Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



Stephania Bell of ESPN was in Santa Clara on Wednesday to observe the San Francisco 49ers' final full practice before traveling to Kansas City for their Friday exhibition matchup against the Chiefs. Bell, who is a certified orthopedic specialist and strength and conditioning specialist, serves as an injury analyst for ESPN. She had a chance to talk to running back Carlos Hyde, who reported to training camp leaner and motivated to prove himself to the new coaching regime.

Here is what Bell wrote about her discussion with Hyde, who enters the final year of his rookie contract with the 49ers:

"In Santa Clara with the 49ers this morning and caught up with RB Carlos Hyde afterward. A leaner Hyde that is, who tells me he weighed in at 225 today, right where he wants to be. He said he made the decision to stay here this offseason to work out with the strength and conditioning staff and change his diet. Why? Because there were times last year where he just didn't feel good, "bloated" even. "I stopped eating red meat, fried food and carbs." It's all fish and veggies now and he says his body feels great. He can tell because he's quicker, lighter on his feet. Between that offseason decision and making better in-game decisions (don't have to "run through people" on every play, sometimes a quick cut is better), he hopes it will keep him fresh and on the field all season."

49ers general manager John Lynch immediately noticed Hyde's transformation when the team first reported to training camp.

"I ran into him in the hall and he looks tremendous," Lynch said on July 27. "He really has dedicated himself. He's changed his body type this offseason and that to me at the least bit shows a commitment."

Hyde has said that he welcomes the competition at running back that the new regime has brought in. The 49ers drafted Joe Williams in the fourth round of the draft and have four other new faces at running back.

"All that's going to do is bring out the best in me and make me even more hungry," Hyde said last week. "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 team's final game 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.