NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles
Nov 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly prior to game action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » Chip Kelly “Excited to Get his Hands on” Jarryd Hayne

Chip Kelly “Excited to Get his Hands on” Jarryd Hayne

As the San Francisco 49ers undergo yet another tumultuous offseason of change, many questions remain unanswered over how the team’s current personnel will fit into new head coach Chip Kelly’s unique system in 2016.

One such player is fringe running back and former Australian rugby league superstar Jarryd Hayne. Hayne made headlines both in America and down under with his exciting punt returns and hard-hitting offense in the 2015 preseason, but was quickly brought back down to earth with some fumbles and a general lack of production against first-string competition.

49ers General Manager Trent Baalke addressed Hayne’s position with the team and Kelly through the week, telling the Australian media, “They always say the biggest jump for a player is between year one and year two. We expect the same for Jarryd.”

“He knows what it takes now, he knows what he needs to work on, and I know he is focused on working on those things this offseason,” Baalke continued. “[Kelly is] excited to get his hands on him; the whole coaching staff is. We’ll find out in short order who fits and who doesn’t fit.”

Despite struggling to earn lengthy playing time in 2015, a couple of factors appear to work in Hayne’s favour with Kelly at the helm. Firstly, Kelly’s lightning-quick offense – predicated on snapping the ball within twenty seconds of the previous play ending – shouldn’t be a factor for Hayne and his conditioning as a former MVP in one of the fastest, toughest games on earth.

Also, though Hayne was a distant fifth behind Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Mike Davis and Kendall Gaskins on the depth chart, Kelly has shown that he is not above mixing and matching personnel at that position in his fast paced scheme. Last year with the Eagles, Kelly routinely gave Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles extended playing time in favour of the then-defending rushing champion DeMarco Murray.

Chip will always have a bad rep in Philly as the man who joined the franchise straight out of college, stuck around for three years, traded all the team’s star players, and promptly left.

Regardless, Kelly has always been an excellent evaluator of talent. With Hayne, he might have met his greatest challenge yet, and one that could pay dividends as early as 2016 for this once-proud franchise.

  • 100%