No Worries At Running Back
May 10 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Garrison Hearst. Kevan Barlow. Garrison Hearst. Kevan Barlow. Gosh it feels nice having two very competent runners, healthy and ready for the season. The 49ers havenít experienced the luxury of having one running back ready for the season, let alone two any time in recent history. What a relief.
For the first time in a long time, the 49ers wont have to worry about whether Garrison Hearst will be healthy for the season, or whether heíll be able to withstand a seasonís worth of beatings. They already know he is healthy, and he can live through a season. So rather than spending efforts searching for a running back, the 49ers are searching for ways to get their running backs the ball more.
Coach Mariucci loves to run the ball, so giving him so much talent at the running back spot is like giving candy to a baby. Mariucci is already looking forward to bringing back the split back formation and featuring both Barlow and Hearst on the field at the same time. Oh the potential.
The 49ers having solidified their running back situation so effectively, is just another example of how far the team has come in three short years. Tom Rathman must have a large smile on his face this off-season. He has two healthy understudies ready to go, and plenty of depth at the position. Wow, have times changed.