Does Carlos Hyde fit Kyle Shanahan’s offense?


No, Carlos Hyde does NOT fit Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Here’s why:

Reason No. 1: Hyde’s career rushing average is 3.1 yards per carry when the quarterback is under center, which is where is he is most of the time in Shanahan’s offense.

Reason No. 2: Hyde lacks the vision the vision to find running lanes in Shanahan’s outside-zone running scheme and is more suited to run through predetermined holes.

Reason No. 3: Hyde likes to dance in the backfield, make double-cuts off of two feet and is at his best when he bounces inside runs to the outside. None of these qualities will help him in Shanahan’s offense. Shanahan wants his running backs to run outside toward the tight end initially and then make a one-foot cut “downhill.” Hyde lacks the ability to make this cut.

Shanahan stressed the importance of the one-foot cut after drafting running back Joe Williams: “When you come to the style of runner, that’s what we liked about (Williams) the most. He can press it. He can make a one-foot cut. Everyone says the cut back. I look at it more as just getting downhill because the more you can make a defense play sideways, you just get downhill and it looks like you cut back but it’s because everyone’s scared you’re running outside. And so, they go sideways and you get downhill, but it’s behind the backside tackle. When you have a guy who can run as fast as he can, he was clocked at high 4.3s at his pro day. The problem is, usually when guys run that fast, they can’t cut. So, when you’ve got a guy who can run that fast and can cut, which is what Joe Williams is, I do think you have a chance to be pretty special.”

This is why I think Williams will replace Hyde as the 49ers starting running back within the first few weeks of the regular season.

This article has 330 Comments

  1. One of Shanahan’s first comments WRT Hyde was he wants to get more out of him…that he’s not a finished product, due in large part to the kinds of offense he’s played in since coming to the Niners. So, I’d say it’s not up to any of us to say whether he fits in Coach’s offense or not…that’s what he & RB coach Bobby Turner will figure out. I hope he proves all the doubters wrong…

  2. I am in relatively complete agreement with your summation, Grant. I have thought for some time that Hyde is prime trade bait with the new corps of RBs on the roster. He is not the best fit but he is a quality running back in different offenses. However, whether he can be traded for reasonable value in his contract year is the sticking point. If not, they may ride him hard this season and then let him go via free agency. Hyde is also injury-prone as we all know. Regardless, I think that Williams will be the primary RB sooner than later backed up by Hightower and Breida or Breida and Bibbs. By end of pre-season the writing should be on the wall.

    1. Usually, we would get a 3rd round compensatory pick if Hyde walked after the 2017 season. Given all of the FA that we signed and the mediocre talent that got away from us this year, it’s doubtful that we will get any comps in 2018. If we don’t want to keep Hyde, we’ll most likely get nothing in return except a 5th rounder or worse by the trading deadline, IMO.

  3. I agree Williams will supplant Mr. Hyde at some point this year, but I expect them to ride El Guapo like the one eyed fatman rode Little Blackie prior to that happening….

    1. I partially agree. They will ride Hyde, but they won’t make Williams the starter this year unless Hyde gets injured. Williams will be used as a change of pace HB. Thunder and lightning. Set the tone with thunder, sprinkle in some lightning, and finish the game with thunder when the opposing D line is tired.

      1. Mr. Hyde has missed 14 games throughout three seasons, including 12 of the past 32 in the last two years. He tore his MCL week 16, and it’s unclear if he’s fully recovered his cutting ability. Thunder will eventually subside to a low rumble, and that’s when Lightning will light it up….

    2. “I expect them to ride El Guapo like the one-eyed Fatman rode Little Blackie prior to that happening…. ” Well, Razor, you’re mixing westerns. but you gotta love the vivid imagery that sentence creates!

  4. Yes.

    Despite the fact the 49ers tried to trade him for draft picks, Hyde has run in a zone running scheme at OSU.

    Urban Meyer uses an inside zone/gap running game to great effect.
    Coach Kelly used an inside zone scheme last year also, Hyde should be able to make the transition, especially with Joe Williams and others to spell him this year.

    1. Barring a trade, Hyde will be with the 49ers this year, and if injury free, he could be a great contributor.

      1. Grant,

        I also agree that 4.3 speed in Joe Williams and Matt Breida can’t be taught–it’s god given talent, so Williams will probable out competed Hyde at some point.

        Hyde, if not traded, could be useful in ‘big back’ packages at the goal line or near a first down marker.

        1. Completely agree with that, Tom. Late in the game, as we all know, a back like Hyde could be very effective-thunder and lightning go well together………

  5. “Hyde lacks the ability to make this cut.”
    Disagree. That’s an exaggerated criticism imo.
    It’s OK to denigrate the two footed jump cut, but David Johnson has used it to great advantage. These aren’t moves a guy is thinking about; it’s either in his repitoire or it isn’t. The plant+go is smooth and efficient and desirable in that way, but the object is to find the lane and beat the first tackler, and that’s part improvisation.
    I admit I’m in the minority here, but I think Hyde will be a fine asset for Shanny.

    1. Grant Cohen is an idiot, with only negative things to say about the Niners. Go cover the Raiders if the Niners are so awful. Just remember.. when we are back on top, you can never come back to the faithful. Idiot..

  6. Hyde and Williams will split carries this year, and both will play pretty well. Hyde will get more in the first half of the season, Williams more in the second half of the season. And Hyde will be let go at season end.

    Hyde hasn’t really played in this type of scheme before so very hard to say how good or bad a fit he is, but he does have the speed to at least threaten the edge, and has pretty good feet. So I think he’ll do ok. Though better suited to more of a power scheme.

  7. Hyde will be fine good backs adapt,Hyde is a good back.everybody is so quick to label a guy injury prone,man the NFL means injury prone some guys are just luckier than others.Hyde hasn’t been lucky,I think he transitions well and stays healthy this year.

  8. Hyde has flourished in inside zone running games out of the shotgun but that doesn’t mean he can’t run the outside zone with the QB under center. The Niners didn’t do it much so to put up a YPA figure based on a limited amount of opportunities is a waste of time. Not many RB’s have had a problem putting up good numbers in this system and Hyde is more talented than a lot of the RB’s KS has worked with previously. Both he and Williams should thrive this season.

  9. Quote from Kyle Shanahan:

    Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman flourished in the Atlanta Falcons’ backfield for Shanahan, who downplayed how his scheme fits certain backs.
    “If you’re a real good running back, you’re going to be a real good running back,” Shanahan said. “Carlos was a great running back in college and he’s put some real good things on tape so far in the NFL. That’s why I look forward to having him and working with him. That’s the team across the board.
    “People overrate a little too much with scheme. If you’re a good running back in this league, you’re going to be good in your scheme, whatever that is.”

    1. “If you’re a real good running back, you’re going to be a real good running back.”

      Shanahan didn’t say Hyde is a real good running back.

          1. Smh. The spin zone in full effect. I’m not going to waste time arguing over a quote from the HC that clearly runs counter to your point in this article. If you want to pretend it doesn’t and find some wording to cling too to keep from accepting that, have at it.

            1. No spin, just direct quotes.

              “Carlos was a great running back in college and he’s put some real good things on tape so far in the NFL.”

              That’s very different than saying “Carlos is a real good running back.” Lots of mediocre NFL running backs have put real good things on tape and were great in college.

              1. The only question about Hyde is durability. He’s a good RB and 4.6 ypc last year was top ten in the league for RB’s with over 200 carries. Shanahan says: “People (in this case Grant) overrate a little too much with scheme. If you’re good running back in this league then you’re going to be good in your scheme whatever that is.” Pretty near every RB he and his Father have had in this system have had success, be it players that they brought in or ones that were already there. Hyde will have a lot of success in this system as long as he stays healthy.

              2. If Shanahan thought Hyde was a good running back, Shanahan would have said so. Instead, Shanahan said Hyde “has put some real good things on tape.” That’s different.

              3. Further quotes from Shanahan regarding Hyde:

                “Right now, I see Carlos being our back. We’ve studied a lot of the guys on tape. He’s the guy that’s got the most. Carlos is a guy who I was a fan of coming out of college. He had a real good career there. I looked at him hard when, I think I was in Cleveland at the time and had a good feeling he was going to be a great back then. 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.”

                “I think Devonta in our scheme in Atlanta is how Devonta, to me, would have been in any scheme. If you’re a real good running back, you’re going to be a real good running back. I think people overrate that a lot personally. Carlos was a great running back in college and he has put some real good things on tape so far in the NFL and that’s why I look forward to having him and getting to work with him. I think it goes the same across the board. People I think overrate a little bit too much the scheme. If you’re a good running back in this league, you’re going to be good in your scheme, whatever that is.”

