49ers RB Frank Gore Not Covinced With Splitting Carries
In theory, the 49ers want to move toward a multi-back system to take some of the workload off their featured back.
But just try selling that idea to Frank Gore.
“You have a hard time trying to explain to Frank how some other guy needs to play,” Coach Mike Singletary said. “He just doesn’t get it. I think as time goes on he’ll be a little more willing to do that.”
Gore has four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, a franchise first. His 6,653 yards from scrimmage since 2006 are topped only by Steven Jackson (6,766) and LaDainian Tomlinson (6,692).
But Gore has also battled ankle injuries and his hard-nosed running style raises concerns about wear and tear. The 49ers drafted rookie Glen Coffee to take some of the load a year ago, but Coffee had only 83 carries on the season and had more than two carries in a game only once after Week 7.
The 49ers think Gore can stay fresher and healthier over the course of the season if they get him a well-timed breather. The team points to recent New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys teams of examples of successful running back committees.
That’s why they the 49ers used a sixth-round pick on Anthony Dixon, a 6-0, 233-pound back from Mississippi. Dixon lacks breakaway speed but, like Gore, he’s a powerful inside runner.
“I embrace the contact,” Dixon said. “Very physical.”