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Frank Gore: ‘We’ll Be Ready’

Posted Nov 14, 2013

Frank Gore hasn't lost any confidence in the 49ers offense, the franchise's all-time leading rusher says the team will be "ready" for the Saints.

Frank Gore hasn’t lost any swagger.

In the mind of the 49ers all-time rushing king, none of his teammates have either.

So while local and national critics pick apart San Francisco’s offense after a 10-9 home loss to the Carolina Panthers, Gore couldn’t care less.

He’s already moved on from the home defeat and has his focus set on the Week 11 road challenge against the New Orleans Saints.

“I just think things didn’t go our way against Carolina,” Gore said. “The weeks before we were doing well, we just need to clean up our mistakes, move on and get ready for this Sunday.”

49ers vs. Saints Matchups

Gore rushed 16 times for 82 yards last week, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, his best average in five weeks.

There’s no reason for the NFL’s No. 6 rushing leader to be down on his ability. Instead, Gore wants the 49ers to avoid third-and-long situations against a much improved Saints defense.

“We’ve got to keep the ball, keep the chains moving, try and put points up when we get opportunities,” Gore said. “Everybody has to do the right thing. If everybody does their job, you can keep the chains moving.”

The 49ers also uncharacteristically struggled to convert short-yardage plays against the Panthers. San Francisco’s short-yardage packages were dramatically impacted without the services of two tight ends: Vernon Davis and Garrett Celek.

Davis, in particular, makes a huge difference in all aspects of the 49ers offense.

“He’s a big guy who can stretch the field and can block – it’s big when he’s on the field,” Gore noted.

Davis’ health will continue to be monitored after he suffered a mild-concussion in the first half of the Panthers game. The good news for Davis and the 49ers is that the eighth-year pro has been cleared for non-contact work and was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Davis’ availability for Sunday won’t be known until later in the weekend.

With or without Davis, Gore knows the 49ers will see an aggressive defense in New Orleans.

San Francisco won on the road 31-21 last season, but will now face one of the most high-potent offensive and creative defensive units in the NFL.

The Saints defense is far less predictable under veteran coordinator Rob Ryan. The unit ranks No. 3 against the pass (199.9 yards per game) and No. 23 against the run (117.7 yards per game).

“They’re better,” Gore said point-blank. “They show a lot of different blitzes. The coordinator is doing a great job with them and is putting them in great situations.”

Center Jonathan Goodwin, a member of New Orleans’ Super Bowl XLIV-winning team, has faced his shared of Ryan-coached defenses in the NFL.

“Very creative, very exotic and multiple,” Goodwin said of the qualities of a Ryan-coached defense.

“He’s doing a lot of good things for them and you can see it in the way they’re playing on defense,” Goodwin said. “Guys moving around, playing in positions you think they wouldn’t be playing in.”

Goodwin said it’s hard to rely on previous notes against a coordinator who changes things up so frequently.

Sunday’s matchup will be a challenge for both clubs as they look to stay in the thick of the NFC playoff race.

No matter what looks are presented by the Saints, the leaders of the offense feel up for the task.

“We’ll be ready,” Gore said.



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