By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks face a talented and familiar foe when they travel to San Francisco in a NFC West division showdown with the 49ers on Thursday.
Hard-charging running back Frank Gore.
The eight-year pro out of the University of Miami has the most rushing yards against Seattle, more than any other team in the league, with 1,079 in 12 games — a 5.4 per carry average.
Gore has twice rushed for more than 200 yards against Seattle. This season, he’s 10th in the league in rushing heading into Week 7, with 470 yards on 87 carries for a 5.4 per carry average.
Gore has four touchdowns on the year, and leads a San Francisco rushing attack that’s tops in the NFL, averaging 176.8 yards per contest.
While Gore has played well against Seattle over the years, the Seahawks have done better against him of late. Seattle held Gore to an average of 71 yards a game in two contests last year.
So how do you slow Gore down?
“You got to hit him hard and hit him early,” Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said. “Let him know that it’s not going to be your day to get a bunch of running yards. We’re going to come out and set the tone, and make sure he doesn’t get rolling.”
Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said it’s important that his unit remains disciplined by making sure they fill all of the run gaps up front.
“He hits the hole right where he needs to hit it every time, and he’s going 100 miles per hour every time,” Bradley said. “And if you’re not in your gap … he has the ability to break a big one at any time.
“They do so many things offensively, and you’re trying to jockey some guys around so you’re in the right leverage and the right position, but you always have that in the back of your mind. If you try to do that too much, are you giving him enough of a space to where he can break a big one?”
Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill, who has played against Gore since his college days at Clemson, said an added twist that Seattle will face this week is San Francisco’s ability to use extra tight ends and bigger personnel to move the Seahawks off the ball.
“Now they’re bringing in extra tackles,” Hill said. “They have defensive tackles at fullback. So they’re letting you know, ‘We’re going to run the ball; you’ve got to stop us.’
“They put their big men in and just come straight at you.”
Thurmond remains on PUP list
Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond said he’s healthy and ready to play, but because of the short week will not be taken off the physically unable to perform list and added to the active roster for Thursday’s game at San Francisco.
“I feel good,” Thurmond said. “I’m ready to get back out here. It’s been a year so I’m ready to go.
“It’s been hard. You never like watching from the sidelines, especially when you’re injured. So I’ve just been patiently waiting, and my time is about to come.”