The 49ers have spent the preseason trying to get an even mix of carries between Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon. Against the Houston Texans each running backs had eight rushes. Against the San Diego Chargers Hunter had 11 carries and Dixon had 13 carries.
Kendall Hunter appears to have secured the backup running back position, but Anthony Dixon may have secured a goal line and short yardage role. Could we possibly have a Thunder and Lightning backup situation similar to Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs? Anthony Dixon will need to show some consistency on those short yardage situations, but I find myself thinking Dixon is looking like that goal line back for now.
All of this is not to discount Frank Gore getting plenty of goal line carries, but it will be interesting to see how the team mixes in Dixon and Hunter down close. Dixon has the natural size to be a powerful back but we've had plenty of discussions about his stutter steps and dance moves. On the other hand, Hunter has excellent speed and can find the holes, but it's hard to tell how effective he can be down inside the five yard line.
Aside from handing the ball off to Gore down near the end zone, how would you handle the Dixon/Hunter combination? Of course, if we're lucky this coming Sunday maybe we'll just the runs at the 19 second and 1:22 mark in this footage.