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Are Advantageous Running Situations Coming For Colts, Frank Gore, In 2015?

Intro: Last season, no running back in the NFL faced more eight-man defensive boxes than Frank Gore. Why will that number shrink in 2015?





INDIANAPOLIS – When Frank Gore peers over his offensive line in 2015, it might be a few seconds before he counts to the number seven or eight.

In Gore's 10-year NFL tenure, the 49ers relied on the steady production of their bell cow running back to pace them offensively.

Year after year of 1,000-yard seasons from Gore led to opposing respect in defensive game plans.

Chuck Pagano is one of those coaches who have shown their respect for Gore.

Back in a Week Three 2013 meeting against the 49ers, Pagano recalls Gore starting off the game with four carries for 61 yards.

"I don't know why they quit giving it to (Gore)," Pagano says, recollecting on an eventual Colts win in San Francisco.

"I was thankful. I was very grateful. But I don't know why they quit giving it to him because he was gashing us. We were trying to do everything we possibly could to slow him down."

Turning the age of 30 hasn't slowed the attention to Gore.

Last year, Gore saw eight-man boxes a remarkable 76 different times (18 more than the next NFL player).

That number doesn't surprise Pagano when you combine the consistent production of Gore and the type of offensive line he ran behind in San Francisco.

"If you want to try to stop (Gore) and slow him down, I'd recommend that you'd be in an eight-man spacing," Pagano says.

"If we (the Colts) have success, you're going to see heavier boxes. You're going to see people having to drop the eighth guy down in there, which is then going to open up things for the skill positions outside."

Seeing an extra defender near the line of scrimmage didn't hold Gore back in 2014. In his final season in San Francisco, Gore piled up another 1,100-yard season and averaged 4.3 yards per carry.

Numbers like those attracted the Colts to Gore this offseason, and the interest was definitely felt vice versa.

Gore saw the pieces the Colts already had offensively and is more than eager to have some advantageous situations when his number is called in Indianapolis.

"You've got to pick your poison defensively," Pagano says.

"You've got to decide what you're going to do and who you want to take away and who are the game wreckers, and how are you going to stop them. I feel like we have as good a group of wideouts as anybody. If you load up to stop the run, hopefully you have success running the football. We've got to have success for people to do that. Then it's going to open up things for guys on the outside."

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