The new look San Francisco 49ers rushing attack will feature a running back-by-committee- approach for the first time in nine years. A team that will be without their workhorse as RB Frank Gore signed with the Super Bowl contending Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers will now turn to second-year RB Carlos Hyde to fill that void.
Originally a second-round pick (No. 57) of the 2014 NFL draft, Hyde showed promise in his first season in San Francisco. A north-south runner with the ability to break tackles on initial contact, Hyde was a pleasant surprise as he rushed for 333 yards while tying a team-high four touchdowns. However, Hyde is not the only one looking to get his lion share of the carriers as the team recently signed RB Reggie Bush to a one-year deal.
An exceptional receiver coming out of the backfield, do not be surprised if the 49ers now use more screen plays in 2015. A change-of-pace back that was missing last season as both Gore and Hyde were similar bruising runners between the tackles, adding Bush just may be what the doctor ordered. Not to mention, Bush is more of a slasher which should keep defenses honest on the outside–the running game should be more versatile in 2015.
And if not Bush then definitely diminutive but shifty RB Kendall Hunter. The forgotten player that has missed significant time in two of the past three seasons, Hunter will be looking to regain his 2011 form.
At 5-7, 199 pounds, Hunter is not your ordinary smaller running back, as he’s strong, stocky, and fast. A player that can break tackles while having the speed to kick outside the numbers, Hunter should be on par for a nice year in 2015 if he can remain healthy.
In Hunter’s rookie season he set a career-high for all purpose-yards with 668 yards and two touchdowns. Look for him to have a similar output this upcoming season as I have a feeling the 49ers will go back to basics with their smash-mouth ways.
With the 49ers having a new look backfield, don’t be surprised if they don’t lose a step in the running game as there’s plenty of talent to get the job done despite missing their all-time leading rusher.