The appointment of new San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is the best chance for Jarryd Hayne to improve, according to a former NFL scout.
Kelly, who is known for his fast-paced and innovative offense, was announced as the new 49ers coach last week to replace fired mentor Jim Tomsula.
“This is the best-case scenario for Jarryd Hayne in terms of improving,” John Middlekauff, a former Philadelphia Eagles scout and current media commentator said on San Francisco’s 95.7 The Game.
Kelly demands high fitness levels from his players to run opposition teams ragged and support the break-neck pace which his offense operates at.
Middlekauff said he expected Kelly to put the 49ers through a tough work out during offseason training, which starts on April 4.
“Jarryd will get so much work and maybe he can exponentially improve more than he would in any other off-season program,” Middlekauff said.
He added Kelly put a high value on running backs, the position where Hayne finished this season for the 49ers.
But Middlekauff believes Hayne might not be worthy of securing a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster.
“Chip’s best offenses have multiple backs,” Middlekauff said.
“He wants NFL, high-level guys. That running backs position, that’s one of his babies.
“He could coach Jarryd up, maybe sign a (free agent) to go with (Carlos) Hyde, and draft a guy. Even then, Hayne might not be 53-man worthy.
“He’s a practice-squad guy for a couple years, in my mind.”
Hayne is currently in Australia on holiday and will return to off-season training in April where he will get the chance to convince the 49ers’ coaching staff to keep him.