Frank Gore isn't stuffing the stat sheet like he used to earlier in his career.
The 37-year-old running back could end up with fewer yards this season than he's ever had before. Through eight games with the Jets, Gore has accumulated 340 yards on the ground (on 86 carries). That's 3.5 yards per carry, his lowest in a single season across 16 years in the NFL.
Ask Jets general manager Joe Douglas, however, and this future Hall of Fame running back is impacting this organization in more ways than one.
"Frank has been an unbelievable veteran to have on this team," Douglas said in an address the media via Zoom on Tuesday. "The leadership that he brings on a daily basis, how vested he is to help not only the offense but the entire team and especially young guys."
That, of course, includes rookie running back La'Mical Perine.
Perine hasn't started a game this season yet, but his touches have slowly increased as the first half of the season progressed. Douglas singled out the 22-year-old running back for his "explosive dynamic" out of the backfield, both on the ground and in the passing game.
Two weeks ago, the fourth-rounder out of the University of Florida had his best game of the season, rushing for 40 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown as well as two catches against the Bills.
Think of all the time that Perine has had to spend with Gore over these last several months. With 15,687 yards (and counting) under his belt, as well as nine different seasons with over 1,000 rushing yard, Gore surely has plenty of stories to tell and wisdom to pass down.
Then, think about the fact that Perine hadn't turned eight yet when Gore made his NFL debut with the San Francisco 49ers back in 2005.
"He's taken La'Mical under his wing. Those guys loves football so much," Douglas added.
The Jets are 0-8 this year, poised to have the first overall pick in next spring's draft. Therefore, it's a safe bet that Gore won't be around when New York is contending for a playoff spot.
After all, Douglas said on Tuesday that this team will build up from the draft and develop young, talented players going forward so the path to contention could take a while.
The impact of having Gore around right now, setting an example on and off the field while advising and leading phenoms like Perine, will be felt for years to come.
"For him being where he is in his career in a Hall of Fame running back, the fact that he comes out every day, he has the attitude of an excited rookie," Douglas said. "The way that he's taking these guys under his wings is phenomenal."