49ers Notebook: Carlos Hyde 'Feels Really Good,' Joe Staley Scouts Cardinals Defense

Pierre Garçon's running style creates conversation.

"Violent," is the word Hyde used a few weeks back to best describe his propensity of finding contact on every run.

"That's just the way I play," Hyde told reporters on Friday when asked if he could do more to avoid contact. "Instead of getting hit, I like to deliver the hit. … It's the nature of the game."

But whether you're the hammer or the nail, there's still a collision taking place.

Hyde was a part of numerous clashes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2, one of which led to concussion testing that thankfully came back negative. On another hit, this time from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, Hyde took a shot low around his knees.

The running back said on Friday that he tweaked his hip on the play which caused him to gingerly walk off the field. Much has been made of Mitchell's hit in terms of whether or not it was a dirty play.

Hyde quelled those notions, understanding that defenders know there's a price to pay when trying to hit the running back in the numbers.

"Not too many guys are going to try and hit me high," said Hyde, again alluding to his physical nature as a ball carrier. 

The best news this week is that Hyde was a full participant in each practice. The running back is officially listed as probable with a quadriceps injury, but Hyde said that distinction is merely a formality.

"I feel really good," Hyde said. "I feel like Week 1." Same Identity for Cardinals Defense

Joe Staley is used to seeing the Cardinals defense twice a year. Even though former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is now the head coach of the New York Jets, the 49ers stalwart left tackle said Arizona's defense still looks very much the same on tape.

The Cardinals new defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, has been with the team ever since Bruce Arians took over as head coach and was promoted following the departure of Bowles.

Bettcher has kept the same identity for the fast-paced, blitz-happy defense

"Very similar," Staley said. "They bring a lot of exotic blitzes. They take a lot of pride in their personnel groupings and the different fronts that they show. It's pretty similar to what they've done in the past."

Defense Got "Out of Character" vs. Steelers

Some of the adjustments the defense has made this week are as simple as sticking to assignments. NaVorro Bowman said on Friday that as things began to unravel against the Steelers, guys were trying to go out of their way in order to make a play.

When that happens, things start to snowball.

"The adversity happened pretty fast," Bowman said. "I think one problem turned into five problems. When that one problem happens, as a football player, you want to go out there and make a play, and that creates a second problem. Then someone else wants to make a play and so on and so forth. 

"I think we got outside of our character a little, but like I said, we have a chance to rebuild and respond."

Mike Iupati Might Make Cardinals Debut

The former 49ers left guard has been limited in practice all week, and the Cardinals have him listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Iupati has been out since training camp with a torn meniscus that required surgery. Arians said earlier this week that this was the game the lineman was scheduled for return.

For Bowman, it's a chance to matchup against an old friend who he spent years battling with on the practice field. Iupati and Bowman both came to San Francisco in 2010 – the offensive lineman as a first-round pick and the linebacker as a third.

"We practiced together for so many years," Bowman said. "We came in together. Mike is a great player and I'm excited to see him out there."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising