Coming into the 2005 NFL draft with quite the chip on his shoulder, Frank Gore was selected 65th overall in the third round by the 49ers.
“I still carry that chip on my shoulder, especially with the guys who went before me, like Ronnie Brown, Cadillac (Williams), Cedric Benson,” Gore told reporters Wednesday in a conference call. “They’re all great players. J.J. Arrington, Eric Shelton, and then me. I told myself when I came into the league that I’m going to show everybody that they passed up the best back. Look at the career, look at the numbers, and it shows. I do carry that chip on my shoulder, and I’ll continue to carry that on my shoulder.”
The most important question from the conference call was when a reporter asked Gore why it was so important to finish his career with the San Francisco 49ers. Without hesitation Gore told the media, “Because of the guys in the locker room, and this is the team that drafted me. Coming out of college, they saw something in me. You rarely see running backs get to finish their career with the team [that] drafted them. Obviously, I’m one of them. And, hopefully, I can get my name on the 10-year wall, and break some more records out here.”
Gore said last week he wanted to be a 49er for the rest of his career. It was announced late Wednesday that the running back had signed a three-year contract extension worth $21 million over three years with $13.5 million guaranteed.
Even though it was not the best deal for the 28-year-old, it shows Gore’s true characteristics as a real football player. Gore has always told himself that, if given the chance, he will not be the running back who moves from team to team. Upon entering the NFL in 2005, Gore set out to pattern himself after great running backs like Barry Sanders, who finished his 10-year career with the Detroit Lions. Similar to Sanders, Gore is on track to finishing his career with the team that drafted him as well, with the 49ers signing Gore with the team through 2014.
Only four top 25 all-time leading rushers played for only one franchise: Walter Payton (Chicago Bears, No.2 all-time), Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions, No.3), Jim Brown (Cleveland Browns, No.9) and Tiki Barber (New York Giants, No.22).
Gore looks to rebound this season after missing the final five games of 2010 due to fracturing his hip against the Arizona Cardinals last November. Currently Gore is 3rd on the 49ers all time rusher list, needing only 931 yards to become the franchise all-time leading rusher. On the top of that list is all time great running back Joe “the Jet” Perry, who has amassed a franchise record of 7,344 yards in 12 seasons.
Gore sets the epitome for the being a 49er “faithful” as he has his eyes set on breaking the record and scribing himself in the 49ers history books as the No. 1 all time leading rusher. No matter what direction this team may go in the upcoming and highly anticipated 2011-12 NFL season, Gore has faith in the team and will do all he can to break that record.
“We haven’t been having winning seasons, but the fans have been 100 percent behind us,” Gore said. “I see coach Harbaugh and this coaching staff, they’re football guys. I have no doubt, I know we can get it done. I know we have talent in that locker room, probably more than any NFL team.”
Gore has even spoken to general manager Trent Baalke about working for the team when he’s done playing. On his Tuesday morning interview with the media, Jim Harbaugh swooned over his 28-year old running back.
“Frank is a true 49er. I’ve said that from when I first got here,” Harbaugh said. “That’s how I thought I would feel about Frank Gore. Now, I know how I feel about Frank Gore. The guy is awesome. Somebody should do a movie. Somebody should do the Frank Gore story, because it’s an awesome story.”
Not only that Coach Harbaugh, Frank Gore is a true football player and a rare breed. Frank Gore loves to play the game of football and is an athlete that will always be a student of the game. Gore is definitely a 49er for life, more so, Frank Gore is a footballer for life.