Gore takes care of business on the field


Gore takes care of business on the field

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
SANTA CLARA -- Frank Gore was back Tuesday where he feels most comfortable.He was in the 49ers' meeting room. He was on the 49ers' practice field. And he was in the middle of everything -- just like a typical day of training camp for the seventh-year professional.Only this was no typical day for Gore. His teammates came to work on Thursday for the opening of training camp. And when his teammates hit the practice field for the fourth time, Gore was making his summer debut.Gore boarded a flight from Miami to San Francisco on Sunday after speaking with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and getting some reassurances that the team needed him and his contract situation would be handled."He just told me, you know, that I don't have nothing to do with the offers and he would like me to be here, and I'm here," Gore said.Harbaugh sounded confident the 49ers' organization is committed to extending Gore's contract beyond this season. Harbaugh said he expects Gore to have a new deal "sooner than later." Gore enters the final year of a contract that is scheduled to pay him 2.9 million in base salary with another 2 million in a roster bonus. Gore was subject to 90,000 in fines for his holdout.
"We want Frank here. We want Frank happy, too," Harbaugh said. "At some point, it'll get resolved."Gore said he is pushing the worry over a contract out of his mind when he steps on the football field. Gore said he wants to play his entire career with the 49ers.RELATED: Frank Gore career stats
"Knowing I was going into my last year (of his contract) and I want to be a 49er forever, for my whole career, we (Gore and agent Drew Rosenhaus) talked about it and what I wanted to do," Gore said. "Things weren't going right. Me and my agent sat down and talked. That's what it was. But I'm happy to be back. I had a great practice and I feel good. I'm taking it one day at a time and just moving forward."If the contract happens, if it comes, it comes. I'm here to help the team."And there is little doubt that Gore did that through his mere presence. Gore is the No. 3 all-time rusher in 49ers history. His 6,414 yards rank him just 650 yards behind No. 2 Roger Craig. And he's just 930 yards from eclipsing Joe "The Jet" Perry's franchise record of 7,344 yards.Gore, 28, was the 49ers' leading rusher last season with 853 yards in 11 games. His season ended with a hairline fracture of his right hip. After rehabbing in Miami during the lockout, Gore said he has felt 100 percent for a while. He said he feels like a 22 year old -- and not like a player who has 1,641 touches (1,371 rush attempts and 270 receptions) in his career.
"Everybody is very excited to have Frank back," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. "The energy is up. We know when he's back there, he'll take care of business."Staley said Gore is the offensive line's best friend through his ability to take a small crease and turn it into big gains."He creates so many different things on his own," Staley said.Quarterback Alex Smith said last week that Gore would be able to quickly make up for lost time because of his unique football acumen.RELATED: 49ers camp report (82): Focus on running game
"He's one of the smartest football players I've been around," Smith said. "He picks up everything so fast. You'd love to have him here, obviously. But I think if there's somebody who can make the most of a short number of practices, it's him. The guy has an ability to pick things up quick. He has a great football IQ. On the field, he processes things very fast."Gore put on pads for his first practice and took the first-team snaps in the first 49ers' practice session that focused heavily on the run game. Harbaugh said the huddle even sounded different Tuesday with Gore present. Gore offered "tips and reminders," Harbaugh said, to just about every position group, helping along rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick."What surprised me today is the quarterback, man," Gore said of Kaepernick. "Man, he's a rookie. He's looking real good. He gets in the huddle and he's making great reads. I told him, 'Man, you're doing a great job.' I know Alex is going to be back. I'm just happy to be back, you know? Happy to be back."And as Gore departed after his group session with reporters, he had one final thought."I want to tell my fans I'm sorry about the little holdup. I'm happy to be back."

First round complete: Re-ranking 49ers' top 2017 draft needs

First round complete: Re-ranking 49ers' top 2017 draft needs

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers begin Day 2 of the NFL Draft without a second-round draft pick.

The team’s second-round selection turned into a first-rounder late Thursday evening.

General manager John Lynch packaged the 49ers’ second-round pick at No. 34 and a fourth-round pick acquired earlier in the day to move up to No. 31 for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

The 49ers are scheduled to have back-to-back picks early in the third round at Nos. 66 and 67 on Friday.

Here’s a look at the 49ers remaining top needs:

Defensive back
During the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp, Jimmie Ward was at free safety with Eric Reid at strong safety. Jaquiski Tartt is next in line.

The 49ers parted ways with a projected starting conerback Tramaine Brock after his arrest for an alleged domestic incident. The 49ers’ first-team cornerbacks are currently Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson. Will Redmond and K’Waun Williams worked in at nickel back.

