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Gore Warms Up to Read-Option Attack

Posted Aug 2, 2013

Frank Gore has proven to be a diverse running threat in his NFL career.

Frank Gore has made a living by running power plays in between the tackles.

The four-time Pro Bowl running back is known for being a contortionist of sorts, a hard-charging runner who is nimble enough to lower himself and slide in between any ounce of daylight in the trenches.

Gore’s running style, however, was altered slightly with the emergence of Colin Kaepernick's running and downfield passing skills.

At first, Gore had to get used to the unknown of carrying out read-option fakes and potentially not having the football in his arms if Kaepernick elected to keep the ball and challenge the perimeter of the defense. It took a few weeks, but the franchise’s all-time leader in carries, rushing yards and rushing scores became accustomed to San Francisco’s read-option attack.

Gore soon thrived with it.

“After playing the playoffs and seeing how easy it was to get yards in the read option, I don’t care what it is,” Gore began. “It could be read option or other plays, as long as we get great plays from it, we can run whatever.”

Gore carried the ball 63 times for 319 yards (5.1 yards per carry) with four rushing touchdowns in the 2012 postseason. He rushed 10 times in Super Bowl XLVII, picking up 110 rushing yards and one touchdown, too.

Kaepernick’s perimeter running threat allowed Gore to break large chunk plays in between the hashmarks.


Entering 2013, Gore is eager to see how last year's postseason success plays out in his ninth season in San Francisco and first full season working with Kaepernick under center.

The 49ers bell cow running back has also been pleased with Kaepernick’s touch passes to running backs in the flats. With each training camp session, San Francisco's starting quarterback has displayed an improved ability to make the correct velocity on shorter routes.

Gore sees it as another step in Kaepernick continuing to grow at his position.

“I think he got better at that this year,” Gore said. “Last year he was all about the big play and I think he’s more comfortable with doing everything now.”

Even so, Gore doesn’t expect to see his catching numbers increase in 2013. Gore noted that his receptions have declined in each of the past two seasons, but doesn’t mind it based on San Francisco’s sustained success with Jim Harbaugh as head coach and Greg Roman as offensive coordinator.

“We’ve been winning, so it doesn’t matter,” said Gore, who expects different play-makers to have their moments throughout the upcoming season.

“Each week it could be a different person’s week, so we’ll see.”

The 2013 version of Frank Gore will be known as one of the most well-rounded running backs in the NFL. Gore, 30, prides himself on carrying out any play in any formation.

It’s much different than the power schemes he ran behind upcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Larry Allen back in 2006.

“I’m happy to say I did play with him,” Gore said of his fellow 2006 Pro Bowl guard, who helped pave the way for the running back’s 1,695-yard season, the best of his career.

“Now he’s a Hall of Famer and I’m happy to say I played with him and at the Pro Bowl.”

If Gore continues to be successful in San Francisco’s diverse running attack, he might just find his way to Canton.



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