Niners to begin phasing out Gore: It was bound to come to this. After being one of the NFL’s toughest running backs for nearly a decade, Frank Gore could see his number of carries diminished by about 50 this season. Last year, the veteran carried the rock 276 times and has averaged 272 rush attempts over the past three years. That’s before you count the 20 passes a year he’s caught during that span. The big question is: Where will those carries go? The leading contenders for the job of Gore’s understudy are Marcus Lattimore and rookie Carlos Hyde. The winner of that battle will not only be a potential fantasy handcuff for Gore this season, but could be San Francisco’s running back of the future going forward.
Packers want more from Lacy: Eddie Lacy did quite a bit for the Packers last season. The rookie rushed for 1,178 yards with 11 touchdowns and caught another 35 balls for 257 yards on his way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. But entering Year Two, Green Bay’s coaching staff wants more. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements says the team wants Lacy more involved in all aspects of the game. For a team that wants to be more uptempo in 2014, the logical step would be to have Lacy become a better pass blocker so he won’t need to come off the field in third downs or obvious passing situations. Lacy was already a consensus first round pick, but anything that can make him a three-down back will only help move him up the board.
Hunter the new Moss?: The offseason is rife with stories of players hyping their teammates, so it’s with several grains of salt that we consider Titans receiver Michael Preston comparing fellow wideout Justin Hunter to Randy Moss. Yes, that Randy Moss. Certainly the measurables are similar, but Hunter’s rookie campaign (18/354/4) doesn’t hold a candle to what Moss did in his first season (69/1,313/17). However, with Kenny Britt no longer in Tennessee, there will be more chances for Hunter to establish himself in the Titans passing game. There will almost certainly be improvement, but pardon us if we don’t rank him as highly as we did Moss in his prime.
— Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG