San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly met with the media on Sunday prior to the team's practice. While touching on a number of topics, one that stood out was the fact that he doesn't expect RB Carlos Hyde's playing style to change this season.
The question surrounded Hyde's injury last season, a setback that forced him to miss nine games. "He's been very diligent in terms of how he's approached this season, but there are some things that are out of people's control," answered Kelly. "I don't know that there is any protocol out there that you can work on to prevent a broken bone. There's certain injuries that I think everybody can really work very hard on and those are the soft tissue injuries. You know, keeping yourself out of missing time because of a muscle pull or something like that. But I think some injuries – you know – if you break your arm, you break your arm. There's not much – unless you tell them to drink a lot of milk – besides that, there's not a lot you can do from that standpoint."
"There is a physicality to this game," continued Kelly. "I think it makes him a dangerous weapon in terms of being able to not only make people miss but kind of go through and to break arm tackles and to gain that tough yardage when it really looks like there's nothing there. [Tom Rathman] hasn't done anything in terms of telling him to shy away from anything."
Kelly was also asked about the slot receiver role and what he looks for in a player at that position. "The number one quality is how can he win in one-on-one situations and there's big guys that do it kind of because they out-muscle you and sometimes the nickel/slot corners in the league are smaller so sometimes it's beneficial to have a big guy," said Kelly. "We've had success with big guys in the past. Or if you're a smaller guy, can you separate? It's really the ability to operate in the middle of the field. It's a different view than a normal receiver position because most receivers play outside. It's really them and the corner all of the time."
Regarding observations about rookie OG Joshua Garnett, Kelly stated that he has been really sharp. "I think he's got a real good mind from a football standpoint," said Kelly. "The other thing with him – he's a real steady guy. He's not a high or low or whatever. He's very consistent in his approach. He probably acts a little bit older than a typical rookie. He's real cerebral. he's got a great understanding of things. If he makes a mistake, he can readily correct it. Sometimes when you're trying to give him feedback on a play, he already knows what transpired and why he wasn't successful on that play.
"A lot of fun to coach and obviously comes from a great background playing for [David Shaw] over at Stanford. They did a lot of different things on the offensive side of the ball. And he's played different positions. He actually played some wing as a freshman. They do a lot of multiple offensive line packages so he's played a couple of different spots. He's played on the right side and the left side. He's been impressive since he got here. Especially since we really only had him for minicamp. We didn't have him for the whole offseason program because he was still finishing up school there."
Eric Rogers' roster spot
The team also has not signed anyone to replace WR Eric Rogers, who suffered a torn ACL during Thursday's practice.