Unfortunately, the 2012 version of Jacobs basically does the same things as Frank Gore, just not as well.
Jacobs is still big, but entering his eighth season, he doesn’t punish tacklers the way he used to. His lack of lateral quickness really kills him in short yardage, where a RB needs to stop and change directions if the defense gets penetration.
Gore, on the other hand, may have lost some of his home run speed, but nobody in the league is better at seeing the line, getting low behind his blockers and squirming his way past the marker.
If the 49ers want to squeeze every drop out of Gore’s career, they need to start transitioning him towards being only a short-yardage back, and let Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James take over the every-down duties.
But if Gore is getting the short-yardage carries, and Hunter/James are in the base and shotgun packages, where does that leave Jacobs?
If he doesn’t rediscover some of his beastly running skills from earlier in his career, it could leave him wearing another team’s jersey come Week 1.
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