Gore's competitiveness shines through

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

49ers running back Frank Gore was apparently relishing a chance to compete against the Raiders in joint practices beginning Tuesday.

Matt Barrows: "To say that Gore was excited for today's morning practice would be like saying the Grand Canyon is kinda deep."

Matt Maiocco: "[Gore] was incredible in blitz pickup, as he pancaked both Ricky Brown and Kirk Morrison in the drill. Gore was so fired up, he acted as if he wanted more. RBs coach Tom Rathman took Gore out of the drill the next time he was lined up to go against David Nixon, a rookie linebacker from BYU. (At that moment, Nixon might have been the happiest person on the planet.)"

This might be what happens when a coaching staff prevents a highly competitive person -- Gore, in this case -- from playing in the first exhibition game.

Protecting Gore against the Broncos on Friday night made sense given how much the staff wanted to evaluate Glen Coffee. Coffee impressed in his preseason debut. He isn't a threat to Gore's job and I don't think Gore felt any extra motivation after watching Coffee. But he apparently did want to make a statement against the Raiders. Point taken.