Going 1-on-1 with Frank Gore

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Going 1-on-1 with Frank Gore

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Don't miss Mindi Bach's feature on Frank Gore as part of the latest edition of 49ers Central, premiering Wednesday at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and showing throughout the week.

Frank Gore is not only a marvel to fans of the game, but to his own head coach.

Ive never seen anything like him to be honest with you. I cant compare him to any other player that Ive ever been around, Jim Harbaugh said in his weekly Monday press conference the day after Gore became the franchises leading rusher with 7,396 yards.

Then, when you add up the injuries hes had, some of the serious knee, shoulder, hip-type of injuries, lesser guys would have called it a career, let alone to come back and having the kind of year that Frank is having. Hes a different guy. Hes not normal. Hes not you and me. No, hes not any of us. Not the normal guy. There are super human powers there.

And Harbaugh wasnt done. Later in the press conference, he came back to Gore again.

There should be a statue to Frank. Maybe with the new stadium, Harbaugh said. There should be something somewhere. A life-size statue of him in one of those cool positions he gets in. About six inches off the ground, or a leg going on way, and the other going the other, twisting and turning. Its just so cool. Its just so cool to slow the tape down and watch what he does.

Gores 49ers teammates are in awe of his vision, acumen of the game, strength and work ethic. Not to be overlooked is Gores loyalty. Gore never experienced a winning season with the 49ers until this one. He could have cashed in on his rare talents elsewhere, yet he stayed.

I had an opportunity to speak with Gore about that, one-on-one, the morning after he topped the teams rushing list.

MB: When you woke up this morning, was it hard to believe what had transpired?

FG: Its been a long time, a long time for me. Im happy about the situation were in right now. Weve worked really hard to get where we are now. Its a blessing. Like you say man, this has been our goal since Ive been here and now we did it. We made it. We got our goal and now the next step is as a team is try and get the number 1-2 seed.

MB: Speaking to Patrick Willis, he hadnt had a winning record since his freshman year in college.

FG: Wow.

MB: That was also the best year you could say you had collegiately as well.

FG: Yeah, right.

MB: What was the toughest time? What kept you driving through all the frustration of not going to the postseason?

FG: Just, I love what I do. I knew we had the players here and I knew we had the players in the locker room. I just always thought that it was going to happen, it was going to happen, and I just kept fighting, and we just kept fighting as a team. I say now, God blessed us to get a better coaching staff and leading us the right way and were following them.

MB: Even before you knew what that coaching staff was able to do, you wanted to come back to the 49ers and extend your contract. What was it that kept you here? I think a lot of people would look for a better situation elsewhere if they hadnt had a winning season in nine years.

FG: Knowing that the guys in the locker room know how hard we worked. We got a good group of guys. You see other guys when you go other places get paid big money and stuff, they be there one or two years and you dont hear from them no more. I just wanted to be here because I knew that, like I said, that one day it was going to happen because I know what kind of guys we had in the locker room. As I said before, Coach Harbaugh and his coaching staff do a good job with us.

MB: Who taught you that? Where did you get that mentality to stick it through and stick with the people you believed in most?

FG: Id say my mom. My mom really taught me well and always be honest and always, when you start something with someone you always want to finish with them first. Id say my mom did a great job with me.

Gore lost his mom to kidney disease in 2007

MB: What do you think she would have said yesterday?

FG: She would have been very happy. She knows how much I love what I do and how hard I work in the offseason to get ready for the year, and I know she would have been, she would have loved it. Shes still watching over me and shes still smiling up there right now.

MB: To be in your seventh year here and now be the teams leading rusher, I know you have a mind for history and the players that came before you, what does that mean for you to be up there with those names?

FG: Its a blessing. Them guys, I didnt really see Joe Perry but I saw Roger, and Roger was a great player. I respect him, I respect him a whole lot and its a blessing to be mentioned with them guys. And now the next thing is hopefully I can do something like Roger did and win a Super Bowl.
MB: I was going to say Whats next for Frank Gore?, but I think you just answered it.

FG: Hopefully we get rolling, keep fighting and when the playoffs start anything happens, anything goes and hopefully me and the Niners win the Super Bowl hopefully.
MB: Yesterday, I saw more Frank Gore jerseys in the stand than Ive ever seen before. What do you want the Frank Gore story to be?

FG: Just, how much I love what I do how hard I work and what a great person I am. I respect everybody and thats about it.

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.

The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.

In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology

The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”