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y2lamanaki

Training Camp Battle - HB

The battle at HB (#2)  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Who wins the backup job?

    • Kapri Bibbs
      0
    • Matt Breida
    • Tim Hightower
    • Joe Williams
    • Carlos Hyde (One of the above four steal the starting job)
      0
  2. 2. Who won't make the 53-man roster?

    • Kapri Bibbs
    • Matt Breida
    • Tim Hightower


54 posts in this topic

y2lamanaki    21

Time to get onto some offensive competitions. This competition is more for something of the #2 role out of camp/eventual starter once Hyde has his injury. Carlos Hyde will certainly have the job entering/exiting camp if health permits (although, it seems likely that it will be his last season in that role with this team). Shanahan has been good at using multiple backs, so the winner of this competition will likely see a significant role on offense. 

Kapri Bibbs

bibbs_kapri_CP_151020.jpg

The first two listed are the two toughest to gauge going into training camp. Bibbs was acquired along with a 5th this year for a 4th round pick next year. This indicates that the team things fairly highly enough for him. Bibbs doesn't have a whole lot of game tape on him, but in his limited action last year, he produced a couple big plays both receiving and running the ball. He also has some kick return experience, that while not stellar, can only add to his value on the team. During his one season at Colorado State, he showed many of those same abilities (1700 rushing yards/31 rushing TDs in one season is nothing to shake a stick at). But in a crowded backfield, can Bibbs hold off everyone else and see some more action? That's the big question.

 

Matt Breida

Breida+matty.jpg

Breida had two stellar years at Georgia Southern that had put him on the NFL draft radar, but followed those two great seasons up with a complete dud where he earned only 3.8 YPC. While that contributed to Breida going undrafted, it should be noted that a coaching change turned into a scheme change to a triple option that failed miserably for the team. Breida was one of the stars of spring (in other words, when football is completely meaningless), however, and rumors had it that he was more impressive than Joe Williams this early on. That could all be meaningless when the pads go on, but there is really nobody in the backfield that has a stranglehold on this second RB spot, and he can earn himself some major playing time this year. 

 

Tim Hightower

r213613_576x324_16-9.jpg

It might go forgotten sometimes, but Hightower is the veteran running back on the roster and has the most career rushing yards in the NFL. And after a few years out of the year, he was able to experience something of a career renaissance with the Saints. Still, compared to other NFL backs, Hightower wasn't exactly spectacular and he's on the wrong side of 30. It's also important to note that Hightower was picked up in the offseason when the running backs on the roster were Carlos Hyde....So, he does not have a whole lot working for him. To earn this job, and to earn a spot on the team in general, Hightower will need to have an impressive camp and hope the younger guys in this competition struggle some. Otherwise, it will make a lot more sense for this team to see what it has in those younger backs moving forward. 

 

Joe Williams

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Joe Williams had some serious red flags going into the NFL draft that prevented him from being drafted much higher, possibly in the 2nd round. Initially, he was left off the 49ers board, but Shanahan badly wanted him and Lynch eventually decided to go for it, spending a 4th on a talented, but potentially disinterested player. Given that he's really the only player in the competition with a real pedigree, he might be considered the favorite to win the spot. Spring reports had him struggling at first before turning it on late, but again - that's all meaningless until pads are on. Given the abilities of this coaching staff to generate rushing yards, Williams could be in for a superstar career. The only real question is - can he start that in the preseason?

 

The only other RB on the roster is Raheem Mostert, but it would be considered a major surprise if he was anything more than a camp body. So who do you have? Let us know!

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48 1/2ers    6

Joe Williams is winning this battle out of training camp. After that as we get into the season a few games I would love to see Breida steal that #2 spot from Hightower when the inevitable injury to Hyde happens and he's out for 4-6 weeks. I like the new blood at RB we have this season. Injuries to RB's happen all too often and unfortunately that's usually what determines who falls where on the depth chart. 

