Year after year after year pundits have predicted Frank Gore's production would soon fall off a cliff.
The 33-year-old running back hears the critics following his first sub-1,000-yard season since playing just 11 games in 2010. His 3.7 yards per carry in 2015 were a career low.
"Believe me, I listen," Gore told the Indy Star's Stephen Holder. "When I hear it, that's when I attack my training. When I'm tired, I tell myself what the people are saying about me. In that second workout (of the day) when I'm saying, 'Man, I don't want to do this.' I remind myself, 'They're saying you're old. They're saying you're 33. They're saying you can't do it this year.' I play games with myself off that stuff."
Doubting Gore has become a fool's game.
Despite a down year (for him) behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and without his starting quarterback for nine games, Gore still put up 967 yards. Yes, his 3.7 YPC was poor, but as Kevin Bowen from the team's official website pointed out, without Andrew Luck in the lineup Gore's yards per carry fell from 4.1 to 3.5. Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo also missed three games last year. Sans the left tackle, Gore's YPC went from 3.9 to 2.7.
"But, see, that's why I like working with young guys," Gore told Holder. "You can't even tell (the difference), can you?"
The Colts are relying heavily on Gore remaining productive at 33. Behind him on the depth chart are Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman, neither of who has proven capable of carrying a load. Shifty undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson has impressed the Colts' brass and has a great shot at the backup role and work in passing situations.