The 49ers were willing to go only so far to re-sign running back Frank Gore.
But Gore’s new coach, Chuck Pagano, sees a player who can help take the Indianapolis Colts a long way.
“Put the tape on him, and you still see the production,” Pagano said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.
“He’s a tough, hard-nosed, every-down back. He can play all three downs. He’s a great protector in pass-pro. He catches the ball out of the backfield. We all know what he can do as a runner on early downs.
The Colts still view Gore as an every-down back.
“I don’t think we would’ve gone after him and made the investment and made the decision to bring him in if we didn’t feel that way,” Pagano said. “Based on what we saw on tape, there’s video evidence that he’s more than capable of still being that guy.
“Some guys are like that. Carry 1 through 20, they’re OK. And 20 to 30, they keep getting better as you wear defenses down. And I think Frank is that type of runner.”
Gore is turning 32 this summer, but should be able to shore up the Colts' running game. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard are in the mix, but Gore is better than advertised in the passing game. Gore averaged 51.0 receptions from 2006-2010, but as soon as Greg Roman took over as offensive coordinator in 2011, his targets dropped precipitously. He averaged just 28.3 targets over the past four seasons, while the Colts' running backs accounted for 113 targets last season, so look for Gore's value to jump in PPR formats. Due to his age, Gore typically goes later than he should in fantasy drafts, but he hasn't missed a game in three seasons and should be reinvigorated by a change of scenery.