Tim Hightower deserves some respect as one of those guys I feel Shanahan made sure we had on the roster. With Shanahan's final say on the 53 man I think Hightower makes it over Bibbs-lynch's guy. 

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J-ALL-DAY    19

I think it is going to come down to Williams and Hightower. It could go either way. If I had to guess, the top three will end up being:

1. Hyde

2. Williams

3. Hightower

 

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y2lamanaki    21

I'm with you guys - I think this is Williams' job to lose really. I am going to go against the grain, though - I think Hightower ends up being the odd man out (at least of the top 3 -  if we keep 4, I think he'll battle with Breida for that last spot). He was the one brought in when there were no other backs on the roster. I think the draft changed the thinking somewhat, because Bibbs seems like he'd be the exact kind of guy that Shanahan could work magic with. He definitely needs to showcase his talent in the preseason to win the job, but if he does, there's not much of a reason to keep Hightower around. 

In fact, I'm completely fine if he's cut even if he's better than BIbbs/Breida. Hightower's got what...a year or two left in him? We're not competing, so go with some guys with upside at this position, IMO. 

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J-ALL-DAY    19

I wouldn't mind if we cut Hightower if Williams wins the back up spot. This is a rebuilding team and might as well get the youngsters out there. 

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y2lamanaki    21
1 hour ago, J-ALL-DAY said:

I wouldn't mind if we cut Hightower if Williams wins the back up spot. This is a rebuilding team and might as well get the youngsters out there. 

I agree. I also wouldn't mind if he's kept just for a veteran presence, either. I mean, certainly the guys have picked up stuff from him throughout the offseason and will continue to do so during camp, but it's not the worst idea. It's not really needed at the RB position where guys can come in and star right away, but on a pretty young team overall, I wouldn't mind. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over any of the RBs missing the roster this year, and fully trust Shanahan/Turner to get the right guys on the roster. 

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Fureys49ers    11

I'd like to see Williams and Breida both make the team this year. Williams, being handpicked by Shanahan, seems like the most likely choice and from watching his highlights and college film I like his ability if/once given the chance. I'd love to see Hyde have the year we've all expected him to have this year and have an effective one-two punch of Hyde and Williams for whatever incoming QB we bring on next year and knock out the need for a RB amongst our many needs.

Now Breida on the other hand seems like one of those small school, athletic yet physically limited guys who excels and finds a nice role in the NFL. My hope would be that he could finally add some juice to our return game which has been seriously lacking since as long as I can remember. Also with his athletic ability it would be fun to see the different types of ways Shanahan could use him and exploit opposing defenses. 

That of course is all future thinking, this year I wouldn't be surprised to see four RBs make the team, not including Juice at FB, the four being Hyde, Williams, Hightower and Breida. With Hyde's injury history and Hightower's similar ground and pound running style it makes sense to keep him around. Also if Hyde were to go down with injury again, relying on some sort of combination of Williams/Bibbs/Breida seems a bit repetitive and limiting with them all having similar skills and styles. Who knows though, maybe William's shows well throughout TC and preseason and the coaching staff feels comfortable rolling into the season with him as the primary back up.

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Fureys49ers    11

Gregg Rosenthal just said in a recent podcast that he's heard Carlos Hyde could be a surprise cut during training camp. That would certainty qualify as a surprise, hopefully though if Shanahan and Lynch feel that they feel good with what we have without Hyde we atleast attempt to trade him for a mid round pick.

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J-ALL-DAY    19
4 hours ago, Fureys49ers said:

Gregg Rosenthal just said in a recent podcast that he's heard Carlos Hyde could be a surprise cut during training camp. That would certainty qualify as a surprise, hopefully though if Shanahan and Lynch feel that they feel good with what we have without Hyde we atleast attempt to trade him for a mid round pick.

Hyde will be cut? L-O-L.........

