Jarryd Hayne was a rugby superstar before he opted to follow his dream and try out for the NFL. The good news is that Hayne made it, playing last year for the San Francisco 49ers. The bad news is that he didn’t make much of an impact, having only 17 rushing attempts for 52 yards in eight games before getting waived.
Hayne has now opted to go back to rugby instead of trying to stick it out another year, and it turns out that San Francisco’s new head coach may be a big reason why.
Hayne told The Sydney Morning Herald that it took him almost 12 full months to grasp the playbook of former Niners coach Jim Tomsula, and if it took Hayne a year to understand the playbook of a guy that is probably more well known for being a firewood cutter and a doormat salesman than a football coach, it only was going to get worse when the madness of Chip Kelly came in. Hayne, somewhat understandably, wanted no part of it.
“I just think with Chip’s playbook, it’s such an intense playbook that it would just take too much time,” Hayne told Fairfax Media.
“Me not having that college history, I think a lot of the guys adapt to it a lot faster because they’ve had the college playbooks at thought. I was always behind the nine ball just learning in general. The guys playing in college were just that far ahead.
Hayne has a point that those who have played football all their lives had a huge leg up over him when it came to understanding a playbook. However, there was a much greater chance of an offensive coach like Kelly finding a use for Hayne than there was with Tomsula, so maybe Hayne just felt more comfortable playing the sport that he’s a legend in rather than opting to figure out the complex world that is the NFL.