Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore will be 33-years-old heading into the start of the 2016 season. Despite his age, he’s ready to produce for his team and silence any critics who doubt his abilities as a starting-caliber back.
The Indianapolis Colts signed Gore to a three-year, $12 million deal during the 2015 offseason with hopes of shoring up what was previously a lackluster running attack.
Before Gore, a former San Fransisco 49er, came to Indianapolis, the Colts’ backfield featured the likes of Trent Richardson and an often-injured Ahmad Bradshaw sharing the bulk of the team’s carries in 2014.
As we all know, Richardson was acquired early in the 2013 season after Vick Ballard was put on Injured Reserve due to an ACL tear. This would prompt GM Ryan Grigson to send the Colts’ 2014 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Richardson.
Richardson’s career with the Colts was short-lived, and never really panned out as originally hoped. He was eventually cut by the team shortly after the 2014 season.
Given the factors mentioned above, Gore was seen as an immediate upgrade for the Colts in the running department. They now had a proven power-running back that would not only help create offense for the Colts, but take pressure off of the quarterback.
In his first season with the Colts, Gore started in all 16 games and rushed for 967 yards with six touchdowns. While he failed to become the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2006, he was already looking like one of the best running backs the Colts have had in years.
Heading into the 2016 campaign, Gore feels compelled to prove to not only his team, but doubters, that he can still be an effective back at the age of 33, per the Indianapolis Star.
"“Believe me, I listen,” Gore said. “When I hear it, that’s when I attack my training. When I’m tired, I tell myself what the people are saying about me. In that second workout (of the day) when I’m saying, ‘Man, I don’t want to do this.’ I remind myself, ‘They’re saying you’re old. They’re saying you’re 33. They’re saying you can’t do it this year.’ I play games with myself off that stuff.”"
In a league where the average running back’s career usually peaks once they hit the age of 30, the shelf-life for the position is relatively low.
With an improved offensive line and a healthy Andrew Luck under center for the offense, Gore could be in for another successful season with the Colts — perhaps more successful for himself than what 2015 was.
Gore will be ready to silence his doubters and critics yet again, and don’t be surprised if he has one of his best seasons in recent years.
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