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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Dean from Laramie, Wyo., writes: I am wondering if Frank Gore is going to have a breakout game or if he is playing his new role. I get the feeling the niners are pushing the passing game to get some rhythm going. I would understand this since most of the receivers were out all preseason. Still though I wonder how long Gore will go before a 100-yard game?
Mike Sando: The Lions dumped Mike Martz because they wanted to run the ball more. Perhaps Martz shows his former team how a top-flight back such as Gore influences a coordinator's decision making along those lines. This has the feel of a breakout week for Gore. I could see Martz feeding the ball to him if the game is close or the 49ers are winning.
Mike Sando: The Broncos might not be the same without Ed Hochuli next week.
Aaron from Portland, Ore., writes: The Seahawks have made a lot of moves at WR recently. What's going to happen to guys like Koren Robinson and Keary Colbert once Branch and Engram come back from injury?
Mike Sando: We'll have a better idea once we see Robinson and Colbert play. I would expect Colbert and Robinson to remain with the team this season. Seattle traded a 2009 draft choice to the Broncos for Colbert. And now that the organization has brought back Robinson after considerable deliberation, I would expect the team to give him every opportunity to realize some of his potential.
Seattle has seven receivers on its roster. Michael Bumpus and Billy McMullen were late additions. They could be vulnerable to roster maneuvering if Robinson and Colbert indeed have the inside track.
Mike Sando: It's not out of the question. I think a split is more likely. The 49ers should be able to beat the Lions. I'm inclined to give the Saints the edge at New Orleans.
Mike Sando: Jerry Rice is done. He has other things going. Seattle wanted people with basic familiarity with West Coast offenses. I suspect that's why Billy McMullen prevailed over Samie Parker. 32 teams are not rushing out to sign Joe Horn right now. The consensus seems to be pretty clear there.
You mentioned that you believe Tim Ruskell will try to make a move for a number 1 WR in the near future, what's your take on who that would be? Roy Williams has been mentioned numerous times in questions to you, as has Chad Johnson and Anquan Boldin. To my knowledge none of them are anywhere close to being traded. Are there any number 1 type WR's being shopped? Thanks in advance, and I love the blog!
Mike Sando: Thanks, K.C. I do expect the Seahawks to continue pursuing trade options at receiver given all the injuries. But right now those other teams just do not appear interested in parting with established players at the position. "Col-burt" is the pronunciation on Colbert.
Mike Sando: Now you've done it. I'll probably put together something on the power rankings in Excel form now that you've asked. Thanks -- I think.
Mike Sando: Courtney Taylor probably starts. After that, it's anybody's guess.
Mike Sando: The 49ers have been one of the worst teams in the league over the last few years. I think it'll take time, not just a win here or there, to earn that respect again. I would bet fans of 25 or more teams think their team gets no "national" respect. I heard it all the time from Seahawks fans when I was covering the team. The 49ers will move up in the rankings as they win games, plural. That is my general feeling.
Mike Sando: Heart, yes. Receivers, maybe. I see a loss to the Giants and probably two more of those teams unless the injury situation stabilizes. That would equate to 4-5. That makes even 9-7 difficult. That's why the game against the 49ers was so important. Seattle will need to fare well against the Cardinals, most likely.