San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne is continuing his adjustment to American football. The former Australian rugby league superstar got consistent reps out of the backfield throughout OTAs.
Now that the team's three-day minicamp is underway, Hayne is getting his first playing experience inside of Levi's® Stadium. The 49ers will spend all three sessions, Tuesday through Thursday, on their home field.
Click through to see the former Australian rugby league star move through a running backs drill during a 49ers OTA session.
Hayne is still getting reps at punt returner along with veteran running back Reggie Bush. The running back group also got some work in with the wide receivers during individual drills Tuesday. Each running back was split wide for one rep, running a go route towards the end zone. Hayne's ball was thrown just a bit short, but the Aussie adjusted and made the grab as he fell to the ground.
Hayne said Tuesday that he's feeling more comfortable in his new confines now that all his studying in the classroom is translating to the practice field.
"It's all coming to the front now with reps and understanding," Hayne said. "It's just with time. Time is the biggest key. The more time I get on the field and the more time I get training, I'll understand the concepts and the routes a lot better."
The big assessment of Hayne's potential will come in training camp when the pads come on. Hayne knows that's when he'll really have to prove he can make it in the NFL.
"It's one thing running routes with no pads, but it will be a different level when pads come on," Hayne said. "That will be the real test."
Hayne said that he's gone through a half-dozen sessions in pads with an American football team based in Sydney. The running back also mentioned that his biggest room for improvement is in his running style. The film doesn't lie, however, as Hayne said he can already see his progress.
"My running style is the biggest thing I need to change, with being so high. ... We watched some video today of where I was to where I am now," said Hayne. "It's better but obviously a lot more to improve."
As for pass blocking, Hayne said that's a skill that translates quite well from his rugby league days. The ball-carrier explained that reading body language pre-snap is his focus, which he said was "not out of his depth."
Hayne plans on heading back home to Australia once his offseason obligations with the 49ers are through. He'll return with the rest of the rookies in late July for training camp.