Veteran running back Frank Gore will check in throughout the 2008 Training Camp with his Camp Diary. Enjoy finding out how things of gone for the 49ers starting back in his first entry!**
We started camp on Friday and for that first practice, I was very tired, but since then, it's been good. I feel the more you learn and the more you know, the better camp is for you.
We are all still learning this offense, but I think it's coming along and I feel that I'm picking it up pretty good so far. We just have to keep working at it and following the captain of our boat in Mike Martz. I think if we do just what he says and keep studying and staying in the books, we'll be one of the best teams in the league.
The first couple of days everybody is always happy and flying around and that's good to see. For me, I'm very happy this year just to be out there with my guys. Last year I was frustrated because I broke my hand and then my mom was in the hospital. It was a frustrating year for everyone, but for me it was that way from the start because of the injury in camp and everything else.
I try not to think too much about last year though. I trained very hard this off-season and I'm at my fighting weight, and just happy to be out there with my guys, and happy that my body feels good.
I've made mistakes here and there but so far I feel like I'm coming along and that I'm doing what I need to so that I'll be ready for the season. The line is doing a good job for me. Everybody is learning, but they're pretty good.
I am doing new things this year, but one play that is my favorite is where I'm running a route out of the slot. I usually have a linebacker who comes over top on me and then I just read off what they do to figure out which way I want to go. Sometimes it's Joe Staley, sometimes it's Jeff Ulbrich covering me, it all depends on the defense, and I feel like I should be able to beat a linebacker every time. That's just me.
If I do mess up in practice, I try to figure out how to do better the next time. I'll talk to Coach Nate (Tony Nathan) and find out what he thinks I should do. I'm more familiar with him now, and so I am starting to ask him more questions. I also go ask DeShaun Foster to see what he thought I should have done because he's been in this league for a while. We've got a bunch of great guys in our room and they all help out.
Speaking of my guys, MRob went down in practice today and he's a big player on our team, so of course you worry for a minute. We need him. In the NFL, the healthier teams are, the better they are. I think he was just more scared when it happened, but I think he'll be alright.
I think I'm a bit different than some guys when it comes to camp. A lot of guys rush home to sleep, but I can't ever take naps between practices. I don't know why, but I just can't. It works for me though because I always feel better in the afternoon practice than I do in the morning for some reason. By the afternoon I always have more of that "I'm ready to go."
The fans also help give me that excitement about practice when they are here watching, because they really make you want to go out there and practice hard. I think about all of the struggles since I've been here, and they've still been true fans. So, when they call your name during practice I try to nod and wave at them to let them know I hear them and I appreciate it. It's been three rough years since I have been here with the losing and they have still been here with us. You've got to try and give things back to them.
I don't really like to get in the cold tub much either. I haven't gotten in at all yet, although I did get in the hot tub this morning finally. I kind of wait until I feel that my legs aren't fresh at all. That's when I get in the cold tub. But, I've been feeling good so far. You know, I'm a young guy.
My routine usually after the morning practice is to take a shower here, weigh myself, go home, look over the plays, come back and watch film up until the second practice. After the second practice I run on the treadmill. Coach Carlisle has me doing a bunch of different things in there to get some extra cardio. I talked to Marshall Faulk and that's one of the things he told me – just to stay in the best shape so that I can be ready for this offense and do more.
It's a lot of longs day during training camp. We start early and don't usually wrap up our meetings until about 9:45 at night. After that I study my playbook back in my room, watch television until it's time to go to bed, usually by midnight.
My television habits are basically ESPN only. It's all basically been about Brett Favre lately, and that's about it. But I like to know what's going on in the NFL.
Coach cancelled practice this afternoon which took us by surprise. We signed autographs instead, which was another chance to give back to the fans.
We've got meetings now tonight and then tomorrow morning we'll be in pads. As long as I touch the rock and get my reads down pat and get the feel with my o-linemen, I will be alright for the season, and with pads on, you get a better read for running the ball out there. So, I'll be looking forward to it in the morning.