New San Francisco 49ers recruit Jarryd Hayne is turning up to training with cheat notes stashed inside his uniform.
Hayne has been studying the 49ers playbook exhaustively, but his teammate Carlos Hyde said he has adopted a novel approach to committing them to memory.
“He goes out to walk-through (practice) with a cheat sheet,” Hyde said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone go out with notes.”
The 26-year-old former Eels star said he oftens falls asleep at midnight with the playbook in his hands.
Some of Hayne’s San Francisco 49er teammates weigh 140kg and stand 225cm tall, but say they’re a little scared to come to Australia.
They’ve asked the NRL convert if kangaroos are Australia’s deadliest animals.
They also want to know about the continent’s snakes, spiders and lizards.
“They were saying how they wouldn’t go to Australia because there’s so many dangerous animals,” Hayne, who showed teammates YouTube videos of big red kangaroos fighting, laughed.
Hayne was surrounded by a scrum of Australian and US reporters in the 49ers locker room on Wednesday.
It is the first time Hayne has spoken to the media since arriving at the NFL team’s Santa Clara base, just south of San Francisco, on April 7.
The former Parramatta, NSW and Australia star says he is loving every minute of his NFL experiment.
The team currently has about 90 players, but that will be cut down to 53 on the eve of the 2015-16 season at the end of August.
Hayne declined to say what he thought his chances were to make the roster or the eight-man practice squad, adding that his focus was to get better each day.
“We are only three weeks in and I’m just taking it day-by-day,” he said.
There was speculation about what position Hayne would play, but he says he’s been training with the running back and special teams squads.
As well as memorising thick play books Hayne the past month has been struggling with the every day problems a new Aussie in the US faces.
There’s the issue of finding a decent cup of coffee and he’s thinking of importing an espresso machine from Australia.
“Coffee is OK,” he smiled.
“(Teammate) Jerome Simpson loves a coffee in the morning and I (said) ‘Mate, if I have a chance to go back I’m going to get an espresso machine.”
There’s also the car problem.
Hayne put out an SOS on Twitter a few weeks ago about tips on leasing a car in San Francisco, but he is still existing with his rental.
And, of course, there’s the Aussie accent.
He has discovered Americans have trouble understanding him, particularly when he uses phrases like “heaps better”.
“I have to speak really slow,” he said.
“I have a tendency to speak pretty fast.”