Posted: 21 August, 2015
Jarryd Hayne says he can crack the NFL team's final 53-man roster.
Jarryd Hayne of San Francisco 49ers speaks to the media Photo: San Francisco 49ers screen grab
Jarryd Hayne says he still has a lot to learn at the San Francisco 49ers but is confident he can crack the NFL team's final 53-man roster. Listen to Jarryd Hayne's full press conference below.
Hayne dazzled in his NFL pre-season debut against Houston Texans on Sunday (AEST), playing both as a running back and kick returner and breaking through the Texans' defence to make an eye-catching 53-yard run.
With their next pre-season game at home against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, the former Parramatta Eels and NSW fullback told reporters on Thursday he's still in a process of adjustment from rugby league, but was confident he could make it in the NFL.
"Obviously, I'm far away from being a crisp running back," he said.
"Returning punts and kick-offs is the thing that I'm most natural at.
"But for me I've got to work on my whole game. There's not one or two things I need to work on, it's everything.
"From the way I run routes to the way I handle the ball, picking up blitzes, for me there's a whole bunch of things I not only need to get used to, but get better at as well."
Jarryd Hayne Press Conference. Listen Below.
Hayne was thankful for the support of star 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the roster upon his arrival in San Francisco.
"For `Kap' to welcome me with open arms was huge," he said.
"It's something that I'm very grateful for, and all the boys that were there were great.
"They all helped me out as much as they could and they're all rooting for me as well.
"That's been great, to be able to muck around with the lads and not get that homesickness."
Jarryd Hayne Training with the 49ers in NFL Offseason Workouts
First footage of Jarryd Hayne working out with the 49ers has emerged. Video: YouTube
Hayne has garnered intense media interest in both Australia and his new home in the US, but most importantly the former NRL star continues to impress one of his coaches that will help make a call on whether he makes the final cut to be announced on September 5.
San Francisco's special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. said Hayne had all the raw tools to make a great NFL punt returner, with the lateral quickness and fearlessness needed to thrive in the position.
But the 27-year-old had not yet guaranteed his spot on the roster, according to McGaughey.
"He has a lot of natural ability, but we have to be realistic, too," he said.
"He's got a long way to go, he's doing some good things and hopefully he'll continue down that path.
"The key is to get vertical, and that's what I'm trying to impress upon him now."
Jarryd Hayne of San Francisco 49ers rus over players in his debut Photo: San Francisco 49ers screen grab
Hayne said that despite the constant changes of preseason he was feeling comfortable in his adaptation to the new rules and bright lights of American gridiron.
"I was always confident, for me I didn't need to play to have that confidence, I knew I was always going to have to work on something," he said.
"I was fortunate enough to have a couple of good plays.
"For me, it's about Dallas this week and just being consistent in what I do."
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