Brandon Jacobs Offers Sizeable Option


Frank Gore has averaged 4.6 yards per carry in seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and has the most 100-yard games (29) than any other NFL rusher during that period, but that didn't stop the team from adding more support to the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Enter former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who offers a unique dimension to the 49ers offensive attack, short-yardage power. In seven seasons with the Giants, the 6-foot-4, 264-pound bruiser totaled 56 rushing scores, the most in New York's proud history.

Now, as Jacobs finds himself a week into his first training camp with a new club, the powerful runner is maintaining his calling card while showing off his all-around skills out of the backfield.

After Jacobs caught a swing route and darted up field at Wednesday's morning practice, offensive coordinator Greg Roman was taken back.

"It was like, 'Hmmmm, pretty good," Roman said.

Jacobs does have 80 career receptions for 730 yards with four touchdowns to his credit, but most remember his for his short-yardage dominance.

Count Roman in the group.

"When he gets his shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage and gets a forward line, he is something," Roman said. "He is a unique running back."

Just when Roman had his new running back scouted, Jacobs continues to display a wide array of talents.

"The biggest thing I'm impressed with, with Brandon, one of the many things," Roman began, "he's very critical of himself. He might make a great run and hit it, but he'll still say, 'I could have done this better; I could have done that better.'

"We like that. That's what we look for, so he's been a great fit."

Perhaps Jacobs' most redeeming quality is his unselfish approach.

Unaware of where the bulk of responsibilities will be in the regular season, Jacobs said he's open to contributing on special teams if needed.

"That's a question coaches will have to answer," Jacobs said. "Whatever they need me to do, I'm down with it. Whatever helped this team win, I'm down with it."

That doesn't mean Jacobs is shying away from his calling card. If anything, he's slimmed down 15 pounds to make himself even more effective in such a role.

"I'm doing what I set out to do," said Jacobs, who told reporters this offseason it was his first time implanting squat lifts into his season preparation. "I just can't wait till the season starts and we start playing some games."

"I feel faster. I feel stronger. I feel like I'm playing with better leverage, my pads are down more, my balance is better," Jacobs added.

Count 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin as another player eager to see the team's new power back in action.

"Any time you have a big back who can move the pile and is hard to bring down, as a linemen, it tends to get you excited," said Goodwin, who enters his second season in San Francisco. "Guys like Brandon, who can break tackles, every now and then you have a missed block or something, he can make you look good.

"It's exciting to have a guy with his size, his experience and his power. It should be fun to see what he can do for the offense."

With the 49ers offense looking to work on red zone offense Thursday at camp, Jacobs will have the opportunity to display his power running style.

"I take a lot of pride in it because that's where everything's happening," he explained. "The game is fast. You're going into little areas. You've got to be ready. You're going to get hit, it's just a matter of when you're going to get hit."

Power is a given, but Jacobs is also working hard to master Roman's playbook. Instead of asking 10 questions per day, Jacobs said he's down to just two.

If he's able to pick up the offense in a hurry, Jacobs believes he can earn a third Super Bowl ring by the end of the year. Yes, there are times when last season's NFC title game is brought up. But Jacobs knows not to rub it in his teammates faces. He understands their hunger to win reach the big game and win it all.

Jacobs hopes he's one of many factors helping San Francisco accomplish the ultimate goal.

"I got the ring, it's behind me," said the eighth-year veteran who's won two rings with the Giants. "It's fun once you get the ring. I'm looking to get a third one. We've got a good team and that's our goal, what we're working towards."

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