Ward’s versatility makes it possible the 49ers could go with either a cornerback or safety. There is some young talent already on the roster at cornerback, but most of it is completely unproven at this level. All things being equal, it would seem the 49ers’ next pick would be a defensive back.

Write it in ink: Brian Hoyer will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2017.

The 49ers have two quarterbacks under contract – Hoyer and Matt Barkley – and they are certain to add a quarterback at some point. But regardless of whom they add at this point, Hoyer will be the starter. The top quarterbacks still available are Davis Webb (Cal) and DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame).

Two players to watch are Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh) and Brad Kaaya (Miami), who come from pro-style offenses. Both could still be available when the 49ers go on the clock in the third round.

Running back
Oft-injured Carlos Hyde is entering the final year of his contract, and he has something to prove to the new coaching staff. Veteran Tim Hightower is the only other proven NFL back on the roster.

There will be plenty of solid options at running back in the final two days of the draft.

Coach Kyle Shanahan has a knack for identifying unique traits in running backs and scheming his offense to put those players in advantageous spots to make plays on third downs.

Supply is greater than demand at running back in the draft, so Shanahan is certain to identify someone capable of making an impact in a specific role.

Wide receiver
The 49ers parted ways with Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton, while adding Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson. Big-bodied receiver Eric Rogers, who dominated in the CFL, is still rehabbing from a torn ACL sustained last summer.

The 49ers have room on their roster to develop a young receiver who can learn the ins and outs of the professional game from Garçon. It’s part of the reason the 49ers made him their most-lucrative free-agent acquisition.

Edge rusher
Sure, the 49ers already selected a defensive lineman. And while the 49ers believe Solomon Thomas can play the pass-rusher spot in the team’s new defense, his best attribute is his versatility.

Teams can never have too many pure pass-rushers, and the 49ers still have a shortage in that area. They can still use an edge rusher to compete with and push Arik Armstead, Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks to fight in order to hold onto their jobs.

The 49ers signed veteran Robbie Gould in the offseason and awarded him a $500,000 signing bonus. Gould, 35, was targeted to replace ultra-reliable Phil Dawson. Gould signed with the Giants in October of last year. He made all 10 field-goal attempts but missed three of his 23 extra-point tries.

It’s not a huge priority, of course, but it remains possible the 49ers add a kicker on Day 3. They could draft someone, such as Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez, or bring Stanford’s Conrad Ukropina to camp to compete as an undrafted rookie.

1. First round, No. 2: DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford
2. First round, No. 31: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

3. Third round: No. 66 overall
4. Third round: No. 67 overall (from Chicago for No. 2 pick)
5. Fourth round: No. 109 overall
6. Fourth round: No. 143 overall (compensatory)
7. Fifth round: No. 146 overall
8. Fifth round: No. 161 (from Washington in 2015 trade for TE Derek Carrier)
9. Sixth round: No. 198 overall (from Baltimore in trade with C Jeremy Zuttah for No. 186)
10. Sixth round: No. 202 overall (pick acquired from Denver in 2015 trade for TE Vernon Davis)
11. Seventh round: No. 219 overall (pick acquired from Cleveland in 2015 trade for Andy Lee)

49ers: Solomon Thomas capable of playing anywhere on D-line

49ers: Solomon Thomas capable of playing anywhere on D-line

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected defensive linemen with their top picks in the final two drafts under general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers fired Baalke at the conclusion of the team’s 2-14 season, and new general manager John Lynch stepped into a tear-down project.

That complete rebuild began Thursday evening with Lynch’s selection of another defensive lineman. The 49ers traded back one spot and selected Solomon Thomas of Stanford with the No. 3 overall pick.

“We see a special football player, disruptive football player, who has tremendous versatility,” Lynch said. “I think he fits in with the current group that we have because he’s a little different than the guys we have. And when I think of Solomon, I think of speed and quickness and disruption.”

The 49ers expect to play more of an aggressive, attacking style of defense under first-year coordinator Robert Saleh. Perhaps, the team’s biggest need is at the “Leo” position, the weak side end that is considered more of a pass-rusher.

Thomas appears better-suited at the other end or at a defensive tackle position, but the 49ers are keeping an open mind about using him at nearly every spot along the defensive line in the team’s new 4-3 scheme.

“There are four defensive linemen and what’s intriguing about Solomon is he has the ability to play all four of them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s what makes him so unique. That’s why I think John says he’s a little bit different than some of the guys we have, because you can move him around. He has the quickness and speed to play on the outside. He has enough sides to play on the inside, so you don’t want to put him in one spot.

“We don’t think he has to be one specific role. Obviously, he is a defensive lineman, but there’s four spots he can play at and I think that’s going to depend on down and distance, whether we’re expecting run, whether we’re expecting pass and the type of personnel we’re going against.”