Colts' Frank Gore wants to be first since 1984 to rush for 1,000 yards at 33 or older

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore has his sights set on pulling off a double feat next season.

He wants the Colts' string of not having a 1,000-yard rusher to end at eight seasons. Gore, who turns 33 on Saturday, also aims to become the first running back since 1984 to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season at age 33 or older. Former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins rushed for 1,239 yards at age 35 in 1984.

"My goal was to come here and be the difference-maker, something they didn't have," said Gore, who rushed for 967 yards last season. "Getting the 100-yard games, getting 1,000 yards. When that didn't happen, that was really, really frustrating."

Gore can't do it by himself. He needs help up front from the offensive linemen.

So much of the Colts' goal of improved offensive-line play is centered around protecting quarterback Andrew Luck.

That should be the top priority, because the Colts' success is dictated by Luck. But what shouldn't be forgotten is the line's ability to open running lanes for Gore and the rest of the team's running backs. The Colts averaged 3.5 yards per rush outside the tackles, a half-yard lower than any team in the AFC, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

That's another reason the Colts used half of their eight draft picks on offensive linemen.

"It's great," Gore said, "just to have depth and compete. I feel like everybody should have depth and compete at their position. The more people you got, the hungrier that person should be. The guys from last year and adding the new young guys, training-camp time, the best man should win. If you love this game, you're going to step up, and that will be better for us as a team."

Here's an additional reminder about the Colts' offensive-line problems: They've gone 50 consecutive games without seeing a player rush for 100 yards in a game.

The challenge to find cohesion and talent on the line falls on new position coach Joe Philbin, and it's a challenge he's embracing.

"The things in blocking that I want us to be known for are really fundamentally related first and scheme second," Philbin said. "So it's really about how fast and decisive our guys can play. Can they get to their target? Can they play with leverage? Can they get movement?

"I don't care really what the scheme [is] -- gap, man, zone, lead, turn; there are umpteen different schemes -- but the real emphasis still for us, even when we get to that stage, is going to be moving people and creating space for our running back."

Gore isn't blaming the lack of blocking up front for his failure to rush for at least 1,000 yards for just the third time in his 11-year career. But he referred to the 2015 season as one of the most frustrating and trying he has experienced.

"I'm not over it," Gore said. "I'm not going to be over it until I do it. I've been blessed that they kept me to get the opportunity to do it again. To go after my goals again, to be the one to get the 100 yards that they didn't have in years. To get that 1,000-plus yards [in a season]."

In an attempt to preserve his body -- Gore had 227 more rushes in 2015 than Luck, his closest teammate -- he has altered his offseason approach. Gore extended his break after the season to about six weeks before he got back to working out. He has been a regular during the Colts' offseason program and he'll go home to Miami to work with his personal trainer in the final few weeks before the start of training camp in late July.

"I know they say I'm supposed to be slowing down the older I get," Gore said, "but I feel good, I feel young still and I want to make sure how I played last season doesn't repeat itself."