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 visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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