When the Chiefs looked to add running back this offseason, they went with experience.
Carlos Hyde, the sixth-year back who signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Chiefs in March, has started 43 of the 64 NFL games in which he has played, and has logged two 900-plus yard rushing seasons.
He arrived in Kansas City to compete at a position where Damien Williams had established himself as a starter over the season’s final month.
At training camp at Missouri Western, Hyde spent the past week running with the starters along with Darrel Wiliams as Damien Williams recovers from a hamstring injury.
This is Hyde’s fourth NFL team and he’s not been part of anything quite like this Chiefs offense. And that made the choice of where to sign easy.
“Seeing how explosive the offense is, how many points they put up on defense, it was a no-brainer for me,” Hyde said.
Hyde wants to find ways to contribute to what was the NFL’s top offense in points and yards last season. The running back room is crowded, with Damien Williams, Hyde, Darrel Williams, drafted rookie Darwin Thompson and now converted cornerback Tremon Smith, among others.
An advantage for Hyde is his experience in receiving. He led the San Francisco 49ers with 59 receptions in 2017 and loves what the Chiefs do with the screen game.
“I honestly didn’t run too many screens with the teams I’ve been on,” Hyde said. “I always wanted to. You can get a big play, an explosive play out of screens. I’m definitely excited about that.”
Hyde opened last season with the Cleveland Browns and finished with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in 2018 but owns a 4.0-career average. He comes to a team where backs averaged 4.8 last year.
And Hyde, who said he’d give himself a B-plus for his training camp performance, is getting plenty of work with Damien Williams out.
“I can’t tell you exactly when (Williams will return),” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He’s missed quite a bit, missed a lot of plays but it’s been great for the other guys.
“Carlos has done a nice job. He’s getting a lot of reps and he’s taking advantage of them.”
Missing practice Saturday were Williams (hamstring), safety Jordan Lucas (hamstring), wide receiver Gehrig Dieter (back) and linebacker Damien Wilson (knee).
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued to look sharp, but the defense had plenty of big moments on Saturday.
Rookie safety Juan Thornhill continued to impress with an interception and a nice pass breakup on a ball intended for Mecole Hardman.
The Chiefs have been using safeties Thornhill, Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen in a sub-package.
Tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are working hard against end Frank Clark and Alex Okafor. There was no tackling Saturday, but Clark and Okafor would have collected sacks.
Tanoh Kpassagnon has been working at defensive tackle in nickel packages, and for at least one snap the Chiefs had a defensive front of Clark, Kpassagnon, Chris Jones and Okafor.