When it seemed like the 49ers were just about done with free agency, they brought in another former New York Giant in running back Brandon Jacobs. According to ESPN, Jacobs reached a one-year agreement with San Francisco after the Giants allowed him to walk.
The 29-year-old, two-time Super Bowl champion is one of the more physical runners in the league. And if you take a look at what the 49ers do, you'd notice they preach ball security and raw physicality on both sides of the football. Jacobs fits the bill and is really someone that runs angry.
With the 49ers looking to upgrade their offense, particularly on third down and in the red zone, the addition of Jacobs begins to make sense. A lot of teams in the league now have more than one capable running back: the Chicago Bears (Matt Forte and Michael Bush), Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams), Houston Texans (Arian Foster and Ben Tate) and Kansas City (Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis) to name a few.
The 49ers want to be able to pound the ball on command and Anthony Dixon wasn't someone who could step in on third and short and be a lock to get the first down. Kendall Hunter adds a nice change of pace and his role won't likely change much, but I anticipate much of the 2012 run game to be centered around Frank Gore and Jacobs.
The 49ers like to execute that power run game and when Gore needs to be spelled and the situation doesn't call for a change of pace back, it'll be great to have Jacobs.
I think it's also important to mention Jacobs as a blocker. Alex Smith got hammered when protection either broke down or receivers weren't getting open. To have a big stature guy like Jacobs to stand in there and protect Smith on passing downs will be ideal.
It also seems that a major aspect of this one-year deal was to protect their investment in Gore. The 49ers' all-time leading rusher has a couple years left on his deal, and the Niners want to make sure those years count. By taking the brunt of the dirty work off his shoulders, San Francisco could prolong Gore's career and make sure he gets quality reps.
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