Originally posted by ninerfan1984:
So i was thinking about this recently and I feel bad for hunter. I think if you put on his tape you see a very capable NFL back but the NIners keep on bringing in backs that are supposed to be very good to great and he has to compete with them after already prvong himself as a reliable back. I myself have gotten greatly excited about the shiny new prospects of Lattimore and Hyde and their potential and in that I have forgotten just how effective Hunter has been so i want to possit this question to you:
What would hunter have to do in order to get an extension and be considered the back in line to take over for Frank after this season and if he does this would we consider that a good thing or would most of us feel that it means Lattimore and Hyde are busts?
I have a feeling that even if Hunter plays really well and wins the job that there would be some negative sentiment amougnst Niner fans about the Hyde and Lattimore picks even if it didnt mean they played poorly but just that Hunter is showing himself to be of equal or greater skill. What do you think?
If you include experience within what you mean by "skill", then I agree. I think Hunter's biggest advantage is experience playing in the NFL and in particular, experience in this team's offensive system. I expect at the beginning of the season that Gore will still be the bell cow and excellent in pass protection like he has been in like forever and Hunter will be playing pretty much the back-up role he has. I think Hyde will take some of the snaps early on that would have gone to Gore or Hunter and then if he is relatively successful that he will get more snaps (taking more from Hunter than Gore) - especially in short yardage situations. Lattimore will get a sprinkling of carries at the beginning of the year (assuming all goes okay during the pre-season for him) and if he is successful then he, too, will get more snaps as the season progresses. I think by the end of the season that the coaches will try to have Gore get just enough snaps to keep him sharp but not beat up. Of course, injuries could change the picture quite a bit.
Unfortunately for Hunter, by the end of the year he could very well end up the odd man out. Hopefully he will be able to show his stuff enough to be able to get an offer from another team where he will get a good amount of playing time. He's a good enough back that there probably is such a place for him in the NFL. I wouldn't be shocked if some time during the year that if both Lattimore and Hyde are looking good, that the 9ers might swing a trade of Hunter for a draft choice with some team that is great need of a good solid back like Hunter. However it happens, like I said, I hope Hunter gets a shot with another team - he deserves it.