Even from afar, Adam Gase was impressed with what running back Frank Gore accomplished for the Buffalo Bills last season, his 15th in the NFL.

“It’s unbelievable. If you watched him work day in and day out, it wouldn’t surprise you,” said Gase, then in his first year as the New York Jets’ coach after having coached Gore for one season with the Miami Dolphins in 2018. “We would always say, ‘Hey, we think you should take today off,’ and he’s like, ‘Wednesdays, I’m practicing.’

“And he wants every rep. You’re in full pads, and he’s going at it like it’s Sunday. That’s just how he looks. That’s how he’s always been. He loves football. There’s no other place he’d rather be than the practice field, game day. Everything about football, he loves.”

Gase’s feelings toward Gore apparently have lingered into 2020: On Tuesday, his Jets reportedly signed Gore to a one-year deal. It will be Gase and Gore’s third pairing; Gase was a 49ers offensive assistant in 2008 during Gore’s time with San Francisco.

Gore, who turns 37 on May 14, rushed for only 599 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season for the Bills, both career lows. Nevertheless, he received high marks both for his locker room presence and for mentoring Bills rookie Devin Singletary, who started eight games and averaged more than five yards per attempt.

The Jets, likewise, will be breaking in a rookie running back: La’Mical Perine, whom New York took in the draft’s fourth round last month. (Singletary was a third-round pick for the Bills in 2019.) But they also have veteran Le’Veon Bell, who is coming off the worst statistical season of his career.

A five-time Pro Bowl honoree who began his career with the 49ers in 2005, Gore is the NFL’s third-leading all-time rusher behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. (He passed Barry Sanders last season and needs about 1,400 yards to surpass Payton.) Gore and Smith are the only running backs with more than 200 career starts. But while some think he is a lock for the Hall of Fame, others aren’t so sure: Gore never has been considered the NFL’s best player or even the league’s best running back in any given season.

Still, he gets high marks for his longevity. He has played so long, in fact, that his son will be starting his college career this fall.

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