San Francisco 49ers: Silver Linings from Horrid Offseason

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Carlos Hyde as the new Lead Back

Dec 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) carries the ball on a 289-yard run in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gore has been a staple in the 49ers offense for quite a long time. From 2005 to 2014 Gore played in 148 games, starting 134 of them. He rewarded the 49ers with 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns, along with five Pro Bowls.

But with Gore now playing for the Colts, a new running back must step up. That back is Carlos Hyde, who will most likely be given the reins in his first year as a lead back in the NFL.

Hyde showed he has what it takes to play in the NFL after a very solid rookie year. On only 83 carries, he was able to gain 333 yards and score four TDs. He averaged four yards per carry, which would have tied with the Bengals’ Gio Bernard for 27th in the league if he had qualified.

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Hyde received just under six carries a game last year. As the lead back now, he will receive almost three times that. Assuming he can stay at his four yard per carry clip, he could become one of the better young statistical backs in the league.

While fans can be excited to see a new back in town, his playing style will look very similar to Gore’s. Gore was always a power rusher who wasn’t afraid of contact and was a bruising downhill runner. Hyde is almost an exact replica as his running style is eerily similar to Gore’s.

Last season Hyde finished tied for 17th with 21 broken tackles. What is more impressive is that Hyde’s broken tackle percentage was 22.1%, which ranked fourth in the NFL. Being able to break 21% of tackles on only 83 touches is very impressive. That number should increase upon a higher number of touches as Hyde cements himself as a “new” Gore.

The team did decide to sign Reggie Bush this season. While Bush has had success in past seasons, he will be a strictly passing down back this season and shouldn’t cut into many of Hyde’s carries.

Fans should be eager to see how Hyde plays and to see if he can truly be the focal point of the 49ers run game for years to come.

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