Frank Gore, 35, helped by skipping some OTA “flag football”

Dolphins running back Frank Gore speaks to the media Thursday. (Miami Herald)

DAVIE — When Frank Gore goes, he goes hard.

But at the age of 35, Gore has his ways of reserving strength and still getting himself ready for the season. That means passing on many spring football organized team activity reps.

“I haven’t done OTAs in seven years,” Gore said Thursday. “My second year with (49ers coach Jim) Harbaugh. Once he understood who I was and who some of the vets who were on our team were, and what we bring to the table, as long as we come in here, work out, do individuals and help the young guys, he knew that we were going to be ready for training camp. I think that kind of helped me with my career – not doing flag football.”

There is value for Gore in being around the facility and learning his new teammates and a new offense. But at this stage of his career, with 3,226 NFL carries under his belt, there is little reason to push the pedal now.

“Frank is not going to do a whole bunch in the spring,” coach Adam Gase said recently.

Gore is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. But he seems to understand he’s likely to have a reduced role on this team.

“Whatever my teammates want me (to do) and whatever my coaches want me to do,” Gore said. “We have a great young back in ‘K.D.’ (Kenyan Drake), who I think has special talent. He can run and catch the ball. I’m just going to come in here every day, especially during training camp, and just try to be me and compete. Whatever my coaches want me to do, I’ll do.”

Gore could easily call it a career and merit Hall of Fame consideration. But he’s still playing because he wants to.

“Especially at my position getting hits. If I didn’t love it and I didn’t work hard, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said.

Gore has played on turf for Indianapolis Colts home games the last three years, and feels playing on the grass surface at Hard Rock Field will also be a big boost.

“I like grass,” Gore said. “Turf is tough on your body and it’ll have you swollen. Playing on turf, I wouldn’t get my body back until that Friday. But when I’m playing on grass, I’m good after the game. I’m happy that I’m on grass.”

Gore said he would publicly reveal his training secrets for longevity only after he’s done. Though he’d share them with his teammates. He added that he doesn’t feel 35.

“I still feel good,” Gore said. “I think about it sometimes. I think about how blessed I am to still be playing a game that I love since I was a kid. I always hear it every year: ‘When you turn this age, you can’t do it anymore.’ Especially with what it took me to get here, to play in this league, with the injuries that I had, and still to be blessed to play this game and have pretty good years, I think that’s a blessing.”

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