49ers

Gore believes 49ers going in the right direction: 'That's what I bleed'

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USATI

Gore believes 49ers going in the right direction: 'That's what I bleed'

The 49ers’ all-time leading rusher is now in his third season with the Indianapolis Colts.

But running back Frank Gore has never left the 49ers completely behind. On Sunday nights last season, Gore would often call then-running backs coach Tom Rathman to rant about his former team while the 49ers were in the midst of a two-win season.

On Wednesday, Gore demonstrated his continued passion for the 49ers during a conference call with Bay Area reporters. After answering questions for more than 10 minutes, Gore had his own question:

What do y’all think about the 49ers?

Then, Gore proceeded to give his opinion of where the 49ers are heading after the firings of one-and-done head coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly, as well as the removal of general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers, under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, are 0-4 as they enter Week 5 with a game against Gore and the Colts on Sunday. Gore said he sees reason for optimism.

“I think they’re going in the right direction,” Gore said. “They really play tough, man. I like their coaching staff. I like what he’s doing on offense. And that defense, they play very hard, and they’re playing good ball.

“The safety. . . (No.) 29 (Jaquiski Tartt), I see, he’s around the ball a lot. E-Reid (Eric Reid) was playing good ball before he got hurt. He was looking like his first year when he played with us.

“I like their D-line. I think they’re going to be all right. I think (49ers CEO) Jed (York) did a great job of picking the guys he picked to run the team. I think they’re going to be OK.

“In the NFC West, you know how it is. It goes in cycles. I don’t think Seattle is how they used to be. . . Arizona . . . The Rams got a lot better. And San Fran, and that young team, I think they got a bunch of good pieces. I think (quarterback Brian) Hoyer is playing good ball, at times. But I think once they get all that situation, I think, man, they’re going to be back where we were, making a run for the NFC West.”

When told that Gore sounded like a fan, he did not disagree. He said he wishes success for his former team.

“I’d been there 10 years,” Gore said. “That’s what I bleed. I was bitter that first year, but that’s the business. That’s the business. I did right for that organization. I played hard. What can they say but great things about me? I want to see them do great.”

Gore said the 49ers’ narrow loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII still motivates him. Gore rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in the Super Bowl. After his 33-yard run gave the 49ers a first-and-goal from the Baltimore 7, Gore never touched the ball again.

“It was real close. I think we were 4 or 5 yards away,” Gore said. “Because of what we had going on as one of the top teams in the league, you feel you’d go back. It never happened.”

Left tackle Joe Staley and linebacker NaVorro Bowman are the only starters off that Super Bowl team that remain with the 49ers. Center Daniel Kilgore and tight end Garrett Celek were backups.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”