Jim Harbaugh has called
Most recently, Harbaugh called the 49ers running back a Hall of Famer.
"Yes, I believe so," Harbaugh said Monday in response to a reporter's question. "I truly believe that."
Gore, San Francisco's all-time rushing leader, rushed for 86 more yards in Week 15, pushing him above the 1,000-yard threshold for the seventh time in his nine-year career.
It's clear he hasn't lost a step at age 30, even after Sunday's win at Tampa Bay, where he suffered a late, minor ankle injury.
"Yeah, he was walking good on the plane. Saw him walk up and down the aisle. He looked like he was walking it off pretty good," Harbaugh said. "Came back and said hello. We had a nice chat during the flight... That was enjoyable. It’s kind of become a little tradition to have a nice chat with Frank after we win.”
Gore has made four Pro Bowl appearances. A third straight and five overall could be in order.
PRO BOWL VOTE:
Harbaugh was also asked if Bowman, whose four tackles against the Buccaneers gives him 124 for the season or the second-highest total in the NFC, deserves consideration for the NFL's Defensive MVP award.
"He sure has been playing at a very high level," the coach said. "Consistently great week in and week out. You could even say the last four or five ballgames, I mean, he’s elevated that play to the last five, six, seven games. He’s just been outstanding and deserves to be mentioned in that kind of company."
Dawson connected on four more three-point tries, including attempts from 43 yards and 47 yards. He is 27-for-30 this season, making a strong bid for a second trip to Hawaii in two years.
"Twenty-four straight field goals, and he has just been a top-notch guy too on the team from the day he got here," Harbaugh said, referencing Dawson's recent franchise record for consecutive makes. "Just a real guy’s guy. Real football player in every sense of the word, which that always doesn’t get affixed to kickers and punters, but Phil is that kind of a teammate. It’s about the team. It’s about accomplishing the mission and the goal of the team and him doing his job within that. That’s the way I truly believe the way he looks at it. So it’s been A-plus-plus. Very happy with Phil. Nothing not to be happy with him about. Just so good on the field, off the field, in the locker, in the community, et cetera.”
Reid caught his fourth interception against the Bucs and has been applauded by teammates and coaches for his falling on the ball instead of running it back for a touchdown.
"Could have batted it down because it was fourth down, but who’s going to do that when they have a chance to get an interception?" Harbaugh asked, smiling. "Further probably tells you how smart he is. But, no, good decision."
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