Maybe he would have said this if he were in Jacksonville, Cleveland or Detroit, too. That’s what athletes typically do when they introduce themselves to the local media.
But when running back Carlos Hyde said he always wanted to play in Seattle, he seemed sincere.
It makes sense, even as a former San Francisco 49er who battled the Seahawks twice a year. If you want to run, this is the organization for you.
“Going against the guys for four years in my time being in San Fran, I just saw how they always ran the ball even when Marshawn (Lynch) was there,” Hyde said. “The way they ran the ball, it was a strength of my game.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is an A-list signal caller who is in the conversation for NFL MVP nearly every season. And the emergence of receivers such as Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf added a dynamic level to the receiving corps that had gone missing for a while.
But the Seahawks are still a run-first team and likely always will be so long as Pete Carroll is the coach. And the acquisition of Hyde just made the staple of their offense a whole lot better.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Seattle signed a veteran running back. Rashaad Penny’s ACL tear almost assuredly will prevent him from being ready for Week 1, which should put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list through at least Week 6.
But Hyde might actually be an upgrade from Penny.
Last year he ran for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns while gaining 4.4 yards per carry for the Houston Texans. And he did it all despite tearing his labrum in Week 2 and playing injured the rest of the season. Does that mean he’ll have a chance to unseat Chris Carson as the Seahawks’ go-to ball carrier? Well, let’s not go that far.
“It’s probably an open competition for that second role,” Hyde said. “Me personally, I don’t think there’s probably an open competition for the starting role. I think everybody knows who the starting running back is for Seattle, and that’s Carson. I knew that before I even signed here.”
But that doesn’t mean Hyde can’t be a significant asset. Assuming Carson and Carlos are healthy at the start of the year, the Seahawks will have two players coming off 1,000-yard seasons.
The prospect of them both rushing for 1,000-plus yards next year are slim, as a pair of teammates doing so has happened only six times in NFL history.
Then again, given how Seattle notched 2,200 rushing yards last season, good for fourth in the league, you never know.
As for Hyde’s shoulder, he is still rehabbing. A hit in the Texans’ division-round playoff loss to the Chiefs last year forced him to have offseason surgery.
Luckily, the COVID-19 shutdown has not disrupted the healing process, and he thinks he’ll be fine come the start of the season.
“I feel good now,” he said. “My shoulder has gotten a lot stronger than what it was feeling before I got the surgery.”
The biggest news out of Hyde’s news conference Monday was his calling for an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick. The two played together in San Francisco, and though he doesn’t plan to protest, Hyde said he will join teammates in demonstrations if it’s a team-wide decision. Translation … regardless of his beliefs, he seems like a team-first guy.
As for his hobbies? Well, a question about fishing prompted more excitement than anything football related.
Hyde said he might try fly-fishing but prefers to go out in the deep sea.
“I like catching the big stuff,” Hyde said. “My size.”
He’s a big dude, and if he can perform like he did for the Texans, a big get, too.