<
>

Jim Tomsula pumping brakes on Jarryd Hayne Hype Train

Count Jim Tomsula among the purported minority not surprised by Jarryd Hayne's star turn in the San Francisco 49ers' exhibition opener Saturday night, a 23-10 loss to the Houston Texans.

But make sure you put Tomsula in the driver's seat when it comes to pumping the brakes on the Hayne Hype Train.

"I'd just like to temper everything," Tomsula said in a conference call with beat writers on Sunday. "We don’t need to put undue things on Jarryd, undue expectations. It’s not necessary, to me, to put that on his plate right now.

“I just want him to stay focused on getting better. The guy’s a world-class athlete. Played professional sports for seven, eight, nine years.”

The Australian rugby star, in his first NFL training camp, accounted for 120 yards against the Texans. He rushed for a game-high 63 yards, including a 53-yard burst down the left sideline thanks to blocks from fullback Bruce Miller and backup left tackle Patrick Miller, returned two punts for 24 yards and had a kickoff return for 33 yards.

This all happened with the second-team units.

“I guess I’m not as shocked or, I don’t know what the word is, that Jarryd was able to field punts and run, or field kicks and run, or that Jarryd was able to see creases and take them and then get into the open field and avoid (opponents),” Tomsula said. “I’ve seen him do all those things. I watched a lot of film on Jarryd Hayne playing rugby.”

Of course, Hayne is only now getting used to wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, let alone taking NFL hits. It’s all a learning process.

“We’re definitely looking for the growth to be from Week 1 to Week 2…and then (Week) 2 to (Week) 3,” Tomsula said. “After Week 3…you’re running out of time. We want to see the growth between these two games.

“The things that excite me about Jarryd Hayne, the things that we’ve got to stay on, is when you get into those tighter quarters and see those little creases. That’s where the improvement is. That’s just where he needs to keep working. Not that he’s bad at it; he’s not. But we’ve just got to keep improving there.”