SANTA CLARA — Frank Gore maintains teams are loading up to stop the 49ers' running game early in the season. But in the same breath, he added it's no excuse for his poor production so far and that it's the team's top offensive priority to get fixed.
Gore has just 60 yards rushing on 30 carries in two games — a 2.0 yard-per-carry average — and his longest gain is just eight yards. The 49ers as a team are ranked 17th in the league in rushing, and wouldn't be nearly that good if not for the yards quarterback Colin Kaepernick has amassed.
"We have to get better in the running game," Gore said Wednesday. "We have to get it done. There are lot of teams playing us (tough) we still have to find a way to get it done."
So what are opponents doing differently?
"They know that in past years we have run the ball great," he said. "You watch the film and you see eight or nine men in the box. That's one of the biggest things, but we have to find a way."
Fullback Bruce Miller there's nothing too scientific about what the 49ers must do to establish the run.
"It's about execution, winning one-on-one battles, communicating better and playing together as a unit," Miller said. "We have seen some different things, some movement up front, and we just have to follow our rules and execute better."
Miller admitted Gore hasn't been in the best of moods after two lackluster performances by the backfield.
"It's tough on Frank, because that's our guy, that's our workhorse," he said. "He puts the team on his back and he carries us most of the time. To be struggling right now as a group ... it's not Frank, Frank's one of the best in the league. I think it's more us, and him being patient. I don't know if he's getting frustrated with what's gong on, but he has to continue to be patient and we'll get it going and execute better."
Miller admitted his drop early in the Seattle defeat may have been a game-changer and the holding penalty he received that resulted in a safety was also a contributing factor to San Francisco's lopsided defeat.
"I should have had that one," he said. "In that type of game on the road, you have to make those plays and it wasn't made. Kap put it there for me to make it and I just have to make them."
Of the holding penalty that resulted in the safety, Miller said, "I definitely have to do better with my hands. I thought initially I had him blocked, but when he started to spin I kind of panicked and wrapped him up. It felt different in the game than it looked on film. I just have to do better finishing the play."