Former 49ers RB coach Tom Rathman: Carlos Hyde a work in progress

Former 49ers RB coach Tom Rathman: Carlos Hyde a work in progress

Running back Carlos Hyde enters the final year of his rookie contract as a player with loads of potential.

Hyde’s season ended in late-December just 12 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. His knee injury did not require surgery and is not expected to have any impact on his offseason training for the 2017 season.

The man who coached him in his first three NFL seasons told CSNBayArea.com he believes Hyde is making progress as an all-around player after entering the league as a second-round draft pick in 2014 from Ohio State.

“He’s moving in the right direction,” said Tom Rathman, who will not return to the 49ers’ coaching staff. “He still has some growing to do as a football player to get to the level of player that everybody wants to be. He’s got the capability of doing it. He’s a work in progress.”

Hyde appears to be in capable hands with new running backs coach Bobby Turner. In 22 seasons of being an NFL assistant, Turner’s backs have produced 1,000-yard seasons 16 times.

Turner spent 15 seasons on Mike Shanahan’s staff with the Denver Broncos. During that time, Shanahan’s run game produced eight of the top 11 single-season rushers in Broncos history with six different running backs rushing for more than 1,000 yards.

Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis rushed for 2,008 yards in 1998 – the fifth-most in a single season in NFL history.

Turner has worked as running backs coach for five of the past six seasons under Kyle Shanahan, Mike's son and the 49ers new head coach.

Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator for five years with Turner as a top assistant in Washington and Atlanta. All five seasons produced 1,000-yard rushers: Alfred Morris (Washington, three times) and Devonta Freeman (Atlanta, twice).

Turner told CSNBayArea.com at the Super Bowl in Houston the philosophies of Mike and Kyle Shanahan are not exact.

“It’s similar, but every coach and every person has his own stamp,” Turner said. “The bottom line, everyone says it’s the zone principle. But what is the zone? There’s outside zone, inside zone. There’s a stretch. You can have different coaches who work together have different philosophies. Overall, yeah, it’s the same, but Kyle has his own stamp.”

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.

The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement released Saturday morning. “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

It was the first significant move under Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.

The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.

Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.

Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.

The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 12 games at left guard, two games at left tackle and the final two games at center.

The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.

Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.

Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.

 

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned

Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers. 

The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles. 

Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.