Carlos Hyde already has crossed off his first offseason goal of recovering from the stress fracture in his foot that cost him nine games last season.
Now the 49ers running back is working on goal No. 2: slimming down and getting in shape for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo and physically demanding offense.
“The minute I saw that the 49ers got Chip Kelly, we completely changed his approach to how he trained,” said David Alexander, who has been working with Hyde for two seasons at DBC Fitness in Miami, and who posted a video of his client this week.
Those changes include Hyde’s diet and the way he trains. Alexander said he wants Hyde, who is listed at 235 pounds, to get down to 220 pounds or so without losing any of his power. He said the running back is under 230 pounds.
Last year in Philadelphia, Kelly divided carries among running backs DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. The 49ers’ top three runners this year might be Hyde, Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris with Mike Davis, Kendall Gaskins, Jarryd Hayne and any other back the team adds in coming months also competing for playing time.
Hyde, if he stays healthy, promises to get the bulk of the snaps.
“I’ve got his mind wrapped around being on the field 10 plays straight,” Alexander said.
Another player who could run the ball in Kelly’s offense is Bruce Ellington, who is listed as a wide receiver and also is one of Alexander’s clients.
Ellington’s build – 5-9, 197 pounds – and strength has prompted the 49ers to give him carries in the past, and Kelly wondered aloud last month what his role might be in 2016.
“When you look at just the short time that I’ve seen just film of him, you’re like, ‘Wow – that kid can do some interesting things,’ ” Kelly said at the NFL scouting combine. “Then it’s our job to figure out how we can use that to help us win games.”
Alexander said he’ll typically pair a wide receiver to train with another player at his position. A few days a week, however, he put Ellington and Hyde together in anticipation of Ellington working out of the backfield.
“He really is a special athlete,” he said of Ellington. “He just oozes athleticism.”
Wide receiver DeAndrew White also has been in Miami working with his 49ers teammates. All three plan to be back in Santa Clara for the start of the team’s offseason program on April 4, Alexander said.