Three won’t be a crowd for the 49ers’ running backs.
Matt Breida said he feels good about his role within the San Francisco backfield, despite Jerick McKinnon returning from a torn ACL and the addition of Tevin Coleman.
Many speculated Breida would be traded after the 49ers signed Coleman to a two-year, $8.5 million deal one year after McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million deal.
However, Breida said there is a plan on how all three tailbacks will be used in 2019.
“They’ve talked to us about it. They’ve said, ‘Hey, we’re going to use all you guys,'” Breida said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “All three of us are going to be used a lot. I don’t want to give away any secrets, but we’re all going to be used in the offense.”
Breida backs up what coach Kyle Shanahan said in March after Coleman was signed — all three men were to stay on the roster and that it was a blessing, not a burden, to have three capable running backs.
It’s unclear how Shanahan will utilize them and how the snaps will be divided, but Breida said he’s going to perform even better than he did last season.
“I know what I did last year,” Breida said, who was an undrafted free agent in 2017. “Everyone thinks I did a good job, but I know I can do better.”
Last season, Breida rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns and also had 261 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt (5.3) and sixth in runs of 20 yards or more with 10.
Despite all this, Breida wasn’t 100 percent healthy. He suffered a sprained ankle and missed two games, but was listed as questionable for six others.
“It’s just one of those things — are you going to play or not?” Brieda said. “Depending on the player, some guys would sit out. It’s totally up to you. But I felt like I wanted to be out there. I wanted to win. I wanted to be with my teammates. …
“I still had my burst but I wasn’t able to make every cut. There were cuts I could make and then it was, ‘OK, it’s time to try to run somebody over. Try to do this a little differently.’ You just compensate and do the best you can with what you’ve got.”