Frank Gore has played on four teams over the last six years since he last wore a 49ers jersey. That won't stop him from always loving his original team, and it won't stop The Faithful from always rooting for Gore.
Gore spent his first 10 seasons in the NFL with the 49ers, from 2005 through 2014. Jim Harbaugh was his coach the last four years of Gore's tenure in the Bay Area, and the two shared a close bond. Harbaugh loved the way Gore played so much that he would often play film of the running back in front of his teammates, and it had nothing to do with Gore carrying the ball.
"He was the heart and soul of our football team when we were under [Jim] Harbaugh," Donte Whitner, who played three seasons with Gore on the 49ers, said on the latest episode of "49ers Talk." "Not even just running the football.
"We used to step into the room sometimes -- Harbaugh would put highlights of Frank up blocking the biggest defensive lineman, the biggest linebacker blitzing through the A-gap, protecting his quarterback and putting his body on the line."
That's exactly who Frank Gore is, always doing anything that is asked of him on the football field. That remains true for the 5-foot-9 running back even at 37 years old.
Whitner also said, "if were up to Frank Gore, he never would have left San Francisco. He would still be here today and he would retire a 49er."
Gore is San Francisco's all-time leading rusher with 11,073 rushing yards as a 49er. His 15,371 rushing yards place him third of the NFL's all-time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. And the 49ers should see plenty of him Sunday on the road against the New York Jets.
With star running back Le'Veon Bell expected to miss a couple weeks with a hamstring injury, Gore should be the Jets' starting running back against the 49ers. He was held to 24 yards rushing on six carries in the Jets' Week 1 loss.
But at heart, Gore always will be a Niner and he always will be remembered for far more than his rushing yards.