The Phinsider’s annual 90-in-90 series is back today with another in-depth look at the players who are currently vying to make the Miami Dolphins’ 53-man roster. This series of articles takes a look at each individual on the roster, breaking down how they performed in 2017, why they could progress or regress in 2018, and the odds that the player makes the team when the regular season arrives.
Thus far through the offseason, we have completed 14 posts, taking a look at wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola. and tight end A.J. Derby. Today, we take a look at running back Frank Gore.
Gore spent the past three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts after ten stellar years with the San Francisco 49ers. Last year, Gore started all 16 games of the regular season for the 7th straight time, a feat that is rare among running backs. In those 16 starts, the veteran churned out 961 yards on a 3.7 ypc average to go along with three rushing touchdowns. Gore also added 29 receptions for 245 yards and another score.
While the 3.7 ypc was tied for the lowest for Gore’s career over the course of a season, it’s vital to remember that he was one of the only productive offensive weapons on a team missing it’s starting quarterback. The bell-cow back was also running behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. After averaging 16 or more attempts per game in 11 of 13 career seasons, Gore showed few tangible signs of slowing down.
Why he will progress
Now in Miami, Gore will be running behind an offensive line that is a sizable upgrade from the one he had in Indianapolis. After adding Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilogore, in addition to promoting Jesse Davis to starting right guard, Miami’s interior o-line is finally stable after years of turmoil. Gore will also be fresher throughout the course of each game than he was with the Colts because he won’t be expected to carry the load himself. With Kenyan Drake in place to lead the way, Gore will be brought onto the field as a change of pace and blocking back, meaning he’ll be at full strength every time he touches the ball.
Why he will regress
Age. Despite the fact that Gore has shown few signs of slowing down, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the future Hall-of-Famer is 35-years old. 13 seasons in the NFL is enough to wear down anybody, and while he’s done an excellent job at staying healthy, we must acknowledge the fact that Gore can only continue to produce at a high level for so long.
There’s also the fact that Gore will be vying for carries with Kenyan Drake and rookie Kalen Ballage. While this is a reason for Gore to increase his average productivity as noted above, it will absolutely be a factor that leads to fewer total yards.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Despite Miami’s depth at the position, there’s virtually no way that Gore doesn’t make the roster. Adam Gase and co. brought Gore on to be the veteran leader in the running back room, and he’ll be just that. At this point, it’s almost certain that Gore will be second on the running back depth chart when the season opens.