Talk about a roller coaster week. On Sunday, Frank Gore runs for more than 100 yards for the first time this season and his team wins for the first time since September. On Monday he learns that Sean Taylor, a guy he has known since high school and who was a fellow-freshman at Miami, has been shot, and on Tuesday he wakes up to the news that Taylor is dead. Gore said he would talk to Mike Nolan after practice today about possibly being excused to attend Taylor's funeral, which is expected to be held early next week. "The University of Miami - all the boys come out of there," Gore said. " We're like brothers. It's tough. It's like losing my brother." If Gore goes to the funeral, it will be the second service he will have attended in Miami in the last two months. Gore's mother, Liz, passed away in mid September after a long battle with kidney disease.
This just in: Taylor's funeral will be held 11 a.m. Monday in South Florida. Gore will be in Charlotte, N.C. Sunday evening.
A lot of you have been asking whether the 49ers might go after prolific Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after the season. The answer is even if they wanted Anderson, they more than likely won't be able to get him. Look for the Browns to put the highest RFA tender on Anderson, meaning that another team would have to fork over a first- and a third-round pick in the 2008 draft to nab him. Profootballtalk.com wrote the other day that the 49ers would be out of the running in this scenario because they don't have their own first-round pick, which of course was traded to the Harlem Globetr ... er ... the New England Patriots last April. That's not exactly the case. The 49ers' do have a first-round pick, one that originally belonged to the Colts. According to the league, in order to use what was originally another team's pick in a restricted-free-agent scenario, that pick has to be more valuable than the team's own selection. That is, the Colts would have to finish with a worse record than the 49ers. The most wins the 49ers can hope (and I mean really wish upon a star) for is eight. The Colts have already won nine games. Bye-bye, Derek. We hardly knew ya ....
Both Marcus Hudson (knee) and Shawntae Spencer (quad) have been ruled out for Sunday's game in Charlotte. That means a lot more Donald Strickland and even a Tarell Brown sighting this week. Nolan also said that safety Dashon Goldson could see a lot more playing time.
Gore was named NFC Offensive Player of the week today for his 116-yard rushing performance against Arizona. Gore also caught 11 passes for 98 yards, the most receptions by a 49ers running back since Terry Kirby caught 11 in a game in 1996. Here's how old Barrows is: I covered Kirby when he was at UVA. No word yet on whether Patrick Willis has won defensive player of the week.
Speaking of Willis .... Thanks for jamming my e-mail basket with all the nickname suggestions. I've already received more than a hundred, although there are definitely a few repeats. (I can't believe how many "Diff'rent Strokes" fans are out there). I'm thinking I'll winnow the list to four or five and then we'll have a vote off. Remember, a Bee T-shirt is on the line. Maybe I'll even throw in an autographed copy of my head shot that everyone seems to like so much ...
-- Matt Barrows