The (In)Convenient Truth

Did you know there’s only two active running backs from the 2005 NFL Draft?

With a lead in question like that, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.  The obvious one is a current, borderline Hall of Famer.  Ask any San Francisco 49ers fan, and he’s a guaranteed member of the Hall.  For us, it’s been a convenient truth that Frank Gore has produced effectively for nine NFL seasons.

The other guy is a known name.  He just signed with his third  NFL team after nine years.  The scat back has one fifth of the carries as Gore and one fifth of the yards.   There’s no intent to demean this player.  I’m strictly stating that in terms of an NFL running back, he’s fresh.  The only other active, drafted running back from 2005 is Darren Sproles.

Truthfully, I don’t foresee a full appreciation of Frank Gore’s tenure in the NFL until his time lacing up the cleats has gone.  The 49ers all-time leading rusher has personified the term consistent.  He’s been good (really good) when the Niners were bad.  He’s a strong, shifty, and understatedly versatile running back that produces when peers have fizzled.

Nineteen running backs (including Gore) were drafted in 2005:

Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, J.J. Arrington, Eric Shelton, Vernand Morency, Maurice Clarett, Brandon Jacobs, Marion Barber, Ciatrick Fason, Alvin Pearmon, Darren Sproles, Damien Nash, Cedric Houston, Deandre Cobb, Lionel Gates, Anthony Davis, Noah Herron

That list alone personifies the fact that the NFL Draft is one large crap shoot performed by individuals that are payed to know better.  But, I digress from what Frank Gore has meant to the 49ers franchise.  And that in itself exemplifies Frank Gore’s entire career.  Focus on the defense.   Focus on the number one overall pick (Alex Smith) or the freakishly athletic anomaly (Colin Kaepernick) at quarterback.  Focus on anything but Frank Gore.  Lose sight of that focus, and Gore gouges the defense with persistence for nine straight seasons.

From the waist down, Gore has been rebuilt, restitched and regenerated in his career on a year in, year out basis.  Gore has overcome massive reconstruction to both knees and a hip surgery in 2010 to surpass that undeniable graveyard age of 30 for NFL running backs.   He’s done what most do not…..produce at that age and for that long.

Are we near the end of Frank Gore’s productive career?  Youthful guys, teammates are gunning for his job.  His proverbial miles are adding up.   But, go ahead and take your focus off Frank Gore and see where that gets you.

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