                He’s clearly saying the scheme doesn’t matter. That is the crux of your argument in this article in regards to Hyde. You said he doesn’t fit the scheme, Shanahan says a good RB will be good in any scheme. The “he didn’t say Hyde was a good RB” back angle you’re taking is irrelevant. Shanahan said nothing but positive things and you are focused on semantics, while that also has nothing to do with the point of your article which was that Hyde doesn’t fit this particular scheme.

              4. “Right now, I see Carlos being our back.”

                Right now, as in before the Niners drafted Joe Williams, who is a much better fit in the scheme.

                Shanahan hopes he can bring out more of Hyde’s game, which likely means improving his vision and ability to make the required cuts. We’ll see how Hyde adapts.

              5. It’s total spin. Shanahan thinks Hyde was a great college RB. That is about the most that can be said of Williams, of course, because he’s never taken an NFL snap. So, two guys who are great college RBs, one of whom has done some good things on tape in the NFL, and one of whom hasn’t.

              6. “Carlos was a great running back in college and he has put some real good things on tape so far in the NFL and that’s why I look forward to having him and getting to work with him.”

                Do bad RB’s put up “some real good things on tape…in the NFL”?

                Spin it how you want, we all know Grant has his list of guys that he just loves to go after (probably because they went AD on him at some point), he’s saying here that Carlos is a good RB and can get better with KS as his coach.

              7. Inconsistent RBs put real good things on tape. They also put not-so-good things on tape.

              8. I think everybody can see that if they look at it objectively. Grant just likes to argue and defend his point regardless.

          2. Hey grant wasn’t Hyde in a zone based scheme in college? I do understand your point here. I think the rookie has a chance to get a lot of carries. But I think they can both be successful. Hyde being more of the tevin Coleman type and Williams more of the freeman .

          3. Agreed. He is a goal line RB and a shortyardage back. He could be good in the 4th quarter but I do not think he’s done that was suggest that he slighted better than average.

    2. How many of Hyde’s issues come from 3 different offensive schemes in 3 years? Also remember our OL was ranked near the bottom of the NFL for 2 seasons. Just like QB’s, RB’s can’t play well without a good OL.

      I am resigning to wait till preseason. Williams has a lot to prove before he’s crowned in my book. Hyde has his issues, let’s see what Kyle can do with him.

      1. Since it didn’t require surgery, it must have only been a partial tear. Not a big issue.

      2. Hyde had a MCL sprain which is a small tear. Nothing serious and not hard to come back from. Didn’t require surgery either.

        1. It’s rare that a torn MCL requires surgery. When asked April 11 about an update regarding his injury, Mr. Hyde said,

          “I can cut, just not all the way I like to run, but I’m making improvement.”

          That indicates to me he sustained a Grade 2 or 3 tear, which can require up to 12 weeks to fully recover. I anticipate he’ll be good to go for training camp, but there are no guarantees….

          1. It was described as a MCL sprain which is a partial tear of the ligament. I don’t try and predict injuries as I’m not a Dr., but MCL’s are historically not something that players have trouble coming back from.

            1. I’m not a doctor either, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I am, however able to piece together information and arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Mr. Hyde admitted he was unable to make his normal cuts, but was improving. That was April 11th and he sustained the injury at Christmas last year. That’s over 12 weeks, and when you read the medical reports for the different grades and their recovery time, you’ll find that it’s a reasonable assumption that he sustained a Grade 2 or 3 tear. A


              is graded the same way with an expected recovery time anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on the severity of the injury. Even so, at minimum he suffered a Grade 2 or 3


              which constitutes an incomplete (Grade II) or a complete (Grade III) rupture of the collagen fibers which connect the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). In any event, he’ll be feeling it well into training camp, because lingering minor stiffness and soreness for six months is not uncommon….

              1. I am not a doctor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express, but I have sustained an MCL.

                It was very painful, but thankfully, did not require surgery. Took 4 weeks to heal, but a lot longer going through rehab. I was playing again in 4 months, so it was not a severe sprain. I wonder if Hyde’s injury was more severe because he had his foot planted when the tackle occurred.

              2. Google thanks you Razor.

                Google(Real Time Info) + Horse Sense = Reasonable Conclusion

              3. The only reasonable conclusion comes from the physician in charge of his surgery and those in charge of his recovery and rehab. The rest is speculation and posting info you googled doesn’t change that.

              4. My track record has been pretty good. Speculation is making assumptions without evidence. What I’m doing is gathering all the relative information at my disposal, and then piecing it together in a methodical manner encompassing common sense and experience. That’s called


              5. All I’m saying Razor is you can’t form a conclusion unless you hear from the parties involved on exactly what the extent of the injury was. You could very well be right, but there is no way to confirm it without hearing from the Doctors, Hyde or the trainers involved with his rehab. I appreciate you taking the time to look it up though.

              6. Also, so as not to lose sight of the original point: the bottom line is that MCL injuries rarely affect a player long term and are not overly serious in comparison to other Knee or Leg injuries. This should not hinder Hyde’s ability to compete once TC gets under way.

    1. That is not an outside-zone run. That’s a gap-scheme run. Two tight ends down block on the play side.

              1. Prime, I acknowledged I was wrong when Kaep opted out. I did it many times, but I did not admit I was wrong to you, because I do not think you are worthy of getting one from me.

              2. Looks like I win again. Got you to apologize and now finally admit you were wrong on the Kap saga.

                Game set and match!


    “The blocking scheme itself is a power-gap scheme. Instead of relying on traditional zone blocking to open a running lane, potentially anywhere along the offensive line, the power run seeks to create a new gap by using a double-team block and a pulling lineman at the point of attack.”

    We still have power blocking O lineman. Shanny will run power blocking at times. Probably more than ever to compliment Hyde.

    1. That’s a crack toss. Shanahan uses the outside zone play more frequently than any other running play.

      1. Sure, but he also uses the power O, If Hyde can’t run the outside zone as you suggest, Kyle will make adjustments. I’m not saying we will completely change to power blocking or even half and half.

        1. And the adjustment will be starting Joe Williams. Shanahan repeatedly has said he’s committed to the outside zone.

          1. Fair enough. But I think you’re underrating Hyde and overrating a guy that has never played a down.

            1. Hyde has talent. I just think he’s a poor fit in this scheme. He’s much better in a shotgun inside-zone scheme.

              1. Ok, sorry for misrepresenting your take. Don’t you think Hyde will benefit from having a lead blocking FB?

              2. I think he’ll be a fish out of water in this scheme. He’s been running from the shotgun since college. He’ll have to learn the visual keys so he doesn’t hesitate and he’ll have to show he can make one-foot cuts without gearing down. I think next year he’ll go to a team that runs from the shotgun. He’d be a good fit for Carolina.

              3. Grant you do realize that Williams ran almost solely out of one back sets in the shotgun right? The things you are saying Hyde can’t do, Williams hasn’t shown he can do either. Williams also didn’t block or catch the football at Utah. There really is no rhyme or reason to this view point you have on Hyde while disregarding the same issues for Williams. There is also the fact that Shanahan’s system has been successful with many different RB’s who played in different systems in College but why look at things that fly in the face of a rant right?

              4. Williams ran some stretch-zone concepts and counter concepts from the pistol at Utah. Hyde ran zone-read concepts at Ohio State.


                “But Hyde’s two best runs of the night started out to the right. Both plays were stretch-zone runs. On the first, the Vikings broke through the right side of the 49ers’ offensive line and almost tackled Hyde in the backfield. Hyde spun, cut back to the left and ran untouched into the end zone. Peterson could not have made that play Monday night.”

                “On Hyde’s second touchdown run, he ran right, quickly cut upfield and sprinted 17 yards untouched into the end zone.”

              6. Minnesota gave up huge holes on those plays. Watch how Pittsburgh shut down Hyde on those stretch-zone runs Week 2.

              7. Utah and OSU run similar concepts Grant. Kyle Whittingham Coached under Urban Meyer before getting the head job at Utah. Stop with the spinning already.

              8. The Utah and OSU running games are almost exactly the same. Any differences are minimal. Whittingham has run the same offense Meyer did since he’s been there.

              9. Watch Hyde’s film from Ohio State. You will see he ran only zone-read concepts.

                Then Watch Williams’ film from Utah. You will see he ran zone-read concepts, stretch-zone concepts and counter concepts.

              10. Couldn’t find that film. But you acted like Hyde was unfamiliar with the stretch zone. In 2015 our OL coach was Chris Forester. Forester was the Skins OL coach from 2010 to 2014. I would guess that we used many of the same rushing concepts that Shanny used. The learning curve won’t be as steep as you are suggesting.

