Sign­ing of Gore is no joke

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - COM­MEN­TARY

There are com­pli­ments and then there’s what Rob Chudzin­ski had to say when asked about Frank Gore the other day.

“He’s ev­ery­thing that you would want the NFL to be about,” said Chudzin­ski, a for­mer of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and head coach in the league. Let that sink in for a mo­ment.

It’s one thing to say a player is ev­ery­thing you would want your team to be about. Tak­ing it to the level of the en­tire league is say­ing much more, es­pe­cially from some­one who has a great deal of fa­mil­iar­ity with him.

The Buf­falo Bills haven’t got­ten a whole lot of ac­co­lades for sign­ing Gore largely be­cause he’s al­most 36 years old, well be­yond the typ­i­cal age for mean­ing­ful pro­duc­tion from a run­ning back. Although their many other moves in a busy off­sea­son have largely drawn praise, the free-agent sign­ing of the league’s old­est ac­tive player at his po­si­tion was met with a mix­ture of ridicule and mock­ing.

Who are they get­ting next? Jim Brown? Is Thur­man Thomas in­ter­ested in a come­back?

Chudzin­ski, for one, wasn’t sur­prised when he heard the news on March 13 that Gore had an op­por­tu­nity to keep his NFL ca­reer alive for a 15th sea­son. He had a close-up view of the 11th, 12th and 13th sea­sons as of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor of the In­di­anapo­lis Colts.

Chudzin­ski de­signed the schemes and called the plays that a 33-year-old Gore ran on the way to 1,025 yards in 2016, the ninth 1,000-yard sea­son of his ca­reer. The fol­low­ing year, Gore con­trib­uted 961 rush­ing yards to Chudzin­ski’s of­fense be­fore giv­ing the Mi­ami Dol­phins a cred­i­ble 722 yards Gen­eral Man­ager Beane may add more pieces. Page B6

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