During Jim Harbaugh’s press conference, John Henry Smith of CSN Bay Area postulated that Frank Gore looks “spry” these days. Harbaugh agreed. So when Gore went up to the podium a few minutes after Harbaugh left, one of the 49ers’ PR employees mentioned how, “Everybody’s talking about you looking spry.”
That’s how Gore’s Q&A started, but his most interesting quote might have come in the middle of the session. While Harbaugh was less specific about Brandon Jacobs’ status after injuring his knee on Saturday night, Gore sounded none too worried about his teammate. Gore’s prognosis (“He’ll be back in a week or two.”) can be seen in the video below. The entire transcript is below the video, in which Gore talks about the offense improving drastically from a year ago, along with his thoughts on Kendall Hunter and Rock Cartwright.
Frank, do you feel spry?
I feel great. To see as a team from last year to this year, how far ahead we are. I think as long as we keep working, we’ll do some great things this year.
Can you tell that there’s an increase in team speed just from watching the games from the sideline?
Yeah, on your offense.
Yeah, it’s our second year on the offense. We know what we’re doing. We’re not thinking, we’re just playing football.
What about three individuals that you added to the offense? We saw Randy Moss get deep a couple times.
Everybody knows Randy Moss can get deep. Randy Moss has been looking good since OTAs. Since he stepped foot in this organization he’s been looking great. He’s working hard and he wants to do it. That’s a great thing for us.
Is there ever – and I’m not talking about the running back position, the receivers too – is there ever a problem with so many playmakers, only one football?
We want to win. We got a taste of it last year. It feels good. We want to keep that taste in our mouth. As long as we stay together and be one, we can keep that taste in our mouth.
Have you lobbied with coach Harbaugh to try to get more snaps in the preseason?
When I got out there against the Houston Texans, I wanted to keep going. Especially when I got that first carry and it was a pretty good run. I wanted to get that rhythm and keep going. But I got to listen to the coach, he knows what’s best for me. Coach Harbaugh, the coaching staff. Whenever it’s time for me to go, hopefully Green Bay, I’m going to be at full speed.
With the setback that Brandon had on Saturday, how are his spirits?
Brandon’s good. I’m happy that it wasn’t that serious. He’ll be back in a week or two. He’ll be fine. Next question (laughter).
Kendall Hunter was bouncing off a lot of tackles Saturday night. He was pretty good last year. Does he look like he’s taking the next step toward being an NFL running back?
Yeah, you could tell that from the first year to this year he grew a lot. His second year in the offense, he knows what he’s doing. He’s not thinking, he’s just playing football.
You started to talk about how the offense is so much further along. How do you see that?
Because everything was new. Everything was new last year. Now we’re just drawing from where we left off last year.
Have you guys added more? Is it more complex now?
It’s about the same.
Since you’re not installing stuff, Frank, does that give you time to start watching film of say, the Packers?
Nah, we just try to get better every day. We’re not worried about the Packers right now. We’re worried about Denver this week and when that time comes, the week of the regular season, that’s when we’ll worry about the Packers.
You talked about the growth from last year to this year, how about just in the offensive line specifically? How much better are they now than they were last year?
They’re doing a great job. Like I said before, everybody was learning last year. So there was a lot of thinking. Now we know what we’re going to do and we just play football. So that’s why I think we’re so much better this year.
Harbaugh talked about your amazing football intelligence out there, your complete understanding of the game. I know you don’t like to think about the future too much past football. A lot of people have assumed that you’re going to go into coaching one day and that you’d be pretty good. Do you have any thought about that?
Not yet. I still want to play ball. I still feel like I got a lot left in the tank. When that time comes, I don’t know.
Frank, Rock Cartwright is a guy we’ve gotten to see a lot this preseason. What are your impressions of him on the practice field and in games so far?
He works hard. Hard worker, very smart. Great guy in the locker room, the running back room. He’s been around a lot of great backs and I ask him a lot of questions about the other backs, what they do, what they didn’t do. Just to pick his head. I’m happy he’s over here. Whatever roll coach wants him to do, he goes 100%.
When you see injuries, injuries happen every preseason. What do you get the sense of, in terms of players really wanting to cut the preseason games down from four to two. Or does it not matter?
It don’t matter. We got to do whatever the league wants us to do. Things happen. Things happen.