year’s draft, the 49ers selected Marcus Lattimore from South Carolina but he is not expected to play this season and may be the replacement for Gore.
But the way Gore is going right now, it may be a while until the 49ers need a new feature running back. Over the last five games leading up to their match against the horrible Jacksonville Jaguars, Gore has amassed a league-high 487 yards. He also leads the league with seven runs of twenty yards or more this season. These are numbers you would not think to see from an aging back, who does not have nearly the speed of an Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch or Chris Johnson.
This is supposed to be the time where running backs are supposed to slow down in their career but not Gore, who seems to be getting better with age. It might be because he has such a dynamic quarterback in Colin Kaepernick or that he runs behind the best and most physical offensive line in the NFL. In any case, Gore has remained healthy and is one of the most dynamic running backs in the league.
Most good running backs do not get better with age. You see the best backs’ careers decline after the age of 30. It is no surprise that Lesean McCoy, Lynch and Jamaal Charles lead the league in rushing. All of these guys are in their early and mid-twenties but you see who is number four on that list and it is Frank Gore.
Most running backs tail off later in their careers because of the pure number of hits they take every season and takes a toll on their bodies. Barry Sanders, one of the best running backs in the game if not the greatest, retired for this exact reason. Somehow this has not been the case for Gore, who is on his way to becoming the greatest running back in 49ers history. He will tail off sometime in the near future but for now, he is still one of the best running backs in the league.
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