49ers fullback Bruce Miller isn’t usually a guy that packs the media tent, but nobody wandered off to the locker room when Miller showed up for his press conference today.
The focus in the aftermath of the 49ers’ 29-3 loss to the Seahawks has been the anemic running game, and who better to answer questions on the topic than the man who’s paving the way for Frank Gore. Miller was lauded in his first two seasons as a 49er — after converting from defensive end to fullback, he was an important cog in the 49ers’ dynamic rushing offense. But through two games into the 2013 season, neither Miller nor any of Gore’s blockers are opening holes for their running back.
“It’s not Frank,” Miller said. “Frank’s one of the best in the league. It’s more us, guys up front.”
While Miller did concede the 49ers have seen some different looks from defenses, he said the solution is in execution.
“Execution, guys winning one on one battles, we have to all work together and play as a group,” Miller said. “[We] have to make the blocks. I think that’s the problem right now.”
The fullback wouldn’t blame Seattle’s crowd noise for their offensive woes on Sunday, either.
“I didn’t have any problems personally hearing Kap,” Miller said. “They played a better game defensively than we played offensively.”
Once the main press conferences were over, we found a soft-spoken Gore by himself in front of his locker. As expected, Gore wasn’t shoveling out blame to his teammates, but he did use “we” when stressing improvement.
Gore said, “A lot of teams are playing us eight, nine men in the box and we still got to find a way to get it done.” He said teams are “playing the run hard,” consistently attacking the 49ers with at least one safety in the box.
If there’s one team Gore can rebound against, it’s the Colts. In 2012, Indianapolis allowed a 4th-worst 5.1 yards per carry and 14 scores on the ground. Through two games in 2013, they haven’t improved at all: 4.5 yards per carry and three rushing touchdowns.
But don’t tell Gore that.
“I really don’t care what they do. It’s about us, we’ve gotta get better … We’ve got to get it done, no matter what.”