Q&A with 49ers RB Frank Gore

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Q&A with 49ers RB Frank Gore

Frank Gore enters his eight season with the 49ers and once again finds himself at the top of the running back depth chart. But now at 29, Gore faces much more competition in his own camp with the additions of Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James and the development of Kendall Hunter.

Gore spoke about how he's handling that competition, the shape of the 49ers compared to last year at this point and what the team's new wide receiver threats mean for his role in the passing game.

On the benefits of practicing against one of the bestdefenses in the leagueJust to get us better. We know that weve got great playerson the defensive side. They play great together, and I feel that if we can dothings against them, then we should be able to do anything against anybody, anyother team.On the progress the offense has made through training campWere doing good. Were taking steps. Were far ahead oflast year at camp. Weve taken a step forward.On what areas in which the offense has gotten ahead of wherethey were at training camp last yearId say everything, just knowing our coaches better at thistime, just knowing the offense better. Id say every position.On how long it took him last year to a get a feel for theteam and the roles he needed to performIt took some time. Id say all of training camp, the firstcouple games. We were still learning. But now, like I said, this time, werefar, far ahead of where we were before last year.On being with the 49ers for the full offseason program forthe first time this yearIt was both (Gores and the teams decision). (Runningbacks) Coach Tom (Rathman) told me to try something different. He wanted mehere, and I was here. Just being around the guys, working out with (headstrength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama), who is one of the best strengthcoaches in the league, he did a great job with me this offseason. And I stillhad time to go home, work out with my guy, Pete Bommarito. I feel good, I feelgood.On what Uyeyama added to his game during the offseasonconditioning programHe and my trainer back home of probably similar. I probablydid the same things with Uye that I do with my trainer back home.On how his role changes with the 49ers new additions atrunning back and Kendall Hunters developmentIll be the person Ive always been. When Im in a game,whenever Ive got opportunities, Im going to take advantage of it, go hardevery play and try to help my team win. Im the same guy Ive been seven yearsbefore; Im going to be the same guy.On whether he feel the competition from other running backsto take on some of his dutiesIts the coachs decision. Whatever Coach feels is best forthe team, then well go with it.On whether hes concerned about his playing timeI can play football. Im in shape. I feel good, and Imhaving a great camp. Im working hard every day. You all have seen it. You allhave been telling me that I look great. So Im ready to play.On why he frequently asks for others opinion on how heplayedBecause you all are looking. You all saw me for sevenyears, and if you all see a difference, you all will see it.On whether he feels differentI feel great. Like I said before, I think its a mindthing. People say youre turning 29 or 30. I feel that its all about how youtrain and take care of your body and how you work in practice. If you do that,youll be fine.On if he thinks his career can be prolonged by the 49ersusing another running back with himOur coach does a great job of using different personnel andgetting the guys the ball who we feel can help the team. I know hell make sureI have my share and be happy about my share on Sundays and also the other guys.They do a great job.On moving up from 94th last year to 28th this year in theNFL Networks list of the top 100 playersI feel good about moving up, but the year I was 94th Iplayed half of the season. Last year we won more, and as a player Ive justbeen doing the same things Ive been doing since Ive been here. Its just thatwe got an opportunity to win, and everybody saw what I do on Sundays.On his decrease in receptions during the regular season lastyear before leading the team in postseason receptionsIts on what Alex Smith reads. I feel that we won last yearwith him looking down the field more than just checking the ball down. So ifweve got to keep doing it and getting the ball downfield to win, Im good withit.On what the additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manninghammean for the passing gameItll be great. Like you said, you can name all of the guyswho can play football and also the guys who we already had (Michael) Crabtree, Vernon (Davis), Delanie (Walker) or Teddy (GinnJr.), thats a lot of weapons. I hope that they pay attention to more of thereceivers than the running backs."On whether hed rather catch passes out of the backfieldthan blockI dont mind. Whatever it takes for me to win, Im doingit.On his gold cleatsTheyre gold shoes. The reason why I wear them is becauseof my feet. Ive got great feet running the ball, to get in and out of cuts,find a small spot. Thats what Ive got on my gold shoes for.On why his feet are his best attributeTo get in and out and find small spots.

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Michael Wilhoite has spent his whole five-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.

But now the free agent inside linebacker is reportedly switching sides in the NFC West rivalry. Wilhoite is set to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. 

Terms of the deal are unknown at this time. 

Wilhoite, 30, played in all 16 games last season for the 49ers, starting in only six. In 2016 he recorded 55 tackles, 30 less than 2015 in four less games, and forced one fumble. 

After earning a promotion from the 49ers' practice squad in 2012, Wilhoite's career in the Bay Area comes to an end with 268 tackles and three interceptions in 65 games. 

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NEW YORK -- NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.

In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.

The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said Thursday "don't belong in the game."

Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.

"That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week," NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said.

Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive. Especially if a team has a quick turnaround.

"We don't know where a team is going to be playing the next week, it could be four days later," said committee chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "We felt we should put an end to it. We don't think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not concerned with that."

As for changing the format of overtime to ensure both teams always get a possession - a popular topic after how the Super Bowl ended - Blandino said the league's wants to keep the element of sudden death in the extra period.

The "leaper rule" has taken some priority among competition committee members, the players' union and coaches. Vincent said coaches have begun scheming how to defense it, which can "create a real safety issue."

"It is really in the best interest of the game" to outlaw leaping on kicks," Vincent added.

McKay noted that the NCAA is in the process of passing a similar ban on the technique.

During the meetings that run from Sunday to Wednesday, the teams will be shown plays the competition committee believes should result in suspensions or ejections. Game officials already have had the leeway to eject players, but it rarely has happened; there were three in 2016.

"They don't happen very often, let's give the players credit," McKay said. "We have 40,000 plays in a year. We'll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would warrant suspension. This is not a widespread situation."

Added Vincent, a former NFL defensive back: "When you see the plays, they are catastrophic. We had two players who did not return for the season. They are high-impact plays that belong out of the game. It will be a real point of emphasis this season."