Carlos Hyde

Shanahan: 'Not much of a difference between' Hyde, Breida


Shanahan: 'Not much of a difference between' Hyde, Breida

SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde might be the No. 7-ranked rusher in the league, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan considers him an equal to rookie backup Matt Breida.

Hyde was the featured back for the 49ers’ first four games of the season, but Breida made his mark last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Breida played more snaps and had more rushing attempts than Hyde.

“We’re still going to keep them fresh because there’s not much of a difference between the two, for me,” Shanahan said on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area.

“I know they have different styles. But similar to Atlanta, whether it’s Devonta Freeman for Tevin Coleman, it didn’t matter much. There are some things that one does better than the other, and vice versa. But when you have two guys, it’s a good problem to have. You go with the hot hand but you also try to play both of them and keep them fresh.”

Breida was the hot hand against the Colts. While Hyde was struggling to find room to run, gaining just 11 yards on eight attempts, Breida appeared to be on the brink of busting a long one. He gained 49 yards on 10 rushing attempts.

“Getting that experience, as a rookie being able to play that much, it was an awesome experience,” Breida said. “And I’m just happy they had the confidence in me to go out there and do that.

“As a game went on, I felt the game slowed down for me and I was able to recognize things a lot more and get more in control of the game.”

Hyde had been in control in the 49ers' backfield up to that point. On the season, Hyde has rushed for 332 yards and two touchdowns on 73 attempts. Breida has 120 yards rushing on 30 carries.

Shanahan said he takes a lot into account when determining which back will get the bulk of the playing time. It starts during that week of practice to see which player is meshing better with the game plan. Then, he observes how the game is unfolding.

Against Indianapolis, Breida’s speed to get to the outside and hit the holes quickly was a better counter to the Colts’ large defensive line. On Sunday, the 49ers will go up against a Washington defense that is stout in the front seven.

Former 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has designed a defense that ranks 10th in the NFL against the run. One of his top assistants is defensive line coach, Jim Tomsula, who served in that capacity for many seasons with the 49ers before replacing Jim Harbaugh as head coach.

“Those are two coaches I have a lot of respect for,” Shanahan said. “I’ve played against them a bunch. And you can see them putting their imprint on the defense. Their front is tough to go against. They play a hard 3-4. They got a bunch of big guys up front.

“They’re pretty talented up front. They set the edge. Those guys inside don’t move much, and they keep everything condensed. They make you work for everything. You got to grind it out against them.”

Snap count: Hyde, Bowman play less, face uncertain futures


Snap count: Hyde, Bowman play less, face uncertain futures

INDIANAPOLIS – Running back Carlos Hyde lost playing time to the “hot hand,” and linebacker NaVorro Bowman spent time on the 49ers’ sideline to remain “fresh.”

Two of the 49ers’ well-known veteran players with uncertain futures beyond this season saw their least-amount of play time for the season on Sunday in the team’s 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Backup running back Matt Breida played 35 of the 49ers’ 72 offensive plays, while Hyde was on the field for 33 snaps. Third-string running back Raheem Mostert played four snaps.

Bowman, who usually plays every snap, was on the field for 58 of the 49ers’ 76 offensive plays. Brock Coyle, who did not start, played a season-high 25 snaps on defense.

Coach Kyle Shanahan explained his decisions after the game.

“Really, we have three backs that are up,” Shanahan said. “And we try to give them all carries and go with the hot hand. We felt like Breida was the hot hand at the time.

“(Bowman) had a stinger during the game so he went out for a little bit there. We also had plans to take him out of a couple of series throughout the game just to make sure to keep him fresh.”

Bowman confirmed he sustained a mild stinger, but he said the condition did not keep him out of action.

Hyde is in the final year of his original four-year contract and is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season. Bowman appears unlikely to be back on the 49ers next season with salary and bonuses scheduled to pay him $9.45 million in 2018.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

(72 plays)
Quarterback – Brian Hoyer 72
Running back – Matt Breida 35, Kyle Juszczyk 35, Carlos Hyde 33, Raheem Mostert 4
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 63, Marquise Goodwin 55, Trent Taylor 35, Aldrick Robinson 22, Victor Bolden 3
Tight end – George Kittle 40, Garrett Celek 32, Logan Paulsen 3
Offensive line – Joe Staley 72, Trent Brown 72, Daniel Kilgore 72, Brandon Fusco 72, Laken Tomlinson 72

(76 plays)
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 67, Solomon Thomas 66, Arik Armstead 53, Earl Mitchell 47, Aaron Lynch 22, Elvis Dumervil 22, D.J. Jones 16, Xavier Cooper 12
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 58, Ray-Ray Armstrong 57, Brock Coyle 25, Eli Harold 24
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 72, Rashard Robinson 62, K’Waun Williams 55, Ahkello Witherspoon 6
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 76, Jimmie Ward 76, Lorenzo Jerome 20

(34 plays)
Coyle 29, Elijah Lee 24, Celek 23, Mosert 23, Harold 21, Bradley Pinion 18, Pita Taumoepenu 16, Bolden 16, Johnson 15, Paulsen 15, Asa Jackson 13, Breida 13, Tartt 12, Kyle Nelson 11, Jerome 11, Armstrong 10, R.Robinson 9, A.Robinson 7, Ward 7, Juszczyk 6, Buckner 6, Thomas 6, Armstead 6, Mitchell 6, Jones 6, Garry Gilliam 5, Zane Beadles 5, Robbie Gould 5, Witherspoon 5, Staley 5, Brown 5, Kilgore 5, Fusco 5, Taylor 4, Williams 1

QB C.J. Beathard

WR Kendrick Bourne
DB Eric Reid (knee)
LB Mark Nzeocha
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
S Adrian Colbert (hamstring)
LB Dekoda Watson (groin)
OL Erik Magnuson


Coaches' decision sidelines Bowman, Hyde in loss to Colts


Coaches' decision sidelines Bowman, Hyde in loss to Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – Linebacker NaVorro Bowman and running back Carlos Hyde did not appear pleased to be spectators for a good portion of Sunday’s game.

Bowman was used as part of a rotation at inside linebacker, in which Brock Coyle took over for him at different points of the 49ers’ 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

And Hyde said his hip felt better than it has for a couple of weeks and the reason Matt Breida was on the field for long stretches of time was a “coaches’ decision.”

Breida gained 49 yards on 10 rushing attempts and also caught three passes for 22 yards. Hyde gained just 11 yards on eight rushing attempts and caught one pass for 7 yards.

Bowman sustained a mild “stinger” in the first half, but he said he knew he was not going to play the entire game.

“Um. I don’t know, man,” Bowman said. “We had a conversation. I don’t know. They’re doing what they want to do, and . . . I don’t know. I don’t like it. Nobody likes coming out of the game, but I’m a team player.

“They told me. But it’s hard to do that in the midst of a tough game. No player likes being taken out.”

Bowman led the 49ers with 10 tackles. Ray-Ray Armstrong, who started alongside Bowman at linebacker, recorded six tackles and intercepted a pass in overtime. Coyle was credited with two tackles and a half-sack.