49ers RB Legend Roger Craig Shares Advice for Jarryd Hayne

The interest in Jarryd Hayne reaches far beyond the shores of Australia.

The San Francisco 49ers rookie running back and former Australian Rugby League star has even drawn the interest of a certain 49ers legend.

Roger Craig, a former 49ers running back and member of the franchise's Hall-of-Fame, recently weighed in on Hayne via "The Daily Telegraph."

In the article penned by the all-time great, Craig covered everything from why the coaching staff wants to ease him into more playing time to what he wants to see from Hayne himself.

"Read the playbook, talk to your coaches, study tape of other running backs," Craig wrote. "The 49ers have had some good ones over the years. He might want to check out some of my moves on YouTube!"

Craig acknowledged that the running back position is among the hardest to learn for any player, let along one who is new to football all together. Thus far, Hayne has received six carries and turned them into 16 yards while adding one reception for seven yards.

"There is much more to know as a running back compared to some other positions," Craig wrote. "You have to know running and passing routes, how to read a defense and to know whether it's man or zone."

So what would Craig explain to Hayne if he got the chance?

"Here's what I would say to Jarryd," Craig wrote. "'We don't need you to be the hero. We're not expecting you to win the game for us. Your job is to learn, listen, work hard and get better every week.'"

Craig, who won three Super Bowls with the 49ers, said that he'd like to see Hayne used more on special teams in order to fit the running back's established skillset. That means more reps both as a returner and on coverage teams.

Through two games, Hayne has two punt returns for seven total yards and one tackle on special teams.

"Let him go out there and make a hit on someone and feel like he's contributed," Craig wrote. "That has to be good for his confidence and it's something he did in rugby league all the time."

One particular play that caught Craig's eye was Hayne's 12-yard reception against the San Diego Chargers in Week 4 of the preseason. At the end of the play, Hayne lowered his shoulder into a Chargers defensive back and sent him to the turf.

"I want to see him lower the boom on someone," Craig wrote. "That will get the respect of defenses. Once he runs over the top of someone, they won't know whether he's going to juke or charge through. Mix it up. Confuse and intimidate them.

"He needs to feel like the baddest man on the planet when he runs out there."

Craig knows a thing or two about having success in the NFL. The 49ers legend made four Pro Bowls during his eight seasons in San Francisco and is the franchise's third all-time leading rusher.

From one running back to another, Craig thinks that Hayne's moment is coming.

"The opportunities are going to get bigger and bigger for him," Craig wrote. "I think he will be playing a lot of minutes soon. The Niners are going to need someone to relieve (Carlos) Hyde and (Reggie) Bush has some history with injuries. That will open the door for Jarryd. He needs to be ready."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising