Both Frank Gore and Marcus Lattimore suffered multiple knee injuries in college. Both, however, are considered highly talented running backs, ones who have been known as explosive play-makers during their respective careers.
Gore stands as the San Francisco 49ers all-time leader in rushing yards, carries and rushing touchdowns. At 29, Gore is also coming off a Pro Bowl season, the fourth of his career.
Lattimore, the NCAA’s national freshman of the year in 2009, has yet to make a lasting career in the NFL. He’s still aiming to be drafted in 2013 after suffering his second major knee injury at the University of South Carolina.
However, the comparisons between the two are still easy to dissect.
Gore was a third-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2005 and proved to be a brilliant selection for San Francisco.
Lattimore, on the other hand, stands poised to follow in Gore’s footsteps. The two also developed a relationship last year. Thanks to 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, a college teammate of Lattimore, the two were put in touch after the running back prospect tore all three major knee ligaments in his right knee against the University of Tennessee.
Lattimore later compared himself to Gore at the 2013 Scouting Combine.
“I feel like we both run hard,” Lattimore said. “He runs like nobody’s there. He runs with total destruction. I feel like if I could compare my game to anybody, it would be Frank Gore. He’s got low pads, he’s got great vision, he can see the whole field. Great balance.”
The comparisons between the two running backs continued this week in a recent episode of John Gruden’s Camp on ESPN.
The former NFL head coach asked Lattimore about both major knee injuries he suffered in college and how he’s been able to bounce back from the hardships.
“Anything that comes to me in life,” Lattimore began, “I feel like I’ve been through it all. Nothing can ever take the smile off my face because I’ll never take anything for granted again.”
Lattimore continued to detail the lessons he’s learned through rehab and why he’s pursuing a career in the NFL.
“I love football,” the South Carolina star told Gruden. “My kids they’re going to watch this one day and they’re going to see my dad never gave up.
“My story relates to everybody…Adversity introduces a man to himself.”
Gruden later commented that his father ribbed him for not drafting Gore back in 2005. When the 49ers running back broke a big run against a Gruden-coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, the elder Gruden immediately sent his son a text message with a reminder of his praise for Gore.
It remains to be seen where Lattimore gets drafted in 2013, but his story is one to watch come April 25, especially with how it compares to San Francisco’s own starting running back.
More NFL Draft and 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.
Tags: Chris Culliver, Demarcus Dobbs, Frank Gore, Jed York, Joe Staley, Mike Iupati
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The San Francisco 49ers announced they have placed TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs on the Injured Reserve List.
Dobbs has played in 12 games and registered seven tackles this season.
Tags: Demarcus Dobbs
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At long last, it’s Week 1 of the NFL regular season. The 49ers are headed to Lambeau Field for their season opener against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but first they have a week of practice at team headquarters in Santa Clara.
The 53-man roster is set and it features a pair of players who are expected to play offense, defense and special teams this season for San Francisco. Will Tukuafu and Demarcus Dobbs take pride in their do-it-all roles with the team and are also roommates on the road. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com spoke to Dobbs about the new responsibilities he and Tukuafu have added to their plates this season.
“Tukuafu and Dobbs were both converted into two-way players in the offseason,” Maiocco writes. “Dobbs played both ways in all three exhibition games in which he appeared. Tukuafu did not see two-way action in training camp until after the first three weeks of camp. He concluded the exhibition season in impressive fashion.”
Today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the best coverage from Labor Day Weekend and takes a look forward to the Week 1 matchup.
Tags: Alex Smith, Clark Haggans, Colin Kaepernick, Demarcus Dobbs, Garrett Celek, LaMichael James, Parys Haralson, Scott Tolzien, Will Tukuafu
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San Francisco 49ers Training Camp presented by HP got officially underway on Friday, but the physicality of camp will truly begin today when pads will be worn for the first time of camp.
Even without pads, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff made the most of the early training sessions. “You can’t waste any time, not a single minute,” Harbaugh said on Friday.
Saturday’s practice session saw several standout plays, and the continued role reversal of select backup players. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee noted the position changes from several players on the roster: “Michael Wilhoite and Demarcus Dobbs were back to defense today; Will Tukuafu, however, played fullback … Cory Nelms has been playing safety the last two days. He also can play cornerback.”
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted it was a busy day for first-round pick A.J. Jenkins who saw more action due to Michael Crabtree’s absence from practice. “During the 11-on-11 session, Jenkins made three catches, including a nice grab to end practice,” Maiocco wrote. “On a previous play, Jenkins failed to hang onto a Scott Tolzien throw that was behind him. But Jenkins made the catch in traffic a short time later on a dart from second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick.”
Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News offered this classic observation of 49ers All-Pro, All-World, defensive tackle Justin Smith: “Remember in the playoff win over the Saints how Justin Smith bulldozed left tackle Jerrod Bushrod and reached over him to grab the back of Drew Brees back near the goal? Smith did almost the same thing today, pushing his way into the pocket past rookie tackle Al Netter.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jumnp.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Cory Nelms, David Akers, Demarcus Dobbs, Eric Davis, Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith, Kyle Williams, LaMiichael James, Michael Wilhoite, Patrick Willis, Perrish Cox, Ted Ginn Jr., Vic Fangio
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Several undrafted 49ers rookies have made their way on to the 53-man roster in recent years based on strong performances in training camp and the preseason. The chances of it happening again will be tougher based on the depth across the 49ers roster.
However, players like Demarcus Dobbs, Ian Williams and Joe Hastings made it happen in 2011, all making appearances in regular season games last season despite going undrafted. Will the trend continue in 2012? CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco examined the likelihood of one of this year’s unheralded prospects making the final cut.
The performances of this year’s rookies will come into better focus once they begin competing with the veterans at the start of training camp. Friday is when it officially gets started. For now, the rookies are practicing for the first time in pads this week as they get acclimated to what training camp will be like.
When the vets officially report on Thursday, things will be, as Harbaugh likes to say, “really real.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Alex Boone, Cam Johnson, Daniel Kilgore, Demarcus Dobbs, Ian Williams, Joe Hastings, John Brodie, Tramaine Brock
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Thanks to productive efforts in free agency and in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have added depth to numerous position groups on both sides of the ball.
The added depth figures to keep key veterans like Frank Gore and Justin Smith fresher throughout the upcoming season.
According to a recent report from Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, Gore handled 57-percent of San Francisco’s rushing attempts last season. Following up on Barrows’ initial findings, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com believes Gore’s volume of carries will decrease based on the team’s backfield additions this offseason. Maiocco notes that Gore finished seventh in the NFL in terms of running back playing time.
In addition, Maiocco notes: “Part of the 49ers’ strategy for keeping Gore fresh will be getting comfortable with other running backs on the roster to take on the duty of blitz pickup.”
A similar conundrum is presented by Maiocco in regards to All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith, who rarely spent time on the sideline in 2011.
Though the 49ers did not draft, nor sign any defensive line free agents this offseason, several young linemen (Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams) are expected to see the field more often in 2012 with the hopes of resting key contributors like Smith and fellow starting defensive tackle Ray McDonald.
According to Maiocco, Smith played the third-most snaps (91.12-percent) of any defensive linemen in the league.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Brandon Jacobs, Demarcus Dobbs, Frank Gore, Ian Williams, Joe Montana, Joe Staley, Justin Smith, Mario Manningham, Will Tukuafu
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It looked like the San Francisco 49ers tight ends were stuck in “The Matrix” at Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity.
Tight ends coach Reggie Davis implemented a pass-catching drill over the last three weeks that challenges his player’s focus and ability to track the football through a crowded area.
Considering the 49ers run numerous short and intermediate routes with tight ends, catching the football over-the-middle, remains an important aspect of the offensive attack. That’s where the drill comes into play.
Davis serves as the quarterback, Alex Smith, if you will.
In front of the 49ers tight ends coach are a pair of tight ends, lined up similarly to an “I-Formation” in the backfield. Behind the stacked players, you can find another tight end 10 yards away from Davis, awaiting a football to be thrown.
From afar, once Davis rifles the ball to the back of the line, the two other tight ends in front quickly move out of the way just like how Keanu Reeves famously ducked in the well-known movie trilogy.
Tags: Demarcus Dobbs, Nate Byham, Reggie Davis
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