              11. He ran some stretch zone in 2015 and didn’t fare well after Week 1 when the holes weren’t so big. He didn’t press the run to the outside, he shuffled and danced in the backfield and he constantly tried to cut back across the field instead of making one cut and getting downhill.

              12. #80,

                Urban Meyer actually runs a number of different concepts not just zone read. Hyde while better in power and zone read, did run some outside zone and as you showed with the video, he can excel in that system because it’s RB friendly no matter what system the back has played in previously. Grant is just being Grant. The whole premise of this article is flawed but he can’t bring himself to admit it.

              13. rocket,

                We seem to be in agreement on this.


                Hyde had less success when the holes weren’t there. Him and everybody else. Just because Hyde dances around doesn’t mean he can’t do a single cut. He will have the best RB coach in the league this year. Turner will turn Hyde into a 1000 yard rusher.

              14. The one-foot cut is not Hyde’s strength. He tends to gear down, gather himself and lose speed. Williams explodes off of one foot.

                You and Rocket are in agreement. Maiocco and I are in agreement.

              15. Maiocco didn’t say Hyde doesn’t fit the the scheme. He said Williams has a chance to win the job because he was handpicked by Shanahan.

              16. He picked him because he thinks Williams can excel in his system, same as he thinks Hyde can. They are likely hoping for a one two punch, and with Hyde, somebody who can pass protect and be a factor in the passing game.

              17. If Hyde fit the system, he wouldn’t be in danger of losing his job to a rookie.

              18. This is Hyde’s famous spin move TD gif.


                Before the spin he runs right, makes a one foot cut to go upfield but a defender is there. He used good vision and the spin to make something out of nothing. He actually did everything he was asked to do and more.

              19. Yes he would. A new Coaching staff is always going to bring in people of their own and put jobs up for grabs. Hyde is a hold over from the previous FO, and has had durability issues. Two strikes right out of the gate, but I get no sense that Shanahan feels he isn’t a fit for the system and nothing he’s said or done has indicated that. I think Hyde has the edge because of experience and the ability to block and catch, but if Williams comes in and blows up during TC and preseason, he could win the job and it will have nothing to do with Hyde’s fit in the system.

              20. Shanahan isn’t going to come out and say publicly, “Hyde doesn’t fit my system.” But the fact that a rookie may take his job immediately says it all.

              21. It doesn’t say Hyde doesn’t fit the scheme no matter how much you want it to. We also have no idea how Shanahan actually sees this playing out right now. My guess is he’s going in with an open mind and will let everybody compete with no preconceived notions. There’s no reason not to.

              22. Maiocco and I are in agreement that Hyde is in big trouble. If he fit the system, he’d wouldn’t be in trouble at all.

              23. You and Maiocco are not in agreement on why you feel that way. I agree with Maiocco’s point, because there is a chance the handpicked RB will win the job over the incumbent with no ties to the staff. That makes sense and is plausible. What doesn’t make sense is the argument that Hyde doesn’t fit the scheme which is your reasoning for Hyde being in trouble.

              24. If the veteran fit the scheme, he wouldn’t lose his job to the rookie fourth-round pick before Week 1.

              25. You don’t know that and you also don’t know who wins the job to begin with. Now you’re throwing out hypotheticals as an attempt to make a point?

              26. Maiocco: “Yes, Joe Williams has a legitimate chance to immediately unseat Carlos Hyde.”

              27. Yes I know what Maiocco said. You are saying a vet who fit the scheme wouldn’t lose out to a rookie. You don’t know that and it is purely hypothetical. Hyde could play well and lose out if Williams played better and showed he could handle the other elements like blocking and receiving. He could win the job if Hyde has an injury and has to miss time. You also said Williams would replace Hyde within the first few weeks of the regular season; not to start the season. Have you changed your mind on this?

              28. Right, you are saying it’s because Hyde is a poor fit. Maiocco is not. No one is saying Williams doesn’t have a chance to win the job, at least I haven’t. I don’t think he will but it’s certainly not impossible. I’m saying your premise that Hyde doesn’t fit the scheme is flawed and ultimately wrong. If Williams is the starter to start the season then it will likely be because he outperformed Hyde in TC and preseason. That doesn’t mean Hyde will have been a poor fit. It’ll just mean the other guy was better.

              29. Hyde averaged 4.6 yards per carry last season. I don’t think Maiocco necessarily expects Williams to average more than 4.6 yards per carry next season. I think Maiocco expects Hyde’s average to drop significantly because he doesn’t fit this system.

              30. You’d have to ask him but his answer said nothing about Hyde being a poor scheme fit:

                Does Joe Williams have a real shot at supplanting Carlos Hyde as the starter? (Andrew Kerr)

                Respected running backs coach Bobby Turner kept in touch with Williams even when he was not on the 49ers’ draft board. Coach Kyle Shanahan desperately wanted Williams and convinced general manager John Lynch to reconsider Williams’ exclusion from the team’s draft plan.

                The fact Turner and Shanahan campaigned for Williams speaks volumes about their plan for him. Turner and Shanahan wanted Williams. They see something in him. They know exactly how they want to use him.

                So, yes, Williams has a legitimate chance to immediately unseat Hyde as the team’s top running back. Hyde is entering the final year of his contract. His first three seasons have been marked by inconsistencies and injuries that have sidelined him for 14 games.

                The better player wins the job, and Williams has the distinct advantage of being the running back Turner and Shanahan hand-picked to fit their scheme.

              31. Again, I doubt Maiocco expects Williams to average 5 yards per carry right out of the gate. I think he expects Hyde’s average to drop from last year and Williams to win by default.

              32. I’m not going to put words in the mans mouth or try to assume I know what he’s thinking which is why I posted exactly what he said in response to the question. His answer clearly states that because Hyde has had durability issues and Williams was a selection of the current regime it gives him an advantage. Nothing about Hyde being a poor scheme fit.

              33. He said the better player wins the job, and Hyde averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year. I don’t think Maiocco expects Williams to eclipse that average right away. It’s more likely Maiocco thinks Hyde’s average will drop due to the scheme.

              34. No, but he alludes to it.

                “The better player wins the job, and Williams has the distinct advantage of being the running back Turner and Shanahan hand-picked to fit their scheme.”

                Why bring up scheme fit for Williams if he believes Hyde is also a great fit for the scheme?

              35. Good grief, he mentions Hyde by name and says nothing about him not being a scheme fit. Saying Wiiliams fit the scheme has nothing to do with Hyde the way he phrased it.

              36. Shanahan won’t say someone doesn’t fit the system, you mean like he said about Kap Grant? C’mon Grant you can do better than this!

              37. The thing is that Grant polarizes the situation and says that Hyde is a poor scheme fit when he isn’t an ideal scheme fit but he still fits Shanahan’s offensive capabilities. And he can flourish within them. I believe that is Rocket’s point in the end. Grant exploits a small point and makes it into a larger than life point to generate copy. Like he did with Gore on his last legs. How did that work out by the way Grant?

              38. “The fact Turner and Shanahan campaigned for Williams speaks volumes about their plan for him. Turner and Shanahan wanted Williams. They see something in him. They know exactly how they want to use him. So, yes, Williams has a legitimate chance to immediately unseat Hyde as the team’s top running back. ”

                So Maiocco says they know exactly how they intend to use Williams. If they knew how they were going to use Hyde, you would assume Maiocco would say so, or not use this as a reason as to why Williams may unseat Hyde. And if Hyde was a great fit for the scheme, then they would have to know how they were going to use him, surely.

                This really isn’t that out there rocket. Some pretty simple logic. Just because Maiocco does not explicitly say Hyde isn’t a great fit does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t infer such a meaning where it is a logical inference from his other statements.

            2. Scooter he clearly states the issues with Hyde’s injuries and inconsistency. If he believed Hyde was a poor scheme fit he would have put it right there with the other knocks against him. Describing Williams as somebody they wanted and who was a fit for this system has nothing to do with Hyde in the context it is presented.

              Whether Maiocco feels Hyde is a fit or not doesn’t even matter to me anyway. It’s the constant spin Grant pulls to try and find one shred of credibility to back up his point that is most exasperating. In this example it’s Maiocco agreeing with him when they have totally different reasoning for how they got there.

              1. Rocket the underlying issue here is that Shanahan has specifically targeted guys via free agency and the draft that do fit his scheme.
                Look at all the guys they have signed and drafted and even though they are not the best players, they all have the qualities and skill set that we’ve seen Shanahan to have worked with in all his previous offenses.
                Williams is a perfect example of that.

