Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde isn't too worried about rumors or predictions. He's been focused on solidifying his role as the team's starter at the position for the third-straight season. Hyde reported to training camp leaner than ever and hopes his new look can help him gain an advantage over those looking to unseat him now and in the near-future.

"I ran into him in the hall and he looks tremendous," 49ers general manager John Lynch said when the team reported to training camp last week. "He really has dedicated himself. He's changed his body type this offseason and that to me at the least bit shows a commitment."

On Friday, Hyde joined the "Gary & Larry" show on KNBR and discussed his leaner frame.

"I could have bulked up but I wasn't trying to go that path," Hyde said. "I've been there before. It didn't turn out. Getting lean, getting healthy, and finding the perfect weight where I'm able to still be explosive and still run with power is what I was focused on."

Lynch also joined KNBR on Friday and, once again, complimented Hyde's weight loss.

"Some people lose weight and they just lose weight," Lynch said. "Some people lose weight and it shows on the field and he's got a burst to him. It's just a level of professionalism right now that's really impressive."

Hyde could have resented the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner brought in so much competition for him. That isn't the case. Hyde said he has a lot of respect for the duo for bringing in guys to compete with him for the starting job.

"All that's going to do is bring out the best in me and make me even more hungry," Hyde said. "Before then, I was even already hungry, though, just from the last season falling short of my goal of hitting 1,000 yards. That was enough motivation to come back to go even harder this year. With the new competition – it's good. Those guys can easily go in and be the starting running back, so it's good. It's helped us all out."

In 2016, Hyde finished the season just 12 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard rushing season and missed the final game of the season after being placed on injured reserve. Since becoming a starter in 2015, he has been available for just 20 of the team's 32 games due to injuries.

Among Hyde's competition is rookie running back Joe Williams, who the 49ers selected in the fourth round of the draft. Since being selected, Williams has been viewed as Hyde's eventual replacement. After all, Hyde is entering the final year of his rookie deal and a big payday would not necessarily be Shanahan and Turner's style. The running backs coach has had a lot of success in the past finding success with mid-round draft picks.

In Atlanta, Shanahan had his running backs making plays after catching the football in the backfield. Hyde said that he did not really work on catching the football during the offseason because he always felt he had good hands.

"That opportunity (to catch the football) is here and I'm showcasing my ability at catching the ball in the backfield and hopefully I'm impressing my coaches," Hyde said.

"I think I fit this offense perfectly," Hyde responded when asked if he was a good fit for Shanahan's scheme. The running back went on to say that he feels Shanahan will be his last new head coach because he has a good feeling about him. That means Hyde is hopeful to remain with the 49ers beyond the 2017 season and continue to build upon what Shanahan and Lynch have started.