Carlos Hyde entered the offseason in a precarious place atop the San Francisco 49ers running back depth chart. Questions surrounding his fit in new coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense coupled with the team gushing about the selection of rookie Joe Williams in the draft caused many to ponder Hyde’s future with the team.
Since training camp started, however, we’ve only heard glowing reviews of Hyde’s work ethic, playmaking and slimmed down physique.
“I can tell he’s put in the work and has given himself a chance to have a good season,” Shanahan said of Hyde, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.
During Wednesday’s practice Hyde plowed over rookie corner Ahkello Witherspoon at the goal line after catching a pass out of the backfield. The play left starting quarterback Brian Hoyer giddy.
“That was awesome,” Hoyer said. “… He sees the opportunity ahead of him. He’s in the right scheme. Kyle knows how to run the ball and we have a good offensive line, a good fullback, receivers who block their butts off.”
The scheme-fit comment from Hoyer is notable, after it was pondered whether Hyde’s running style would fit Shanahan’s system — most notably from GM John Lynch. Hyde shedding weight seems to have made a big difference after he was vided as a slow, indecisive runner during 49ers’ OTAs.
Reports out of the Bay Area have rookie Williams off to a slow start in camp, making Hyde’s adaptation to Shanahan’s scheme more noteworthy. Expect Hyde to open the regular season as the lead-back with veteran Tim Hightower spelling him until Williams gets his feet under him.