When he signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March, running back Carlos Hyde knew a few things about his new team. They had played in the AFC Championship Game, had a top-notch quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and players at his position had fared well under Andy Reid.
What he didn’t realize what how much the Chiefs throw to the running back.
“I didn’t know they used the running back so much in the passing game until I got here,” Hyde said. “It put a smile on my face.”
The best of Hyde’s previous NFL seasons occurred in 2017 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He rushed for 938 yards as the primary back and led the team with 59 receptions.
“I had a little success catching the ball, the first time I really got to show my hands a little bit,” Hyde said.
In the Chiefs offense, everyone catches more passes with Mahomes as the quarterback, but the running back has been a primary target in coach Andy Reid’s years.
Look no further than the team’s previous game. Running back Damien Williams scored three touchdowns against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, two by receiving.
“You’re not just one-dimensional here,” Hyde said. “You have to do it all. You line up at receiver, actually run wheel routes, you block, you do it all. You really get to showcase your ability.”
That was the plan for Hyde after his 2013 season at Ohio State, where he rushed for 1,527 yards. The 49ers made him a second-round pick, the third running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft behind Bishop Sankey and Jeremy Hill.
Hyde became a starter in his second year but his season ended after seven games because of a foot fracture. He was the team’s starter the next two years before signing with the Cleveland Browns.
Hyde split the 2018 season with the Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished with 571 yards and five touchdowns.
The Chiefs started last season with Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware as their top backs. Neither are with the team. Damien Williams and Darrel Williams finished last season as the top two backs. Hyde joins them and draft pick Darwin Thompson as the players getting the most reps during minicamp, which ends on Thursday.
Powerfully built at 6-foot and 229 pounds, Hyde has worked with the first, second and third teams in the practices in shorts.
“It’s coming together now,” Hyde said. “I feel like I’m able to practice fast. This minicamp has been good for me...At the end of the day, I’m here to earn a job,” Hyde said. “I’m still trying to learn the playbook.”
Especially the pages that have him catching the ball.