clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chip Kelly might actually try and use Jarryd Hayne in 49ers offense

New, comments

The San Francisco 49ers have an intriguing weapon in Jarryd Hayne. He did not get a lot of opportunities in 2015, but the hiring of Chip Kelly could make things interesting in 2016.

The San Francisco 49ers decision to hire Chip Kelly will have ramifications up and down the roster. The quarterback position is what we think of first, but even a guy like Jarryd Hayne stands to benefit tremendously from the change.

Hayne signed with the 49ers a little under a year ago, and in the preseason showed off some impressive athleticism. He did benefit for stretches by facing second, third and fourth-stringers, but there was no doubting his ability in open space was quite impressive.

Hayne opened the season on the roster, but was subsequently shuffled to the practice squad. He was brought back to the 53-man roster late in the season, but the team did not push the opportunity all that much in 2015. Hayne and the coaching staff was asked about this numerous times. They all pointed to the valuable education he was getting on the practice squad, which is a good point. Practice squad players also serve as the scout team for each week's opponent preparation. This meant Hayne could be anything from a running back to a safety. Even though he is competing for an opportunity as a returner and running back, learning a lot of football basics is useful.

All that being said, it did feel at times like the 49ers coaching staff was not all that interested in experimenting with Hayne. While we have no idea what kind of career Hayne will end up having in the NFL, he strikes me as the kind of weapon that Chip Kelly will have some fun with this coming season. Whether it works out remains to be seen, but the potential use of Hayne is intriguing to consider.

And yes, Jarryd Hayne is excited about the hiring, or at least portraying himself as such: