The running back position is arguably the most underrated position right now in the National Football League as players take a ton of pounding on their bodies while the career expectancy isn’t that long. And as the NFL has become a more pass happy league in recent years, it’s safe to say that Emmitt Smith’s total of 18,355 rushing yards will stand for a very long time as the league’s all-time gold standard for running the football. But that hasn’t stopped a player such as Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore from giving it all that he has and then some.
Gore was a third-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005. Knee injuries that Gore sustained at the University of Miami saw his stock fall upon initially coming to the National Football League, but it didn’t take him that long to show that he was one of the better running backs in the game.
In Gore’s rookie season he only managed to rush for 608 yards as he only started one game. But by 2006, Gore rushed for a career-high 1,695 yards. Gore continued to put up solid numbers for the 49ers in spite of the fact that he was playing on bad teams. And that losing was something new to Gore as he came from a winning culture at Miami.
In 2011, Gore would get his first taste of the postseason as a new head coach in Jim Harbaugh would change the culture in San Francisco. By 2012, Gore reached the game’s biggest stage in the Super Bowl, but his Niners lost that evening to the Baltimore Ravens.
Gore’s last season in San Francisco would come in 2014, but not before he would become the 49ers all-time leading rusher with 11,073 yards as eight of his 12 years in the National Football League have seen him gain at least 1,000 yards. Gore is closing in on another 1,000-yard campaign on the ground as he is just 36 yards away from reaching the holy grail for running backs once more. Gore’s 13,004 career rushing yards are good for eighth on the NFL’s all-time list as he has passed six Pro Football Hall of Fame running backs which includes Jim Brown and Tony Dorsett this season in yardage.
This season Gore has a pair of 100-yard games which includes getting 101 rushing yards in the Colts Week 15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. And even at the age of 33 which is ancient for running backs in the National Football League, Gore appears to be getting better just like a fine wine.
What has kept Gore around in the National Football League is the fact that he has the same hunger which he had upon entering the league in 2005. When Gore is toting the rock, his legs never stop churning as he is a testament to hard work and determination, while also being an inspiration to young running backs that are entering the league. Gore is playing for a Colts team that will miss the playoffs for a second consecutive year, but that has not stopped him from producing on the field as well as in the locker room where his experience can help the younger players.
Gore has one year left on his contract with the Colts as he is set to earn $3.5 million in 2017. But you never know what tomorrow will bring, and if Gore chooses to continue his career next year, he will undoubtedly be an asset to whichever team that he plays for. Gore has gone about his business in the National Football League very quietly. However his strong legs will carry him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he’ll take his rightful place among the other great running backs that the game has seen.