For anyone who has ever spent any time around Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, there's little doubt as to how much of a historian he is and the respect he shows for those who have dedicated their lives to the game.
So when it comes to Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore, who two weeks ago moved into ninth place on the NFL's all-time rushing list—passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (12,312 yards)— there was little doubt as to how much respect Reid would have for the 33-year-old running back.
"He's a warrior, that one," Reid said of Gore on Wednesday. "Tough guy. Runs hard, a physical runner, and to last as long as he has is a tribute, probably, to his offseason work program and how he goes about the game.
"I think once you get to know him a little bit, he's a kid that loves to play. He's kept himself in good shape."
While most of the talk around the Colts offense surrounds the passing game and quarterback Andrew Luck, the guys inside of the Chiefs locker room haven't forgot about Gore.
At 33 years old, which is three years after the common notion of when the average running back's career is coming to an end, Gore is tied for ninth in the league with 495 yards rushing on 117 carries, adding a couple of touchdowns as well.
"He's a heck of a running back, man," veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson said of Gore. "Just history—stat-wise, he's up there, I mean really up there in the history of football. We have a lot of respect for him and what he brings to the game. He's been doing it for a long time, just as myself.
"They are more of a passing team but when they do run it, they are effective. That's a challenge for us."
This is Gore's second year with the Colts after spending the first 10 years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, so there's one player who's pretty familiar with Gore's game—quarterback Alex Smith—who was a part of that same 2005 draft class with the 49ers as Gore.
Smith was taken No. 1 overall and Gore was selected with the team's third-round pick (No. 65 overall).
"I was fortunate enough to get to play with him a lot of years," Smith explained on Wednesday. "He's a tremendous football player and a great teammate. Hopefully we get the best of him on Sunday but I'm still close with him and root for him from afar."