Garrison Hearst's words of encouragement for 49ers running back Frank Gore included a dig at a common rival.

``He's the one who told me to hurry up and run Barlow out of here,'' Gore said with a smile, recalling a conversation during the former running back's visit to the 49ers' Santa Clara practice facility last season. ``He said he liked my style of running and keep working hard and get him out of here.''

As it turned out, Kevan Barlow, who competed with Hearst and Gore for playing time in five years with the 49ers, is with the New York Jets. His departure in August was hastened by a strong training camp from Gore that convinced team officials they could afford to trade Barlow.

Now Hearst, or more precisely, his 8-year-old team records for rushing yards (1,570) and all-purpose yards (2,105), are in jeopardy.

Feagles helps inspire team

LANDOVER, Md. - Jeff Feagles would seem to be an unlikely inspiration, but he delivered a moving speech to his teammates Friday night.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin asked the punter, a 19-year veteran who has played in only five playoff games in four seasons, to speak to the team about the fleeting nature of postseason chances.

"I don't think it was talk that did it, but the guys responded this week," Feagles said.

"What he said meant a lot to me, definitely," Gibril Wilson said. "You never really think about that stuff, but hearing Jeff talk about how long he's played and how few times he's been to the playoffs, I think we all heard it."

Jerome McDougle Update

DE Jerome McDougle doesn't appear likely to get on the field for more than the few plays he played against the Cowboys. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has determined that DE Juqua Thomas is much more productive at both end and in the Joker role formerly played by the injured Jevon Kearse. "I just feel right now the way he is playing both sides and Trent Cole, we keep in there as much as we can, we just decided to go with that rotation. We're using (tackle Darwin) Walker sometimes. So, all of a sudden (McDougle) might be a little bit the odd man out right now." The No. 1 pick in 2003 out of Miami has been taking practice reps with the scout team.


A Look Back At Last Week's Top Stories

- Shockey to Miss Game Because of Injured Ankle
- In search of bat, O's make Huff an offer
- Wilfork looks good to go: NT expects to return vs. Titans
- Wayne Honored
- 49ers' Gore overcoming odds as team's go-to back
- McGahee covets new deal - Agent says Bills RB deserves extension
- Winslow now learning to tone down the hype
- Ex-Sixer Salmons finds it's good to be a King
- Jennings set to step in
- Rockies agree to terms with Graves on minor-league deal
- Mike Rumph Cut
- CB Phillip Buchanon has been a valuable midseason find, helping the Bucs weather the loss of starting CB Brian Kelly
- Browns Will Turn To Dorsey At Quarterback
- McIntosh Makes Good Impression in First NFL Start
- James Surpasses 1,000 yards
- Winslow: Crennel encouraged him
- Hester's Fancy Footwork Pays off in the End