Tomsula: Reggie Bush 'can be an every-down back'

PHOENIX -- Jim Tomsula at last month's combine was hellbent on bringing Frank Gore back to San Francisco.

Instead, the 49ers wound up with Reggie Bush, a completely different type of runner in the backfield, but an athlete the coach gushed over during Wednesday's NFC coaches breakfast.

"Reggie can be an every-down back. He's done that in the NFL," Tomsula said, pointing specifically to Bush's distant 1,086-yard campaign with the Dolphins in 2011.

Bush also put up 1,000 yards rushing two seasons ago in Detroit, but Tomsula acknowledged the team isn't counting on the back for that kind of workload, saying: "I don't know that we're looking at it that way."

"Reggie's a very good space player," Tomsula said. "Reggie can -- it's well-documented -- his skill set on third downs. Reggie's a guy -- he's a running back. He's not a gadget guy, in my opinion. I think Reggie Bush is a running back. I'm really excited about having Reggie joining the crew."

We still view Carlos Hyde as the likely candidate to lead the team in carries, but Tomsula also mentioned fifth-year runner Kendall Hunter as an asset who could see more work in 2015.

"Right now, we've got three guys in the backfield that we feel great about, we feel really, really good about," Tomsula said. "And they're all just a little bit different. So as we get rolling here and we throw the ball out on the field, let's take a look at what each guy does and build off that."

Tomsula, in general, feels like a coach still figuring it all out. He spoke vaguely on Wednesday about his players, especially on offense, but his admiration for Bush's unique gifts was genuine. We'll find out soon enough if that translates into a bigger-than-expected workload.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the inaugural Veteran Combine and discusses which star players were helped (and hurt) by free agency. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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