Things have quieted down for the San Francisco 49ers following a fairly busy couple of months. We had the departure of Jim Harbaugh followed by the hiring of a new coaching staff. We had retirements and free agency. All in all, a crazy few months.
I'm sure there will be more news at some point, but for now I have a new series I thought I'd roll out. We have over five months until the regular season begins, but that does not mean we can't start to consider what to expect of that season. People have been thinking in general terms of this being a crappy upcoming season, but it might help to focus in on some specifics of the team.
The 49ers signed Reggie Bush this past week, giving them a running back depth chart that includes Bush, Carlos Hyde, Kendall Hunter and Kendall Gaskins. General manager Trent Baalke has talked in the past about having a three-headed rushing attack, and this might be the first year we truly see that. I imagine Baalke was hoping to see this three-headed approach with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, but it never really materialized. Hunter had opportunities to be part of a more complementary approach in the past, but injuries have derailed him along the way. James seemed like he could add a unique element to the rushing attack, but after 2012, we just never really saw it.
We'll look at the other running backs later, but for today, I thought we would focus in on Carlos Hyde. The 49ers could still add another running back, but it seems like Hyde, Hunter and Bush are the big three for 2015. We might see a complementary approach, but Hyde seems like the guy who could end up with a plurality of carries.
Over the course of his career, Frank Gore's seasonal average was 244 carries, 1,107 yards and 4.5 yards per carry. In his rookie season, he was in a committee with Kevan Barlow. In 2010, Gore suffered a hip injury that cost him the final five games. Otherwise, he has played at least 14 games every season.
I would not set those totals as the over/under for Carlos Hyde in 2015 because of the potential three-headed approach we might see. With that in mind, let's go with something simple. I'll set the over/under at 200 carries, 1,000 yards and the 4.5 yards per carry average. Will he surpass or come short of those. I don't think coming up short of the carries or yards indicates a poor season, but that would depend on the context of what Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter end up doing. For now, what kind of numbers do you expect from Carlos Hyde in 2015?