An experienced veteran. A leader by example, not words. A believer in taking one day at a time, refusing to look ahead. An influential teammate.
All are words used to describe RB Frank Gore, who is entering his 16thseason in the NFL, his first with the Jets. Since being drafted in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami-born running back is now with his fifth team and has always approached the game the same way.
"I told guys that in order to be successful, you have to work every day in practice," Gore, 37, said, referring to his long career in the league. "You have to get better every day and you do that on a practice field. Me, playing against the Jets before, their defense was always good. They played hard and they played fast. As an offense, we just have to play for each other. As long as we play for each other, take one play at a time, and whoever has the opportunity to make the play, make it. Don't worry about stats, don't worry about anything but a W. That's my mindset and that's what I'll try and make this team's mindset as well."
Over a 15-year span, the 5-9, 212-pound Gore has amassed 15,347 rushing yards on 3,548 attempts and 79 rushing TDs. A multitalented RB, he also has 468 receptions for 3,896 yards and 18 TDs. With a résumé that spans more than a decade with numerous accomplishments, Gore has experienced more training camps and teams than nearly any other player in the NFL. And from his point of view, the Jets' 2020 squad feels different.
"I would say as a team, just being here for training camp, this is a hard-working team," Gore said. "For this training camp, I think we had more practices than before because during regular training camp you get preseason games and then the practices go down. But this season we practiced a whole lot and we had no guys on this team complain. We have a lot of hard-working young guys. I feel and I know that we don't care — on the offensive side of the ball — who makes the play as long as the play gets made. We're going to play for each other and get a W."
Gore is one of three players in a running back room that also includes seven-year vet Le'Veon Bell (28) and rookie La'Mical Perine (22). Over the course of training camp, Head Coach Adam Gase rotated Bell, Gore and Perine in first-team reps. Gore said he will continue to give his best effort and continue to set an example in the locker room.
"Once I step on that field, I want to show that I'm not satisfied," Gore said. "I'm going to go out there every day and give it my all on the field and in the game and to my teammates. Now, since a lot of young guys have seen me at my age practicing the way I practice and seeing me come out way before practice starts to get going, hopefully they can watch me and follow me. That's why I try to do it."