San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke to Bay Area media and covered a host of topics. One area of discussion was the status and progress of running back Carlos Hyde, who will be a free agent at the season’s conclusion. What had started out at the beginning of the season as a “we are evaluating everyone” type of statement in regards to the running back, has now turned into a predominately glowing review. Hyde has seemingly bought into the system that is now up and running in Santa Clara.
Lynch, who had mentioned Hyde’s body transformation at the beginning of the season, felt like the “checking out” of each other was mutual. While the GM was evaluating his talent, Hyde was also scoping out the newly installed regime. Most importantly he has addressed any questions the front office may have had about his desire to stay in Santa Clara prior to the season beginning.
He has answered some questions but I think questions we just had as a new regime coming in, not so much that we didn't like what he...you know. I’ve been pretty vocal that we did feel something change and it manifested itself in a bunch of different ways. The way guys are playing, the way guys are acting. With Carlos it was all of the above. I think he was kind of checking us out too, checking the system out, checking all of that out and quickly he learned that this was a system that he could really thrive in and he was pushed and he responded. He changed his body type. I think he’s a really good fit for our scheme, he’s a really good fit for any scheme. He’s had a really good year as he goes into the offseason. I really admire some of the things he does, the way he pass blocks. It’s important for him to be a complete football player and I think he’s shown that with the way he’s worked and with the way he’s played.
Lynch continued his compliments when discussing Hyde running inside and outside zone running schemes.
I remember now talking to Tom [Rathman] on the field before the game, telling me that stuff and Tom’s a guy that’s ... very honest and kinda, you can tell when Tom really appreciates a player and that’s one thing I knew. Tom doesn’t ... there’s not a lot of BS and so you’re going to get an honest opinion and he’s a huge fan of Carlos. One of the interesting things with Kyle’s system is that it does both the inside zone and the outside zone. I think we’ve probably learned where he succeeds. He can do both but what’s the sweet spot for him? I think the thing I keep going back to is that’s what you like about him, he can do a little of everything. He’s a very natural catcher of the football. I know there’s been some drops but when you watch him here, day in, day out, he does that extremely well.
When asked how Hyde has made strides in getting downhill Lynch explained:
He’s a bigger back so part of that is going to be yards after contact and getting the most out of every run, realizing that’s a strength of his. I know that’s something that’s been sold hard to him and I think we’ve seen him respond and improve in that facet.
While this is a glowing review of Hyde, a new contract hinges on what he and his agent are willing to take. The 49ers have a ton of cap space but they are thinking about the future and will likely not spend a great deal of it on a running back. A sizable chunk of that cushion will likely go to the team’s new addition at quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lynch mentioned that contract extensions/negotiations will not be made public but talks are in the works with a few of the player’s representatives.