August 2, 2011MINDI BACH ARCHIVE
49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
Frank Gore is in camp and all is right with the world. The relief on his teammates faces upon seeing number 21 in the locker room is hard to miss. Joshua Morgan didnt sugarcoat his feelings.
It's really exciting. I almost hugged him and gave him a kiss, Morgan said. But I tried to play it cool.
No doubt, Gore is the heart of this teams offense, and with the loss of key veterans on defense and so much uncertainty in the defensive secondary, Gores role becomes even more pivotal as Jim Harbaughs new offense comes into focus.
"Very excited that Frank's back, said Joe Staley. Frank's a leader on this team. It's good to have him back there. The energy is up anytime he's back there. You know he's going to take care of business, and the linemen, we like blocking for Frank. He creates so many things on his own. You give him a small seam, and he's one of those players that can just find it, squeeze through there and make a small gain into a big one."
And while everyone is learning Harbaughs system, Gores fellow running backs Anthony Dixon and Kendall Hunter have the most to gain with his return to the facility.
He's really really smart when it comes to football, Staley said. He picks things up so easily. He's always on everything. Always talking, always communicating, so that's something we expect from Frank. And he helps out the young guys too because they see the way he communicates out on the field and how he knows all his stuff so...he's a good example for them."
Frank brings confidence, Dixon added. Hes got great talent. He is a funny dude. Hes just fun to be around. Frank is just Frank.
I had the chance to catch up with kicker Joe Nedney as he drove away from the facility today. While he was not caught off guard over his release from the 49ers, he is still emotional as he comes to terms with the end of his 15 year NFL career.
Nedney told me he began to realize that he was in trouble as the lockout wore on and his knee was simply not healing. After workouts it would balloon up he explained.
I told him he is more than welcome to come in to our Comcast SportsNet studios to talk 49ers football if hes willing. Not yet, Nedney said. He needs some time to get away from the game and digest the last few weeks. Certainly understandable. I wish him the best and thank him for his professionalism in answering my questions. When hes ready to talk football again, well be here.