              2. I have tried to steer clear of the words “poor scheme fit”. I don’t know if he is a “poor” fit, and my guess is Maiocco doesn’t either. But if he was seen as a great fit for the scheme I don’t think Maiocco would phrase his answer the way he did.

                This is also somewhat supported by Shanahan’s comments about how a good RB will be good no matter the scheme when he was talking about Hyde. Yes, he is saying that if Hyde is good enough it won’t matter that he may be better suited to another scheme – he should still be productive. But he is also suggesting this scheme may not be best suited for Hyde. While he clearly sees the scheme as being a great fit for Williams.

              3. Either Hyde fits or he doesn’t.

                Shanahan is correct that the best running backs fit any scheme. Hyde is not that caliber.

  11. Hyde has a problem squaring his shoulders and running downhill, when he does he is an excellent RB, if he was consistent he would be fine – he is not consistent, I agree with Grant on this one.

    1. I agree with Undercenter. Are you headed to the Liberty Bell, and then Geno’s for their famous cheesesteak?;>)Good to hear from you, Dave!

      1. Funny you should ask I was just looking up the address for the Liberty Bell, don’t know anything about Geno’s I take it is good.

          1. Yea, just need to refresh after making your comment, and it’ll give you a 5 minute window to edit. Geno’s is the place they’d normally reference when doing an Eagles playoff game, and the players go to spot for cheesesteak. I’m sure it’s filled with sports memorabilia, and special sandwiches named for players.

            1. Under
              Try the breakfast sausage there that they call Scrapple; regional specialty. They call their subs Hoagies, and they rock, as do the pizza &
              Chesapeake crab.
              Liberty Bell is right by Independence Hall, a nice visit. Bon voyage.

  12. Hyde has a lot of good quality runs. I think he will do well in the new system, IF he can stay healthy. Rathman said on KNBR as he was leaving that Hyde needs to learn when to stop fighting and go down in order to avoid injuries. To me that is the key issue.
    KS uses the run to set up the passing game. With having a better passing game and if he can stay healthy I think Hyde could run for 1,000 yards this season and Williams could be close to 500 yards.
    On the other hand; if Hyde is hurt again the Niner’s will release him and in 2018 he will end up as a back up some where.

    1. Gore had the same problem. It’s a young RB problem. It not only comes with injuries, but it comes with fumbles, too. Gore had that problem, in spades, in his early career.

      1. Gore though knew how to get extra yardage and not have many negative plays, I have memories of the guy turning 3 yard loses into 3 yard gains, something Kevan Barlow was incapable of doing. Man did that backfield change over the course of a few games…think the game vs Indi was the one that truly opened all our eyes to Gore, even though it was the following game that the stats show, that one vs Indi he had 8 attempts but fought ridiculously hard on every run.

    1. Williams has had problems with fumbles too. He also hasn’t had to block or catch the ball much. The idea that he will come in and take the job a few weeks into the season isn’t realistic unless Hyde gets hurt. He will be the backup and get 5 or so carries a game much like Hyde did in his first year behind Gore imo.

  13. Grant,
    You’ve been on a negative slant on the 49ers of late. The Foster shoulder injury, Shanahan draft the lesser to get more players, Lynch’ weight and now Williams beating out Hyde because Hyde does not fit Shanahan’ scheme.
    These narratives smack of the famous “Gore has no legs” topics.
    Can you find it in your heart to present anything positive about our team?

    1. I have a more positive outlook of the upcoming season for the 49ers than any other writer in the country.

      1. Grant:

        How good is Williams at pass protection? If he’s not proficient, this would probably limit him in snaps until the second half of the season, imo.

        1. He’s not. He’s terrible in pass-protection and has little receiving experience. It’s going to take him a year to get even half-way competent.

      2. Yes although you’re basing your outlook on how they addressed free agency and are assuming they are trying to make a run this first year. Prior to believing they were trying for the playoffs you didn’t think much of the talent on this team.

      3. You will change your mind by the time TC is over. This is not a 9 win team and my guess is you will be ripping them right out of the gate.

      4. Yes you did. I do agree with your point about Hyde sometimes dancing in the backfield. I hearken back to the days Kevin Barlow when I see a RB dancing in the backfield. That pattern of running typically spells failure. I believe Hyde can a good N to S runner with a better O-line and a fullback lead blocker in front of him.

        Frank Gore’ most productive years came as a result of having some very good O-lines, Bruce Miller and the occasional lead blocks of Delanie Walker.
        If this team can improve at the offensive point of attack Hyde will greatly benefit. But if can’t conquer his backfield dancing, Joe Williams will leapfrog to the starting position by seasons end. Williams is a good runner, but you’ve have to learn to block to protect the QB in the NFL – not sure he can learn this in his first year.

        1. The dancing was often the result of having to avoid a defender who broke into the backfield. I’m sure Moses has the numbers but just from my recollection, I think Hyde had a pretty good yards after contact average and had to because he was often hit before he could get going.

            1. He doesn’t avoid contact. That’s part of the problem. He tries to fight through multiple tacklers at times which has led to fumbles or injury at times.

              1. That’s true some of the time and other times after he has taken a beating, he tries to dance away from contact.
                There is no consistency to his game and his style is hit or miss. I’m glad the 49ers brought in some competition at the RB unit. Lets see Hyde fight for his carries.

              2. I disagree. He doesn’t try to avoid contact and many times the extra move is because he’s trying to find a hole where there isn’t one. The 49er run blocking has been terrible the past couple of years and he’s still put up some good numbers. The only question about Hyde is durability. If he can stay healthy he’ll be good.

              3. He likes to turn and dance outside to avoid contact instead of plowing down and gaining a yard.
                Maybe he tries too hard to make something out of nothing.
                He’s a very undisciplined runner and part of that is he is trying to avoid contact at the end of runs.

              4. Not sure who you are talking about Prime but that isn’t Hyde. The only contact he tries to avoid is when somebody breaks into the backfield before he’s even had a chance to survey the blocking.

              5. So you’ve never seen him follow his lead block then suddenly turn back and try and go across the field?
                It’s a staple of his game. He does this because he lacks durability and wants to avoid the contact.

              6. No he does it because he’s trying to make a play after somebody missed their block. He initiates contact and often refuses to go down. He is exactly the opposite of what you are saying here.

              7. So your saying his style of running has nothing to do with his durability issues?
                Cmon man!

              8. No that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying he gets injured because he initiates contact; not because he runs away from it. He’s also been unlucky. Injuries are fluky sometimes and he seems to get more than his fair share.

              9. His injuries are a result of trying to do too much but also because he avoids contact by sometimes not running through the designated lane. He seems to want to cut back ala Barry Sanders and that’s avoiding contact.
                Really he is a power back and should just fall forward to gain the extra yard or two.

                Injuries are fluky but he hasn’t helped himself by dancing so much. He runs high and leaves himself susceptible to big collisions.
                I don’t think he has demonstrated a very disciplined style of running.

    2. Need evidence to justify optimism. A new coach and general manager and the same meddling, little-girl-of-an-owner do not inspire confidence. But I am only speaking for myself.

  14. Thing is, the NFL is a major step up. All these guys drafted? They were Big Men On Campus. Most of them will fail in the NFL. But even talented players struggle to beat out men with experience. For example , Frank Gore couldn’t beat-out Barlow who went ROAD after getting paid. So I’m not on the Williams will be starting bandwagon. Maybe he does, but I think the odds are against that.

    As for Grant’s analysis.. Sorry.

    Last year 213 of Hyde’s 217 runs were from the shotgun. So 2016 provides no useful information.

    In 2015 we had Geep Chryst’s offense in which Hyde got a paltry 115 carries and was hurt-on-and-off for the year.

    Chryst, btw, for those who don’t know, was a horrible OC in San Diego. So bad that he was likely to never get an OC job again, but nobody else would work with Tomsula… So he got his second chance to be a miserable **** of an OC and he did not disappoint! And while I’d like to comp the other backs… They’re either entirely miserable or their sample size is too small to draw any reasonable inference.

    That leaves us 2014 to try and decide Hyde’s career. You know, his rookie year… He had 83 carries. Of the 83 carries, 19 were redzone carries and of those, 10 were ‘goal to go’ carries. Those always have a poor average. It’s the nature of the location. Of the 83 carries, 31 were from the shotgun where he averaged 5.2 yards. Of the 83 carries, 21 were I formation where he averaged 3.9 yards. The rest (21 1 carries) were probably lone set-back or pro-set. And it’s obviously under 4.0, but I’m too tired to do the math.

