NAPA Over the past three seasons, 49ers running back Frank Gore has rushed for 3,833 yards and caught a team-high 157 passes.
Thats the easy part of his job, Gore said Tuesday.
In this league, anybody can run the ball and catch the ball, Gore said. Coach (Tom Rathman) really coaches us up. He tells us, I want tough guys.
Gore demonstrated his toughness within moments of the opening bell of the 49ers first of four practices with the Raiders. In a one-on-one blitz pickup drill, Gore locked up with Raiders fourth-year linebacker Ricky Brown and planted him on his back. Just a few moments later, Gore easily disposed of fifth-player player Kirk Morrison.
Uncharacteristically, Gore kept going at Morrison after the plays conclusion. He had to be held back, and coach Mike Singletary had some words with his best offensive player.
I told Frank Ill put him on the bus if he does that again, Singletary said. But he did a nice job.
Gore was in a feisty mood, all right. And Rathman liked what he saw.
If you dont have the willingness and the mean streak, its going to be tough to excel at that job as a pass blocker, Rathman said. And were trying to develop that here.
Gores prowess as a playmaker is well-known, but he also takes a lot of pleasure in performing the duties that do not show up on his stat line.
Frank is a guy who gets excited about what hes doing, Singletary said. His heart, his emotion and his enthusiasm are what this game is all about.
Gores enthusiasm and knowledge of the game leads 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan to believe Gore could easily become a scout once his playing career is over. McCloughan said he would not think twice about hiring Gore as a talent evaluator.
And Gore said he continues to learn the finer points of the game from Rathman, who played on two Super Bowl champions and seven division winners in eight seasons with the 49ers.