Just before the 2016 season, Niners live brought you San Francisco 49ers: Defenders can run, but can’t Hyde. We now bring you the remix: The competition can come at Carlos, but he won’t Hyde, you can bank on that…
Carlos Hyde at the ripe age of 26 years young and seemingly entering his prime, the 6’0 and 235 lb. runaway freight train entering his fourth year in the league will be coming off the best season in his career. He finished just 12 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season with six touchdowns. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and established himself as a respectable dual threat receiving, reeling in 27 receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns receiving.
This was no easy feat playing in an offensive scheme under former head coach Chip Kelly that made it obvious when he was getting the ball and miss-utilized his skill set as discussed by Niners Live during the 2016 season. Nevertheless, Hyde still showcased his ability to be a big-time play maker ranking in the top 10 in yards after contact with 3.05, highlighted by a week 14 performance against the Jets where he had five runs of 15 yards or more which was the most recorded in a single game last season.
GM John Lynch and Shanahan must be curious to see what Hyde can do in an NFL proven rushing scheme while being coached by offensive gurus in Shanahan and running back coach Bobby Turner. “I don’t think he’s a finished product. I think there’s a lot more to his game and I look forward to us helping him bring that out,” said Shanahan to reporters at the NFL combine.
A work in Progress
Since the departure of the Great Frank Gore after the 2014 season, Hyde has been touted as the 49ers next bell cow. He has yet to live up to those expectations, however, due mainly to injury. In his short career, he has missed a total of fourteen games out of a possible 48 contests. Hyde closed out his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve with an ankle and foot injury, respectively. This was also noted on Niners Live, 2016 season’s closeout assessment on Hyde.
While Hyde may be all but set to take the starting role, don’t sleep on rookie addition Joe Williams who Niners live discussed in Why Kyle Shanahan chose Bethard, Williams and Kittle to possibly oust Hyde as the starter. Veteran Tim Hightower will definitely add quality depth and competition to the forefront. Kapri Bibbs, who had a connection to GM John Lynch in Denver as well as UDFA Matt Brieda, has already impressed. According to one assistant coach (via Kevin Jones of KNBR), he was the best rookie on the field during the first minicamp, and will add some intriguing options to keep tabs on as the battle to make the 53-man roster heats up during the dog days of summer.
Won’t Hyde through adversity
There’s been chatter amongst the sporting world that Hyde has been struggling in OTA’s to learn coach Shanahan’s offense. You expect some level of a learning curve or struggle early on in the infant stages of implementing a new offense in the offseason. Expect Hyde once training camp comes around after the month break/lay off and the pads go on to showcase his true physical nature and have a better understanding of the playbook/system. Also noted: That’s what running back’s coach Turner was brought in for and to do,”Teach“.
As always, keep your eyes wide open, 49er fans. Niners Live will be watching with you. #eyeswideopen and often imitated, but never duplicated… Go Niners.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Irvin Johnson Staff Writer at Niners Live. Co-Author, Editor Niners Live.