49ers RB Carlos Hyde Sets Goals for Upcoming Year

Since he was asked, Pierre Garçon answered.

"Any goals for the upcoming year?" a reporter inquired at training camp report day for the San Francisco 49ers.

"Which goal?" the running back replied. "I got a lot of them."

Truth be told, Saturday's media session offered another glimpse into the confident mindset of the third-year runner. Hyde enjoyed a solid offseason under new coach Chip Kelly. So it should come as no surprise that the second-round pick is eager to make the most of his role as the San Francisco's top running back.

"Personal goal? My number one goal is to stay healthy – do whatever I have to do to make sure my body is A-1 come Sundays," said Hyde, who rushed for 470 yards in seven games after dealing with a foot injury last season. "After that, I'm trying to hit 1,500 (rushing) yards. If I do that, hats off to my offensive line, tight ends and receivers."

In order to get to his desired benchmark, Hyde said he'll look to make the most out of camp sessions against the 49ers first-team defense. Although practices won't be full contact, the 5-foot-9 runner will find ways to assert his physical style of play.

"I might not get to run somebody over, but I still can stiff-arm you and make a move on you," Hyde shared. "To me, that's just going to help me out. That's going to translate to Sundays. I won't have to think about running you over because I've been training in training camp, making guys miss and stiff-arming people. I'm trying to get these big plays this year."

The three goals sound reasonable for a player who has been complimented throughout the offseason by football analysts and former players alike.

When Hyde was informed about LaDainian Tomlinson's praise for being a breakout candidate for the upcoming year, the 49ers 'back was gracious in receiving the acknowledgement.

"That's huge, especially coming from L.T.," Hyde said. "I'm trying to live up to that. I appreciate that he has confidence in me, and I have confidence in myself. I'm really looking forward to this year."

So what gives Hyde the feeling that he'll surpass his stat totals of his first two NFL seasons?

Running from Kelly's shotgun-style offense should help.

Hyde explained that his familiarity with the zone-read system from his days at Ohio State make him that much more comfortable.

"You have opportunities to see everything," Hyde said. "You're like a quarterback, but you're a running back. I think it's easier."

Hyde said he can view running lanes faster, plus how the opposing linebackers are flowing to the ball. And perhaps best of all, he can put his lead foot into the ground and take off.

"I just feel like you get a better feel," he said. "It allows you to hit the hole quicker."

With improved health and confidence in the offense he's running, Hyde will be one of many players to watch in camp. He's very optimistic about his role this season.

"I think this year is going to be a way better year, not only for me, but for the entire offense," Hyde said. "I think it's going to be way better for everybody."

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