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Niners' Harbaugh suggests bronzing his star running back

Linebacker Navorro Bowman complained on NFL Network this week that his 10-2 49ers lack the "respect they deserve," but there's no question how coach Jim Harbaugh feels about his troops.

The consummate players coach, Harbaugh has found a way to play to his roster's strength week after week. On offense, that's meant a near-lethal dose of Frank Gore for opposing defenses, helping the back become the franchise's all-time rushing leader Sunday, in just his seventh season -- a feat not lost on his coach.

"There should be a statue to Frank," Harbaugh told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Maybe with the new stadium ... a life-size statue of him in one of those cool positions he gets in -- about six inches off the ground, or a leg going one way, and the other going the other, twisting and turning.

"It's just so cool. It's just so cool to slow the tape down and watch what he does."

Classic Harbaugh riff. Bill Belichick wouldn't be caught dead going off like this.

Harbaugh made the comments in jest, but a lone monument to Gore outside the 49ers' stadium? This fits about as well as a Fifth Beatle bust on the mean streets of Liverpool. Gore's certainly on the ballot for bronze treatment, but it's a long list, heavy with Hall of Fame types and a fellow by the name of Joe Montana steering the pace car.

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