    So we’re deciding on 21 carries in 2014 plus some number in 2015 (around 60) that I really didn’t bother break down that Carlos Hyde cannot run when the QB is behind center. A QB, FWIW, known to be entirely ****ing sh**** from behind center.

    Drop kick me Jesus. We can predict a man’s NFL career on 80ish rushing attempts on a team with major issues… Next up, Grant solves the Fermi Paradox and the Gettier Problem.

    1. Hyde has 118 career carries when the QB is under center and 297 when the QB is in the shotgun.

  15. Grant must nit have played in the league if u are a pro running back you can run the ball in any scheme. The issue is learning the system and staying healthy that’s it. Nothing else. If he healthy trust me he will start.

  16. Here’s a blast from the past, Grant can you remember what day this was?

    “This is Grant Cohn, but some people call me Iggy. You can call me whatever you’d like. I’m your new 49ers blogger. I’ll be reporting and tweeting every day from training camp in Santa Clara as soon as it opens, whenever that may be.

    Until then, I’ll join Bob Padecky and Phil Barber in providing you with some blogging snack food to whet your appetite for the upcoming NFL season.

    And away we go!

      1. “…blogging snack food…”? It’s been like perpetually getting beets, turnips and brussels sprouts as your snack, with an occasional bag of salt and vinegar chips, just to keep us guessing.


    “I think as a player one of the great things about this league and, frankly, what drove me to get back into it is that you’re always proving yourself. Particularly when there is a new regime. I hope Carlos feels that way, but I also can tell you that we’re really high on him and what he might be able to do in this offense. We think he can be a highly productive player, but we’re eager to see.”

  18. Would one of you football mavens please explain downhill running? What exactly does it mean and what is a “one foot cut” downhill?

    1. What exactly does it mean and what is a “one foot cut” downhill?

      Usually Outside Zone play getting the defenders moving sideways, and then the back makes one cut and at the same time gets downhill, or perpendicular to the line of scrimmage;>)

    1. You’re welcome, Michael but I’d be remiss if I didn’t clarify that I’m far from a football


  19. Grant buddy, your delusional if you don’t realize that Hyde is the best running back on this roster. Bar none! Joe w has alot of work to do to take anything from Hyde. Grant will be eating crow after the season. I don’t believe any of these rbs can supplant Carlos Hyde this season. Especially if he stays healthy.

  20. I think Zuttah will start over Kilgore. Garnett will not miss any time in camp and should be better this year. We will have an improved OL with better depth and will utilize a FB. Hyde will be fine. He will adapt to Shanny’s offense to a certain degree and Shanny will call plays that utilize Hyde’s strengths occasionally.

    We have a general idea of what Shanny will run. But on game day, we will have no clue. Shanny has fooled many a DC in his career. He uses different personel and multiple formations. He puts his players in a position to succeed and Hyde will have a career year.

    1. I see Kilgore starting at center and Zuttah starting at left guard. Beadles can back up all OL positions.

  21. Hyde May not fit the system and he is a far cry from Frank Gore especially when it comes to durability. Yet until these prospects prove themselves to be competent, Hyde is the best back on the roster at his position. Seeing that he’s coming up on a contract year and he knows this new front office& coaches are results driven I could see Hyde having a good year.

  22. Hyde helped lead the Niners to the number 4 rushing offense in the league last season. He missed being a 1000 yard rusher by 12 yards. Thousand yard rushers do not grow on trees.
    Hyde will do well, and I think he is learning to stop struggling for every inch, because that can get him injured, and he lost the ball when gang tackled. It was also nice to see him run out of bounds after gaining a first down, that will reduce injuries.
    Grant may be GaGa over Joe Williams, but I think Hyde will be the starter. Joe Williams will be a good change of pace back, but I also think Kapri Bibbs may play and contribute.

    2 big factors may determine how well they will do.
    First, the O line is critical. Hopefully, Gilliam out competes Brown, since he was weak run blocking. Hopefully, they move Garnett to the LG position, which is his natural position. Beadles has shown his versatility, so he can move to RG easily, but maybe Kilgore wins the RG job. Having Zuttah at center will help, too. If the O line gels into a cohesive unit, the run game can get established, which will make those play action passes more effective.
    Second, the coaching will be different, and now, finally, they may stop running into the teeth of the defense. With a competent FB, I hope they line up Hyde deep in the I, and let him build up a head of steam before hitting the LOS, with him being able to pick the hole to run through. I also hope they do more fly sweeps, misdirections and reverses. I hope KS can devise plays where the RB can accept the ball in the flat in space, so he has room to cut back inside, or bounce it outside to attack the edges.
    So, to answer Grant’s question, yes, Hyde will do well, and will fit in his system. Heck, he might gain a thousand yards.

    1. Many of the teams rushing yards were in garbage time. Sorry but all this nonsense about stats when a team is 2-14 means nothing. In the NFL the W-L record is the only stat needed. That’s why there are so many off last years team being cut.

      1. Sure, the W/L record is disappointing, but the Niners were not continually being blown out. They were close even in the 4th quarter with the Patriots. They were tied with the Jets and lost in overtime. The Bears game was close until the 4th quarter. The Miami game came down to a play on the 2 yard line. Seahawks beat the Niners by 2 points in Dec.

        One might say that the rushing yards was bolstered because the WRs were so pathetic, but the rushing yardage was the lone decent statistic for a 2-14 team. No need to discount that fact just because they were 2-14.

        Maybe you are implying that since they were 2-14, they should cut Hyde. I disagree.

        1. Everyone stats were inflated last year on the 49ers. That’s because teams were in prevent most of the time against us.
          Kinda like old wind ups 18 TD’s to 4 INT’s. A clear example of how stats lie in football. The guy remains unemployed.

          1. Say whatever you want about him as a QB, but he’s only unemployed for political reasons. He’s not unemployed because of his ability. Mediocre and bad QBs with much less talent than Kaepernick have been signed by now.

            1. That’s baloney.Hes unemployed because he can only play and be effective in one type of scheme.
              No team is willing to be one dimensional.

  23. All this talk of scheme and no talk of the quality of the O line. The quality of the O lines play is far more important than the scheme. If this O line creates running lanes Hyde will look great and so will Williams and Hightower. There will be a three headed rushing attack with Hyde getting the majority of the time because of his ability to pick up blitzes. It took Frank Gore (one of the smartest RB’s I have ever seen) a full year to learn his pass blocking responsibilities. Now if the O line struggles all of the RB’s will look poor regardless of the scheme. 2018 will be the year we find out if Williams is a better pro than Hyde.

    1. What worries me is Garnett’s Sparq score. He’s one of the worst athletes among guards in the NFL, and this scheme requires athletic guards. Hope he can overcome that somehow, or it’ll be another wasted Baalke pick. Beadles is no great athlete either.

      1. Maybe they were playing him out of position. Garnett was a LG in college, and I am sure he would be happier playing in his natural position where he shined. Beadles is versatile enough to play in multiple positions. In fact, he ended up playing center, so he should be able to handle the RG position.

        1. Maybe you are a moron and don’t understand that a offensive linemen in the NFL needs to be versatile and be able to play anywhere. When you can only dress really 7 linemen on game day, its important you have versatility.
          Then again explaining anything to you about football is like talking to a child who was just born.

          1. Prime. getting you to understand that they were playing players out of position, is beyond your comprehension.

            Lynch himself said that, so he just destroyed your argument.
            Maybe you do not understand that certain players will play best at positions that they are comfortable with. They will not ask Zuttah to play RT, or play Brown at LG.
            Garnett won the Outland Trophy as a LG. He did not play well at RG. I know you will find it hard to understand, but really, try harder.

            1. Comfortable with? Its not day care. Its the NFL! If someone gets injured you need to have players who can play out of position, especially on the oline.

              Beadles did a pretty good job last year playing multiple positions so that was a good signing by Baalke. That stings doesn’t it Seb? Seeing Baalke do something well.

              Sebnnoying says “Garnett won the Outland Trophy as a LG”
              That’s all well and good but too bad it was in college where the game is so different.

              If you don’t have versatility on your roster you wont win many games. Its not about making players comfortable. Its about teaching them your scheme and making them capable in case someone cant go.

              You never did understand the game. You should buy a football for dummies book.

              1. No, Prime, you are the one that claimed he had a copy of Football for Dummies.

                I claim to have read- Building a Champion, and The Score Takes Care of Itself.

              2. It is amusing to hear a poster bluster about morons when he predicted that the Niners would draft Trubisky.

                You cant even use logic to counter my points.
                I pity you. You think you can school the guy who advised the Niners to accumulate 2018 second and third round picks.