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Forge    42

I've said several times on the other board, that I would do everything in my power to unload Hyde for something, even if it was a conditional late round pick. I think he's largely an average starting running back in the league, I don't love his fit in this offense, and he's a soon to be free agent I have no interest in re-signing...and I have been an ardent supporter of his talent and ability throughout his career. I just don't think that he has a place here. That being said, I think there would be very limited interest in trading for him, and I definitely wouldn't cut him, so I think he starts the season as RB1. 

Joe Williams will get a share of carries, but I'm unsure how big that load will be. He should be given every opportunity to potentially usurp the starting gig from Hyde, but he's not a pass catching back (not that Hyde is a beast in this, but he's capable), and he isn't exactly Frank Gore when it comes to blocking, so that's really going to hurt the amount of time he's on the field. His best chance to get that RB1 role is for Hyde to get hurt, which means he'll be a starter for us in at least 2 games. 

Hightower is a professional running back, and I think he's the type of guy that the staff will want to keep on the team. If we are talking about the most likely surprise cut, I think it's probably him, but I think he's pretty safe. There's nothing special about him, but he has a place on almost any team...but if he's getting a large share of carries, I think our running game is really going to struggle. 

I think there's a possibility that we keep one more. I'd love for Breida to make the team, but I think that he's going to have to perform really well in the preseason, and even if he makes the roster, I don't know that he's ever active on gamedays but I still think that Bibbs would have the inside track to the RB4 slot, with Breida on the practice squad. 

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y2lamanaki    21
16 hours ago, Forge said:

I've said several times on the other board, that I would do everything in my power to unload Hyde for something, even if it was a conditional late round pick.

Yeah, I'd be on the phone with the Ravens right now. Dixon out for the year. They may want a reliable one year rental for a small price. 

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16 hours ago, y2lamanaki said:

Yeah, I'd be on the phone with the Ravens right now. Dixon out for the year. They may want a reliable one year rental for a small price. 

I agree, good thought. The Ravens are slim pickin at RB now so maybe they'll throw us a pick for Hyde. I liked him but he's always hurt. Maybe he'll turn it around but I'm tired of waiting. 

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rudyZ    3

I don't remember, but wasn't Hightower signed before the draft? He was mostly an insurance depth guy, and we didn't know we'd trade for Bibb, draft Williams and sign Breida. Hightower's spot on the team was never guaranteed before the draft, and after the draft, in my opinion, it got very precarious. I don't think his chances are very high of making the roster. 

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Forge    42
5 hours ago, rudyZ said:

I don't remember, but wasn't Hightower signed before the draft? He was mostly an insurance depth guy, and we didn't know we'd trade for Bibb, draft Williams and sign Breida. Hightower's spot on the team was never guaranteed before the draft, and after the draft, in my opinion, it got very precarious. I don't think his chances are very high of making the roster. 

I think Breida has to show up in preseason to make that likely. I said it earlier, Hightower is just a professional running back. He does the things, like blocking, that rookie running backs typically aren't great at.  If Breida lives up to the camp promise, it'd be hard to keep him off, but i still think its an uphill battle for now.

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rudyZ    3
14 hours ago, Forge said:

I think Breida has to show up in preseason to make that likely. I said it earlier, Hightower is just a professional running back. He does the things, like blocking, that rookie running backs typically aren't great at.  If Breida lives up to the camp promise, it'd be hard to keep him off, but i still think its an uphill battle for now.

John Lynch has shown every signs of being a good GM so far, so maybe he'd do Hightower a favor by not having him be a third stringer on a rebuilding team (assuming any other team would want him). So in my mind, it's more about the addition of Williams than Breida's. Hightower thought he had a decent chance of being a #2. I don't know. Maybe he's fine with being a #3. Maybe no other team even offered him a contract at the time we did, and there really isn't a market for him. Maybe he starts the year with us, but if we like Breida, and there seems to be a possibility he gets signed off the PS (I'm assuming that's where he's heading), then maybe we cut Hightower, since we're not going anywhere this year anyway. So I'll change my statement. His chances of making the roster are decent. And then, there's the risk of injuries, that might cement his roster spot. But if there's no major injury, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't end the year on the team. 

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