While most people expected Carlos Hyde to “inherit” the starting running back spot from Frank Gore, the San Francisco 49ers might be thinking otherwise and planning to give the job to Reggie Bush.
Carlos Hyde had a good rookie campaign although he did get to carry the ball just 83 times (finishing with 333 yards and four touchdowns). With Gore leaving (initially to Philly but then landing with the Colts), Hyde expected to become the feature back for a team that’s going through massive change at every level fo the football club.
But Reggie Bush was signed, and now things aren’t so clear. The early indication was that Bush is going to be a passing option out of the backfield, but the words of head coach Jim Tomsula shed a different light on the subject of the running back competition next season.
He’s a runner, he’s not a gadget guy. What does that mean? That he’s going to get more carries than Hyde? Perhaps. Bush had a bad season in 2014, carrying the ball just 76 times for 297 yards. He also caught 40 passes for 253 yards, but it’s not just that he looks like his best days are far behind in the rearview mirror; he might be washed up or close to it.
Still, the 49ers took a shot at someone who has always been very different from a classic feature back. Tomsula said he can see Bush being an every-down kind of running back, but for someone who has had just two seasons (out of nine) with over 1000 yards, it’s hard to believe Tomsula actually means what he says, and is more in the business of building up a new player.
Maybe Bush does get to start, although starting really doesn’t mean that much in the NFL. The important thing is the number of carries a player gets, and right now, we’re not quite sure if this is going to be Bush or Hyde leading the charge, or perhaps more of a running back by committee approach, which makes sense more than anything else.