Lowell Cohn: 49ers' Carlos Hyde could 'potentially' be bigger than Anquan Boldin

  • San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde catches a pass during NFL football mini-camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Today’s key word is “potentially.”

I’m saying 49ers rookie running back Carlos Hyde is more important to the team than terrific, fantastic, exceptional wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Potentially.

I’m saying Hyde brings more to the Niners than Boldin, even though Boldin was named the team MVP last season. Potentially.

This is nothing against Boldin, absolutely essential to the team. I use him as an example to show Hyde’s enormous impact. Potentially.

Look at it like this. The 49ers traded for Boldin before last season to improve their passing game. And he responded. He is one heck of a receiver and he’s a tough guy. He led the team with 85 catches and 1,179 receiving yards. He was a big deal.

Hyde can be a bigger deal.


For starters, Boldin is part of the passing game, a somewhat vestigial aspect of the 49ers’ offense. The 49ers are a running team. They are not a team that uses the West Coast Offense. They are more University of Michigan under Bo Schembechler.

Which means Boldin, as great as he is, was a little off the point of the 49ers’ primary focus. With Boldin in the starting lineup, the 49ers did not improve. They pretty much stayed the same, although without Boldin they went to the Super Bowl and with him they didn’t. Boldin helped the 49ers maintain. He did not help them advance.

I am not putting down Boldin and the 49ers’ passing game. I am stating facts. The Niners passed less frequently than any team in the NFL last season, ranked dead last in pass attempts. But they ranked third in rushing attempts last season.

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