FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Frank Gore has admitted teammate Le’Veon Bell is “the lead dog” in the New York Jets backfield, but that doesn’t mean age-defying Gore will settle for ‘a symbolic role. He’s just finished a season in which he thought he could have hit the 1,000-yard mark for the 10th time in his career.
“I feel like if they’d let me play I would have had over 1,000,” Gore said Monday, referring to the Buffalo Bills.
Gore racked up 422 yards in the first seven games, but was replaced by rookie Devin Singletary and finished with just 599 – a career low.
“I jumped over there. I had a great year,” Gore said after the Jets’ first try on pads. “Young Singletary, a young fullback, will be very talented. He will do great things as long as he keeps working – and I know he will. I understand they drafted it and it’s a business. They had to prepare it. But I felt like the games I played, I had done good things to show people that I could play. “
Gore, 37, was in the independent agent market for almost two months when he received a one-year contract from the Jets, who pay Bell an average of $ 13.1 million a year. Due to coach Adam Gase’s affinity for Gore – he’s coached him in two places – this has fueled questions about his plans for Bell, which disappointed last season.
Bell is expected to remain the No.1 in the Jets, but the plan is to reduce his load using Gore, who has more rushing yards (6,508) since he was 30 years old than any other running back in the game. the history of the NFL. They also have rookie La’Mical Perine, a fourth-round pick from Florida.
“I know the situation here too,” said Gore, the third best player in league history. “We have a big comeback to Le’Veon who has done great things and can still play this game. I know he’s our lead dog. My goal is to do whatever it takes when my number is called to help this team succeed. “
The Jets hope Gore’s reputation as a hard worker and respected leader will raise the level of those around him.
“Frank, man, he’s like no other,” said wide receiver Breshad Perriman. “If you know Frank, if you see him working, especially in the offseason … he squeals so hard. He works like he’s young, you know what I’m saying? Like he’s young, like s ‘he hadn’t accomplished anything. He still has that hunger, that impulse, and you see it every time he works. You have to respect that. “
Gore, a 2005 San Francisco 49ers third-round pick, changed his mind after a few seasons in the league.
“Like I told Le’Veon, when you hit the age of 28, they sort of cancel you out,” he said. “My state of mind has grown stronger and stronger. Every time I’m on the pitch I try to show people that your age doesn’t matter. As long as you enjoy the game and you respect the game and work hard in the offseason. and make every day the last you can do it. “