              3. So I predicted the 49ers would draft Trubisky. You came out and posted 50 mock drafts predicting what the 49ers would do and I’m blustering?

                There’s no way you can be this stupid.

              4. Lynch promised to consider every option, and since he is a man of his word, I posted all those mocks to show how they could accomplish his goals.

                It is interesting to note that he followed my 10 point plan as a blueprint, and did everything I advocated, down to obtaining 2018 second and third round picks. The only thing he missed was the one about unforced errors. He should have been more patient, and not traded away a pick to move up for CJB, since he was ranked 215 and they moved up to select him at 104.

                I predicted 3 players drafted in the 2016 draft, and this year, I hit on one. Still that is way better than you, who keeps whiffing, but complains about posters who actually have enough football acumen to make correct picks.

                Prime, you better start sweating. I think Lynch will now realize that Kaep may go to a division opponent. He and KS will look foolish if they let emotions cloud their judgement. Kaep presents a dual threat that will stress the defense. If they let him go to the Seahawks, and he does well, they will rue the day they let him slip away.
                Luckily, lynch still has kept the door open. With 63 mil in cap space, he can easily outbid the Seahawks.

  24. I think anyone that watched Hyde during his college days has to be a believer in his athleticism. He isn’t a freight train that can’t rapidly change direction, just the opposite. This scheme isn’t rocket science and I don’t see why Hyde can’t learn it and be awesome in it. The guy is an awesome athlete and has the desire to go with it. He’s been waiting for some stability in coaching and now he’s got it. Wait and see. My money is on Hyde to be a top 10 fantasy back this year.

  25. The short answer is yes! A healthy Carlos Hyde fits any system.

    However, with the acquisition of our boy JOE WILLIAMS, as well as Carlos Hyde’s inability to to stay healthy while carrying the bulk of the load, I can see a scenario where Williams becomes the primary RB and Carlos is more of a change of pace RB. Carlos has good hands and he’s a good receiver, as well as pass protector. He’s also plenty explosive and has enough top end speed to break the long runs, so I can see sort of a role reversal where Williams becomes the primary, 1st and 2nd down RB, and Carlos, the change of pace 3rd down RB.

    Either way, I think they can make for a dynamic duo in Kyle’s system, and can hardly wait to see how Kyle defines their roles!

    1. On a different subject, I thought it was interesting to hear David Shaw describe Solomon Thomas in specific terms as an “interior pass rusher day 1”, when discussing the combination of Thomas and Buckner on the 49ers DL.

      I think it’s clear, even according to Thomas’ college coach, that Solomon Thomas has a long way to go if he’s going to be considered an “edge rusher”. We’ll see if he can develop into an effective pass rusher off the edge, but, even according to Shaw, it’s not where he fits early in his career.

      I’ll be curious to see whether Solomon becomes more effective or less effective rushing the passer once he puts on another 10-15 lbs, which he’s going to need to do. He’s not going to survive on the interior, long term, at 273lbs.

      1. IMO he wasn’t drafted to be an Aldon-type edge rusher. Truth is we’ll begin to see the team’s intent this summer. FWIW my current guess is as a strong side DE on 1st and 2/short, and as a quick penetrating interior pass rusher on 2/long & 3rd. TBD

        1. I agree BT. I think his biggest impact will come as the 3T in sub packages, but they will probably move him around and experiment with his place in base and on early downs.

        2. Initially, I agree but he’ll be refining his technique as an edge rusher while fulfilling those obligations. I expect he’ll get some opportunities as he develops….

            1. Prime, you and everyone else knows that Razor mentioned 6 sacks.
              I mentioned 10 sacks, and with Armstead finally healthy, the defensive line play will improve.

              1. Nope, just trying to keep it real.

                Imagining falsehoods to insult others is a tactic for the weak minded.

            2. 10 it is Sebrazor. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

              For once I hope you are right about King Solomon being the next Reggie White

        3. That’s the way I see it Tuna. The beauty of Thomas is his ability to “disruptive” anywhere he lines up. He’s explosive, he’s got rare lateral quickness, and he’s a strong kid. Do you agree that he needs to add some weight?

          Also, do you agree that drafting Thomas did create a real challenge finding a way to get our former 2 first round DL along with Slomon on the field together, during all 3 downs, at least this season? That was my only apprehension with the selection. I’m confident that Thomas will find a role that allows him to really help take this defense to the next level, and I think he’ll eventually become a dominate defender. I’m just concerned that either him, or arik Armstead will have to come off the field more often than you’d like to see from a first round selection, unless Armstead becomes the primary “LEO” DE.

          1. 49
            1st, yeah sure to bulk up, but I’d aim on a year or two to do it. Also, if he shows the agility on the edge as Razor thinks he may, then weight is a balance on role.
            I assume the team saw the challenges you’ve mentioned and have a plan that works. It seems like a lot of eggs in one basket (DL), but rotating blue chip players helps that 4Q defense. I also think they, as they stated, had Thomas and Foster as the BPAs. Cornerstones.

  26. King Solomon will do just fine. He does not need to be pigeon holed into playing only one position. I hope they use him like Seattle uses Michael Bennett, and he lines up in multiple places to keep the offense guessing.

    I am sure he will work out hard and bulk up while getting stronger, but he should also keep in mind that he will be quicker if he is lighter.

  27. At some point in the 4-3/under, Thomas will be a wide 9 OLB with Buckner, BJ Johnson, Armstead and Quentin Dial aligned opposite his strongside.

    This is just one rotation Shanny and Lynch would contemplate, but others on this site may have a better 3rd down scenario.

    1. Also, Don’t rule out Brooks.

      He’s a perfect wide 9 OLB, and the reason he’s lasted through so many coaching regimes.
      He’s a consumate pro whose name is never mentioned in the same sentence as overweight or off-field distraction.

      Another 3rd Down experimental alignment:

      Brooks (9-tech), Buckner, Solomon Thomas, BJ Johnson, Armstead

  28. Thomas has come to be viewed as an edge guy because of his weight; NFL defensive tackles weigh in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. At 273, Thomas would be the lightest in the league. “Got to play low,” he chortles when told this. But there’s a template for players like Thomas: Seattle’s Michael Bennett. In the Seahawks’ base 4-3, the 274-pound Bennett plays defensive end opposite the tight end. But in nickel–which, last year, according to Football Outsiders, Seattle plays on two-thirds of its snaps–Bennett slides over to defensive tackle. And his play there is why he has earned nearly $40 million in Seattle since 2013.

  29. Here’s a prediction for the most productive 49ers rookies:

    Offense: George Kittle
    Defense: Solomon Thomas Reuben Foster

    1. He’s currently rated as NFL Network Draft Guru Mike Mayock’s 2nd best: “He’s damn good.

      Solomon Thoma, earning the Morris Trophy (Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year), All-Pac 12 1st-Team, Pac 12 All-Academic Second Team, and AP All-American Third Team honors among other accolades.

      Via NFL Network

    2. Hopefully Foster’s shoulder is healthy.

      I, myself, would not bet on a one legged (armed) man in an arse kicking contest.

    1. David Shaw also called Reuben Foster a sideline to sideline thumper and Mayock said “that’s a good one, can I use that phrase” or something like that.

  30. MM is now speculating in his Mailbag that due to Shanahan’s and Turner’s obvious esteem for Williams — Shanny even overriding Lynch to nab him in the daft — that Williams has a legit chance to immediately unseat Hyde as the primary 49er running back. And so it goes . . .

    1. Since Hyde was drafted in 2014, he has yet to play a complete 16-game season

      According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, head coach Kyle Shanahan “desperately wanted Williams

      Shanahan’s offense blends West Coast passing concepts, largely reliant on rhythm and precision, with an outside zone running scheme. The outside zone is designed to stretch defenses horizontally,
      The ideal running back in an outside zone scheme has above-average vision to identify when a hole is open, as well as the acceleration and footwork to immediately fire his feet into motion. A running back that can identify holes but lacks explosiveness becomes irrelevant in an offense that requires speed and precision.

      Hyde has the body type and skill set to be a solid running back in a power scheme. Ideally, he’d play for a team that runs a gap-scheme offense, utilizing power runs

    2. Others here have made this point, which makes a lot of sense IMO: Williams’ behind-the-line blocking appears deficient plus he didn’t catch a lot of passes at Utah. It stands to reason he can’t be in a position to replace Hyde until he proves himself in both areas. On the other hand, Hightower is adequate at those tasks. I think the coaches will have a hard decision to make regarding Hightower, Bibbs, and Breida, assuming they like him.

