Adding Frank Gore is maybe a bit of a surprise as the New York Jets didn’t seem to be on the open market for a running back. But the Jets have added the highly-accomplished Gore to their locker room and their offense.
A look at what this means for the Jets and the offense in particular moving forward.
What the Jets Got: Gore is one of the best running backs of his generation as he enters a remarkable sixteenth season in the league. Five times a Pro Bowl selection, he has nine seasons where he topped 1,000 rushing yards. He also has been dependable, with nine seasons where he played a full 16-game schedule. He has missed just 13 regular season games during his career.
The Fit: Gore is a physical running back and should add a dimension to the Jets offense on third down and goal line situations. Though he is just a week away from being 37-years old, Gore is still a productive running back. He’s just not as productive as he used to be.
So far this offseason, the Jets have yet to bring back Bilal Powell, the veteran who was the backup to Le’Veon Bell last year. They did draft La’Mical Perine in the fourth round and now appear set with the addition of Gore to the backfield rotation. Gore seems to fill that need as a change of pace from Bell.
Gore also has played for Jets head coach Adam Gase before in 2018 and will add a solid and dependable veteran presence in the locker room.
The Question: Can Gore still do it? Last year with the Buffalo Bills was the worst production of his career in terms of rushing yards (599), yards per carry (3.6) and yards from scrimmage (699). Those numbers are a part of a decline since 2016 when Gore topped 1,000 rushing yards.
So does Gore have something or anything left in the tank? It’s a valid question. The numbers suggest that he does and can contribute, it just may not be at the same high level seen a decade ago. With the Jets, he won’t be asked to be a feature back but merely share the carries and alleviate the workload on Bell.
The Look: The Jets offense suddenly has two running backs with productive careers in Bell and Gore as well as a promising rookie prospect (Perine). For an offense that was second worst in the league last year in rushing, there is now considerably more talent behind Bell.
This should lighten the load on Bell and keep him fresh. Gore also provides a mentoring component for Perine.
With a revamped offensive line that should be considerably if not significantly improved with five potential new starters, the Jets rushing attack should be better and more balanced. Gore, a physical runner between the tackles who can bounce outside, adds a different dimension the offense.
He just can’t be expected to carry the ball 20+ times a game on a regular basis.