Adam Gase heard rumblings that Frank Gore wanted to return home. He looked at the tape and weighed the analytics, which said Gore's yards after contact had actually improved in recent seasons.
There was no questioning Gore's character, of course.
Gase, while being interviewed in this week's episode of NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport's RapSheet and Friends podcast, said Gore caught him off guard this summer when he lobbied for every rep he could get in both organized team activities and training camp.
"He's a hard guy to keep out of practice," Gase said. "He hasn't practiced in OTAs in I don't know how many years. We went in with that kind of plan. Well, then I'd notice he'd be dressed and ready to go and he'd have his helmet on and I'm like, why is he acting like he's coming out here to practice? He's like, well, I'm doing individuals today, and then he'd sneak in for two plays. ...
"We would legitimately, it was almost like we had to hide his stuff to keep him off the practice field, because he's such a competitor and he wants to show guys that he's a part of this thing."
Gore has long been noted for his humble approach, even if his numbers and career accomplishments warrant otherwise. His 14,087 rushing yards place him fifth on the NFL's all-time list, just 14 yards behind Curtis Martin. Each of the four backs ahead of him, and the next six behind him who've retired are in the Hall of Fame. If Gore finds ends up to Canton, his practice habits will be a reason why.
"He's going to be a big-time impact player," Gase said. "He's going to do the things the way that you need to do it. He's a show me type player. He wants the other guys to see, hey, I'm not coming here just off of reputation. I'm really good at this still."
That's why he's always welcomed in Miami.