      1. I think most of us would agree that this is Hyde’s last year. But he’s still on the team and has produced at the pro level.

        Williams will have to win the job, he has to show out in his five carriers per game. He can’t pass block or receive so his is a liability in Shotgun. This also makes him a liability on play action passes, which is one of Shanny’s favorite plays.

          1. “He can pass block and receive.”

            “Rarely catches passes and not committed to blocking.”


            “He only caught nine passes in his senior year and dropped five of his 30 career targets. Teams will question his role as a third-down player, since he isn’t a great blocker and lacks the receiving ability they look for.’

            – Bleacher Report

            “Williams isn’t a running back who’ll help in the passing game. This past year he caught only 9 passes and has only 20 receptions in his college career. The lack of experience as a pass catcher is a cause for concern and could limit his market.”

            “He also struggles in pass protection where he tends to shy away from contact.


            1. I saw him make a number of catches at the rookie minicamp. The Niners featured him in the passing game.

              His blocking seems fine from what I’ve seen.

              1. Good to know about Williams catching at the rookie mini camp.

                When you say his blocking seems fine, is that a film observation or a camp observation? If it’s film, you are in the minority with your take. If it’s a rookie mini camp observation, then it’s based on non-contact drills.

              2. Film observation. He’s not a great blocker but he doesn’t seem bad, either.

              3. Not great or bad, so decent? Will he get away with going too low and not getting his feet set in the pros. He’s got work to do before becoming a three down back. I doubt he unseats Hyde in TC or early in the season (barring injury to Hyde).

              4. His technique seems fine most of the time. He’s no worse of a blocker than Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman.

              5. Grant,

                When Williams was in camp, did he run any wheel routes? If so, how did he look?

        1. I think most of us can agree many of these high picks from the previous regime have not lived up to their draft status and developed into quality NFLers.
          Hyde and Kaepernick being the most prominent.
          It really has set the organization back many years. It’s no surprise they added who they did at each position.

      2. Grant, even if he is history, they will pump him up and display his talents. If Joe Williams performs as well as you think he will, they can then trade him to a team desperate because the RB went down with a bad knee. He could garner a second or third round pick, with the right timing.
        However, I want you to pump the brakes, because rookies rarely contribute the first year, except the first and second rounders. Rookies need a year to pump weights and study the playbook.
        The good thing is that Lynch signed so many free agents. They are battle tested and battle hardened. I was happy that they signed 3 good WRs. With those 20 FAs replacing the players let go, they have improved the team.
        The question will be- Can the coaches get them to play cohesively and in sync? With KS, I think the answer will be yes. I firmly believe that there was talent on the team, and the rapidity to which the Niner FAs were signed, is proof.
        I think they should try and Trade away the more marginal players, and keep the ones who can help the team. I think Hyde can help the team. With attrition, they may need 5 RBs.

        1. So intuitive and original in your assessment.
          State the obvious and tell the blog you are verbose will ya?


          1. So intuitive and original? Was that the statement I made about the Niners trading back, and still getting the player they originally coveted?

        2. If Williams isn’t ready to contribute early in the season, Hightower could get playing time.

          1. Tim Hightower caught 65 passes, but that was over 4 years. That averages out to 16 caught per year, or averaging one per game. Hyde has twice the average.
            Nice to hear JW catching passes. The new Niner offense should incorporate the RBs more in the passing game.

            1. Once again with your pioneering. You should start copyrighting all this BS. Probably make more than mowing grass!

    1. Possibly. He could also have the best statistical season of his career as many other backs in this system have had.

      1. “He could also have the best statistical season of his career as many other backs in this system have had.”

        I think he will if he stays healthy. His injury history is my main concern. He would have to play a full season and have 1200 to 1500 YDs for me to resign him.

    1. It’s exactly what we are talking about here with Hyde. There’s a reason why the Chiefs drafted Mahomes. Just like why the 49ers drafted Williams.
      They eventually want to move on with a better talent.

      1. Yes, eventually. But not before Mahomes can run a pro style offense and Williams becomes a 3 down back. They both need this year to develop and the guys ahead of them are decent.

        1. Yes 80 but it could also go the other way where both Williams or Mahomes add a spark and take over.

  31. I think the seemingly mundane stuff like pass blocking assignments and running correct hot routes vs blitz will determine who plays the most snaps. Don’t want to get the quarterback killed.

  32. I hope the Niners keep Hyde. He is a thousand yard runner. They also need depth due to his injury history.
    The Niners should offer Vance Macdonald and Tim Hightower to the Colts for Frank Gore. I hope they play Joe Williams, but if the Niners need a pass blocking RB, Frank Gore is solid.

    1. While we are at let’s offer the OC position to Kelly and sign Kap as the immediate starter.
      Then bring back Baalke as head scout.

      1. Prime, glad you brought up Kaep.
        KS gave the excuse that he did not want different styles of QBs, because it would be easier if they all were similar. In essence, one could say he is admitting he is not competent to do that, or he is too lazy to try.
        Personally, I think he eminently qualified to take any QB, and make him better. Just look at Hoyer and Shaub.
        I also think he is working very hard, and wants to win games.
        The excuse he gave only makes sense if Kaep truly wanted to get away from the FO and play where he will be treated well. Then they had to say something, because it looks bad if a player tells the team that he wants to move on. Of course, they had to say they were going to cut him if he did not opt out.
        Still, Kaep is better than any of the existing QBs, and especially superior to an untested rookie.
        This blackballing by the league has forced Kaep to look at the Niners again. Nobody else wants him, and they signed inferior QBs like Gabbert, McCown, Glennon and Kessler, so now he has few options.
        Luckily, they have Lynch, who will act like the grownup in the room, and he will not let emotions cloud his judgement. Sounds like he would be amenable to signing Kaep to a prove-it contract, with a promise to renegotiate it if it works out. Lynch will deem that Kaep will present a dual threat, and he will give them the best chance to win.

        Lynch will just say that he would rather have Kaep play for him. than against him. Seattle would like him, but have little cap space, so Lynch should easily be able to outbid them. If he does sign with Seattle, you can bet Pete Carroll will find a way to get Kaep on the field, even with Wilson starting. He does not sheathe his weapons. He learned his lesson in the SB.

        Kaep should not expect the job to be handed to him. He needs to out compete the other QBs. He also needs to be humble, and expect less, because he does not have much leverage. Sure am glad that Lynch still has kept the door open.
        KS convinced Lynch to draft JW. Hope Lynch can challenge KS to try and rehabilitate Kaep by accentuating his strengths and disguising his weaknesses. Maybe then they can win more than 2 games. I am hoping they avoid a losing season.
        Thanks again for bringing up Kaep so I can expound on the situation.

          1. You really should not be throwing around the Moron word, especially after predicting the Niners would draft Trubisky.

            1. And you should repeat the word moron to yourself daily for predicting Kap would be back as a 49er!

  33. Been reading this blog for years. Skeins it’s very insightful and sometimes it’s very inciteful. But I’d always entertaining. Even when the topic leaves football and it becomes a clown-fest. So I thought it was high time I signed up

  34. Sometimes it’s very**….
    But its always….**
    My auto correct and I are having a battle of wills currently

  35. How do I edit?….figured it out, but it didn’t offer the option on my butchered first post

  36. Yes Hyde is a fit. Sometimes you need to pound it between the tackles. Hyde brings some veteran leadership. Not to mention Williams is unproven at picking up blitzes and receiving out of the backfield

  37. So, here’s a mental excercise. Try to figure out what the next couple of columns for Grant will be regarding. Here goes:

    1) Arik Armstead inability to function at the LEO position and the inability of anyone likely to step up.

    2) Witherspoon’s ineffectiveness as a corner and his liability in coverage. The lack of players in the secondary.

    3) The lack of good Tackle on the team with the aging of Joe Stanley and his relatively poor play last year and Trent Brown’s inconsistent play plus a poor backup situation could spell disaster to Shanahan’s best laid plans

    1. 1. AA will be moved around, and at times will play the LEO. The Niners will take a page out of the Pete Carroll playbook, and have all the DL line up in various positions and schemes to confuse the offense. They also will have a hybrid system that can morph from the 4-3 to the 3-4 quickly and seamlessly.
      2. Witherspoon needs to sit, pump weights and study hard. I am hoping Donte Johnson or Keith Reaser emerges as the starter.
      3. I hope the Niners reward Joe Staley for his stellar service by trading him to a playoff team, and get a conditional 3rd round pick for him. If the other team makes the playoffs, it becomes a second round pick. They should also shop Trent Brown, or maybe swap him with another team’s RT.
      Niner O line could become-
      LT- John Theus
      LG- Garnett
      C- Zuttah
      RG- Kilgore
      RT- Gilliam

      1. Donte Johnson and Keith have had multiple years to prove anything. They failed, and they are done in my opinion. We better hope their are better options out there, because these 2 are horrible

        1. I think they were shunted aside because Baalke wanted to play his favorites, and they played players out of position.
          At times, both Johnson and Reaser played well. Too bad the poor pass rush made them defend for too long, and if given time, any WR will become open.

