Colts Camp: Frank Gore Impressing Fans, Coaches
By Evan Reller
While the Indianapolis Colts have completed just three practice since they opened training camp, a few players are already starting to standout. Of course Andrew Luck looks sharp, and T.Y. Hilton is burning defenders but the Colts have a few new pieces to work into the offense.
One such player is running back Frank Gore.
To say Gore is having a good camp might be an understatement. He is so superior to every other running back on the roster it isn’t even funny. And while most would say “of course he’s better, he’s Frank Gore!” that doesn’t factor in the age difference.
Gore is dominating his position at 32 years old (two years past the cliff that RBs usually jump off of in their career). He’s six year older than the next closest player (Dan Herron). Camp notes are littered with impressive plays by Gore.
It isn’t just that Gore is more polished and has 11-years of experiences backing him up. He also looks faster and more agile. During warm-up agility drills, Gore’s feet are a blur. He moves around the training ladder at blazing speed, much faster than his backups on the roster.
In 11-on-11 work, Gore is simply more consistent. He generally doesn’t have a bad play. The only one I’ve seen so far was on a draw play that was blown up by a blitz. While the team isn’t tackling, there is no doubt that Gore will be getting solid gains every time he touches the ball.
ANDERSON, Ind. – Colts QB Andrew Luck hands off the ball to RB Frank Gore during 11-on-11 drills during training camp. PHOTO CREDIT – Evan Reller
Gore has been the model of consistency over the past four seasons. He has rushed for over 1,100 yards each year for a nearly 4.4 per carry average. Stealing him away from the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency (after he left the 49ers) might have been the best offseason move by Ryan Grigson.
Gore is even impressing Chuck Pagano with his work ethic. From Colts.com:
"“When everybody else is in the offseason traveling to the Bahamas or Aruba and going here and going there and getting on boats and doing things like that, that guy is down in Miami grinding,” Pagano said. “He takes great care of his body.“First day he got here, I had to take him off the bike so that we could go sit down and visit. He’s a grinder, but he’s got great balance. He’s got great vision. He makes great decisions, great reads, and he’s very decisive.”"
While most players in the NFL enjoy being on the field, Gore might take it bit further.
"“I am just happy to be on the football field, period,” Gore said. “Seeing us take a small step forward each day. This is my 11th camp now, and I am just happy to be on the field.”"
Having a player with that kind of drive at a position where the Colts have struggled in multiple ways will take this offense to a higher level. The Colts haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007 and no single back has rushed for over 100 yards since Vick Ballard, who had 105 yards, in Week 15 of 2012.
The Colts have finished on average at 21st in rushing over the past three seasons. They don’t need much from the run game, especially not with the emphasis on passing in today’s NFL. But just enough to make the play action a real threat and take some of the pressure off of Luck will be more than enough for Pep Hamilton’s offense.
The Colts can expect another great season from Gore, just another part of what is sure to be one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.