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Niners RBs Kendall Hunter, Carlos Hyde vying for featured role
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

From 2006 through last year, there was no question about who would assume the featured back role for the 49ers.

It was Frank Gore. Period.

Times have changed. Gore has moved on to Indianapolis. Second-year back Carlos Hyde is his heir apparent, but the job will not be handed to him on a silver platter. The team added Reggie Bush in free agency, drafted Mike Davis in the fourth round and still has Kendall Hunter.

The latter is intriguing. He sat out 2014 with a torn ACL, but rushed for more yards in each of his first three seasons than the 333 Hyde recorded last year. And Hunter is fully recovered.

"He's coming along great," Jim Tomsula told CSNBayArea.com. "I think we all have strong feelings for Kendall. You see him out there moving. He's moving around great. But we definitely have a rep count on him. ... You've got to keep him corralled. But he's moving around really quick."

Hunter has 1,202 yards (4.6 average) and seven touchdowns in 43 career games.

Tomsula believes the 49ers are covered at running back no matter who emerges to earn the bulk of the work.

"I'm not talking depth charts or anything right now, but they're all getting after it."

All except Hyde, who has been sidelined for a couple weeks with a minor pull in his leg (not his hamstring). Tomsula said if it were the regular season, he would be active.

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49ers RB Reggie Bush wants punt return duties
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer

49ers running back Reggie Bush is a 10-year veteran who hasn't returned a punt in four years, but he wants that role with his new team.

Bush, who has returned four punts for touchdowns in his career, last returned punts as a member of the Dolphins in 2011, but believes he can help the 49ers from that position.

“I did miss it and I just felt like the opportunity was there for me. Just speaking with the coaches, I told them I wanted to return punts and they were all for it. I think it’s something that gives me another way to showcase my talents and help the team. The past four years, just sitting back and watching, it was something I kind of missed, making an impact from a special teams standpoint.”

Bush has totaled 772 yards on 98 career punt returns.

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1432658999
49ers DE Tank Carradine ready for increased playing time in 2015
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer

The 49ers are poised to slot Tank Carradine as a starting defensive end in 2015. Carradine, who was drafted in 2013, did not play in his rookie season due to ACL surgery. In 2015, Carradine played nine games, recording three sacks and 16 total tackles.

Now, with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald no longer on the team's defensive line, the 49ers are expecting to have Carradine be a more regular player this season, playing along side linebacker Aldon Smith.

“We work together a little bit, figuring out what kind of stunts and things we could do,” Carradine said, per CSN Bay Area. “I’m excited to work with him this year. He’s a great pass-rusher. I feel like I can bring something to the table to help him as well as he helps me.”

Carradine will likely get action on the right defensive end and spots along the defensive line. 

“We got guys who can play left and right end,” Carradine said. “We got guys who can play in the nickel package. We got guys who can play in the base package. So it’s different. We’re all going to work together. Each guy does things different. We’re going to do it together and get things done. For me, I can do both. I’m excited about it. Other guys can do it as well.”

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1432570189
Report: Bears DT Ray McDonald arrested for domestic violence
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer

According to NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo, Bears defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and possible child endangerment in California. No other information has been made available.

McDonald, who was released by the 49ers last December after being arrested in the second of separate sexual assualt and domestic violence cases, signed with the Bears in the offseason and said he was planning to sue the accuser in one of his sexual assault charges. 

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Entering third season, 49ers' Lawrence Okoye eyeing roster spot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer

This might finally be the year Lawrence Okoye can crack a spot on the 49ers' roster, per the Bay Area News Group.

Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Okoye has worked under new head coach Jim Tomsula for two years and with Justin Smith's retirement, his emergence might be rewarded.

“You’re going to get lots of people telling you things. But the main thing is to just keep yourself motivated, despite what people say about you," Okoye said. "People will write you off. People will say this or that. Just keep yourself motivated, keep going every day and you’ll be good.”

 

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