          1. I understand that reasoning Seb, but how do you explain Robinson coming on as a rookie and out performing both players. By a wide margin. They weren’t played out of position, they are corners. They got beat as corners. That’s right any wr can get open given time, but these two did their part to help the wr get open. Just like bethea. Only difference is these 2 are younger.

          2. Baalke wasn’t the coach and didn’t make the day-to-day personnel decisions on the field. When will you get off this silly train. You have been on this for over a year without offering any independent evidence.

            You had a very fevered mind.

            1. Baalke had total control of the roster, despite your protestations. Chip had to coach the players he was given. Baalke even controlled who were deactivated before the games.

              Baalke was a megalomaniac, and wielded total control. Lynch is a consensus builder, and is amenable to change. This last draft showed a lot of the coach’s input, something unheard of in the Baalke drafts.
              Heck, Baalke also dismissed the scouts, who thought Baalke used their reports for TP

  38. Prime… How’s it going buddy.. Somewhere at the top of this post you said Hyde avoids contact, and it’s part of the reason he gets injured. Well I completely disagree with that. This man has had running lanes close faster than a nunns legs. He’s using his vision to escape what isn’t there. He isn’t avoiding anything. Go look up his injuries, they really are freak injuries​. That man was able to do what he did behind a terrible offensive line. It requires vision and knowing when to change direction, especially when he can see things have broken down. Now if you guys want to bag on his injuries, fine, but do it with the right intent. Not just because you don’t like him.

  39. So of all the rumors you guys heard about the trades this team was going to make, how many of them included Carlos? How many times did u guys hear, that Hyde was on the trade block? And I’m not talking about blog commenters wanting to trade him, but where in the organization did it come out that this team was trying to move on. Hell we even heard that from Bowman. Carlos is not going to be taken over by Williams, unless the NFL happens, #injuries. Nor only will he adapt to this running game, he will excel. Now I don’t speak in absolutes, but I am on this one.

  40. I’m reposting this since my original post is awaiting moderation. I guess it is because I embedded a link. How do you input a link so that the post isn’t subject to moderation?

    So Matt Miller at Bleacher Report has a starting base defensive line of:

    LEO: Aaron Lynch
    3T: Solomon Thomas
    1T: Arik Armstead
    5T: DeForest Buckner

    Armstead at 1T???! Although maybe the nose tackle won’t be 2 gapping as much in the 4-3, it just seems that a guy with Armstead’s height is the exact opposite of what you want at that position (usually a short, wide guy).

        1. Seb,

          Nice lineup. Whose playing End ?

          Shanahan’s copying Seattle’s D with some of 49er DC Robert Saleh’s old club–Jacksonville sprinkled in. Seattle plays an 4-3 under with 5 -Linemen on the LOS–two of them are ends. You have listed the LEO–great–now who plays the ends?

          1. In other words, you’re still missing a lineman, safety or linebacker, whatever you choose as your 5th man on the LOS

          2. Tom, as I understand the new defense, the Leo is an end, the weak-side end. The fifth lineman you are referring to is, I think, actually the strong-side linebacker who is positioned on the line. For us, that could be Ahmad Brooks. Posters, please correct me if I am wrong about this.

            1. Thx George.

              Sometimes Seattle used Bobby Wagner as the DE–opposite the the strongside Leo.
              Whatever the case, Seb still has only 4 players listed.

              1. Also, George, the LEO can be used as an end.

                Basically the defense, to give you a visual reference, has the LEO facing the TE. To his right–away from the strongside TE are four linemen.
                New England is going to this defense more this season.
                You could call the alignment a 5-2-4, with the LEO dropping into coverage if need be, and the safety covering his vacated spot on a run play.

              2. In the 4-3 Under front, both defensive ends will line up in the 5-Technique, or the outside shoulder of the tackle, and be responsible for the C gaps. Where Carroll’s Seattle defense differs from Kiffin’s system is that the weak side defense has evolved into the role of the LEO, or the “Elephant”. This player has the ability to be moved all around the field and can play with his hand in the dirt or from a standing rush position.

  41. How the 49ers may have “struck gold” with day-three NFL Draft picks
    by Peter Panacy6 hours agoFollow @peterpanacy

    Some problems the San Francisco 49ers have faced in recent years was not being able to find worthwhile talent in the later rounds of the NFL Draft… Part of the reason San Francisco was 2-14 a season ago.

    Enter general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan in 2017.

    Lynch pulled off one of the best NFL Draft classes, paired with a solid offseason, this year. In total, he netted 10 draftees while adding draft capital for 2018.

    Six of those 10 players selected ended up going in Round 4 or later.

  42. RELATED STORY: Why tight end George Kittle may be the steal of the NFL Draft

    All this prompted Niner Noise to break down why Kittle could end up being one of the draft’s biggest steals.
    We’re not alone. Even’s draft analyst, Lance Zierlein, agreed Kittle was one of the biggest late-round gems in this year’s class:

    “Shares some similar traits with Owen Daniels when he was coming out of Wisconsin in 2006 and I doubt that is lost upon new head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was on the Texans‘ staff when Daniels was thriving. …

    Kittle is a quality zone-scheme, in-line blocker with the athleticism to race off the line and uncover as a pass-receiving threat…”

  43. I don’t know if this was posted before. Apologies if so.
    “How the 49ers 2017 personnel will fit into Robert Saleh’s 4-3 base defense”

    The author, Chris Wilson, discusses how our players might fit in the 4-3 over and two versions of 4-3 under.
    He provides pics of the different fronts with the names of SF current players on each of the pics.

    Strong effort on his part.

  44. George,

    I notice Eric Armstead–a top 10 pick–missing in your article. They have Lynch and Brooks playing bookends. Thomas, Mitchell, Armstead are sandwiched between them.

    I’m sure the 49ers will try different personnel groups in this formation throughout the season in a rotation.

  45. Late-Round Pick Jones Could be Disruptive Force for 49ers

    Defensive tackle from Arkansas has surprising quickness and outrageous strength and could earn a spot on defensive line as a rookie

    By Doug Williams

    While at Mississippi, his head coach, Hugh Freeze, was incredibly impressed by his quickness..

    He also was ranked by as the 14th strongest player in all of college football for his 440-pound bench press and 650-pound squat.

  46. Hikutini was ranked a Top 10 TE in some draft publications:

    When asked Tuesday if he had a few favorites in the 49ers’ 10-man draft class, vice president of player personnel Adam Peters ticked off several players.

    Then, he threw out a surprise….“I do like Hikutini,”

    “I really liked him just for our offense,” Peters said. “Maybe not everybody’s, but I think as far as what Kyle is looking for in a tight end

  47. According to some Niner Assistants the best looking rookie RB was Matt Breida. According to Kevin Jones from KNBR he said he looked much better then Williams. He also mentioned people are hyping up Williams too much. Said he wasn’t that impressed. This reminds of Skins situation where Alfred Morris a 6th rnd pick out performed Roy Helu who was drafted higher. There is a very good chance Hightower gets cut. Especially if Breida continues to impress.

    1. Rebuild,

      Thx for the update.

      Had my eyes on Breida for awhile–even asked Grant if he could make the Roster.

      Undrafted running back Matt Breida turning heads in San Francisco
      Posted by Michael David Smith on May 18, 2017, 3:02 PM EDT

      2015 Highlights will show more 60-75 yard touchdown runs than anyone I’ve ever seen. He makes THIS team.

    2. “He also mentioned people are hyping up Williams too much. Said he wasn’t that impressed.”

      But Grant said Williams will be the starter.

    1. The 49ers next fan-favorite sleeper is here

      Each year there’s a 49ers player that punches above his weight in training camp and the preseason that gets fans excited.

      This season, that player looks like it’ll be undrafted rookie running back Matt Breida.
      Matt Breida can cover 40 yards in 4.3 seconds, in the rain. #GATA #HailSouthern
      C. McCaffrey – 4.4 secs
      L. Fournette – 4.5 secs
      5:40 PM – 30 Mar 2017 · Savannah, GA

      Expect him to be the team’s leading rusher in the preseason, generating buzz as the annual fan favorite of August.

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