Curtis Martin sees big upside to Jets’ Frank Gore-Le’Veon Bell duo


Curtis Martin believes Le’Veon Bell and Frank Gore will flourish together.

“What I like about both of them is that they complement one another because I think their styles are really different,” Martin told The Post. “When you have a guy who’s 37 years old on a team, he almost comes on as a leader. I think he’ll be good for the entire team and for the locker room.”

Martin and Gore have formed a mutual admiration society.

“Frank’s my guy,” Martin said. “I’ve always liked Frank. I remember when I think he was entering his 10th year, he gave me a call and asked what is it I did to win a rushing title in my 10th year?”

Gore (15,347 yards) is third on the all-time rushing list behind Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726). Martin knows exactly what makes Frank Gore Frank Gore.

“His consistency,” Martin said. “What most people don’t understand is that it is a talent. Saquon’s [Barkley] pretty fast and Saquon’s really strong and quick. He’s probably the closest thing to Barry Sanders that I’ve seen. But another talent is just the talent to stay healthy and be durable and to be consistent. And that’s what Frank Gore has been, and that’s why he’s stayed so long and done so well. That’s why he’s a future Hall of Famer.”

Martin didn’t become a Hall of Famer because he was the biggest, strongest or fastest running back as a Jet. So much of his greatness came from an indomitable will, and the same can be said of Gore.

“What I prided myself on, and this is probably not true, but I made myself think that I was the toughest guy in the NFL,” Martin said. “I made myself think that I can play with pain that most people, it would end their career. I convinced myself that I could do that. There’s a level of determination and fortitude that you have to have to do what Frank Gore’s doing.”

Martin won his rushing title (1,697 yards) in 2004 at age 31. He is immensely proud that he achieved it with no gain longer than 25 yards.

“Frank seems more like a north-south runner, he knows how to use his body well,” Martin said. “When you watch him run the ball, he knows how to kinda like weave and not necessarily juke everybody out, but he just knows how to maneuver and leverage his body well so that when he takes hits, he usually falls forward, which is a really good sign of using your leverage really well. He’s that consistent guy who’s gonna constantly get you three, four, five yards on any given carry. You don’t always have to break the 70-yard touchdowns, which he’s capable of.”

Bell had a disappointing maiden season (789 rushing yards, 3.2 average) as a Jet. A second year in Adam Gase’s system can only help.

“I think that Le’Veon will have a much better year this year,” Martin said.

It can’t hurt running behind 6-foot-7¹/₂, 364-pound No. 1 draft pick Mekhi Becton either.

“I watched the lineman that they drafted run his 40 — that guy might be able to outrun me,” Martin said.

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