Although quarterback Andrew Luck commands most of the headlines for the Indianapolis Colts, the Kansas City Chiefs are taking the time to give running back Frank Gore equal praise.
In a press conference Wednesday, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid took time to describe what he likes about Gore.
"“He’s a warrior, that one. Tough guy. Runs hard, a physical runner, and to last as long as he has is a tribute, probably, to his offseason work program and how he goes about the game. I think once you get to know him a little bit, he’s a kid that loves to play. He’s kept himself in good shape.”"
Obviously, this praise does not come out of nowhere. Gore has been a model for consistency and professionalism throughout his career. His career numbers are clear examples.
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Earlier this season, Gore moved into ninth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, who accumulated 12,312 yards in his career. Gore currently has 12,535 rushing yards, and needs 203 more yards this year to surpass Tony Dorsett.
This season, Gore is currently tied for ninth in the league with 495 yards rushing on 117 carries. He also has two rushing and two receiving touchdowns.
Reid was not the only one directing complements towards Gore. Veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson echoed Reid’s observations of Gore’ skills and overall career.
"“He’s a heck of a running back, man. Just history—stat-wise, he’s up there, I mean really up there in the history of football. We have a lot of respect for him and what he brings to the game. He’s been doing it for a long time, just as myself. They are more of a passing team but when they do run it, they are effective. That’s a challenge for us.”"
Reid’s and Johnson’s praise of Gore signals that the Chiefs will be focused on stopping the 13-year running back Sunday. Gore has been a key piece to the Colts’ offense and needs to be successful to take pressure off of Andrew Luck.
The Colts have tried their best to keep Gore fresh throughout the game by limiting him to about 17 carries per game. Against the Chiefs though, the Colts probably need to up his usage if they want to win.
Gore will play a big role in the Colts’ effort to control the time of possession. He will be called on to game positive yardage on first downs or pick up third downs in key situations.
The Chiefs’ defensive players will be weary of Gore at all times. It will be interesting to see how Colts’ offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski h=uses his veteran running back against a good, stingy defense.