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Football 40-yard times

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  • #16
    Re: Football 40-yard times

    i agree with you and you provide good evidence. the 10.2 sprinter would beat the majority of football players. most of the fastest guys in the nfl have been former sprinters and hurdlers. however, most of them have lost at least two steps in the career due to the nature of football. in a recent t&f news issue jj johnson mentioned that he was stiff after spending only a few months with an nfl team. there is no question that sprinters are faster, but very few of them have had successful nfl careers. kind of seems like a waste of their talent. even fewer came back to track after football, i think nemeiah had a successful return to track in his 30s and got a bronze in 95.

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    • #17
      Re: Football 40-yard times

      >When I was in college running the 110HH and doing
      >the jumping events, the coach decided that one
      >day he was going to time us in the 40 using the
      >ACUTRACK timer. The football team got wind of
      >this and decided that they would come and show us
      >track guys who was really the fastest.
      >


      Turns out all of those guys that ran 4.2
      >and 4.3 hand timed 40s, really ran 4.5 and 4.7
      >on the ACUTRACK machine. The fastedst time that
      >day went to our 100 meter guy who clocked in at
      >a 4.4. His top tiem in the 100m was 10.20.

      I
      >don't put any faith in 40 times.


      When I want to impress my students, I point out my poster of Allen Johnson, and tell them that his AR is THREE CONSECUTIVE 40y each in 4.3, with
      ten hurdles in the way. (I conveniently ignore the acceleration issue.)

      I remember that Ben Johnson's 1987 "WR" was broken down into 10 meter increments. If you take out reaction time and the effect of automatic timing, he was probably ran about 3.7 at 40y. And he was only as doped-up as the average NFLer . . .

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      • #18
        Re: Football 40-yard times

        Math's not my strong suit, but using figures from the November '87 T&FN, when Ben Johnson ran his WR 9.83 at the '87 World Champs he went through 30m in 3.80 and 40m in 4.66. So his average speed in that 10m segment was 11.6mps.

        Assuming that as a constant he would therefore have passed the 36.6m (40y) point in 4.37. (I think)

        And that with a just-legal reaction time of 0.109. Football times are totally irrelevant to a track reality, but they do (sigh) make sense for that world; so long as everybody is using the same rules, it's the relative difference that they care about, so they'll never change it.

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        • #19
          Re: Football 40-yard times

          >Math's not my strong suit, but using figures from
          >the November '87 T&FN, when Ben Johnson ran his
          >WR 9.83 at the '87 World Champs he went through
          >30m in 3.80 and 40m in 4.66. So his average speed
          >in that 10m segment was 11.6mps.

          Assuming
          >that as a constant he would therefore have passed
          >the 36.6m (40y) point in 4.37. (I think)

          And
          >that with a just-legal reaction time of 0.109.
          >

          Your math is correct. Take off .11 for reaction and 0.24 for automatic timing and it's about a 4.0.

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          • #20
            Re: Football 40-yard times

            Brutal ---

            Good pick on Sam Graddy.

            I happened to be sitting at the 60m point, row 7, in the LA Coliseum in 1984 on the night of the 100 meter final.

            Graddy had Carl Lewis smoked at 60 meters.

            Too bad for Graddy the race didn't end right there.

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            • #21
              Re: Football 40-yard times

              Too bad Sam graddy never did anything on the football field. He should have stuck to running.

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              • #22
                40 times

                Note on this list of 40 yard dash times the mark of Jonathan Wade. 4.19. Yeah, right!

                http://www.couchscout.com/tenn.htm

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                • #23
                  Electronic timing at the NFL combine

                  I read an article about the timing but can't find it anywhere on the web.

                  The gist of the article was that at the start the runner's hand depresses a pad. When the hand leaves the pad, timing starts. Timing ends in the same manner as the conventional dashes. At the top colleges (Miami, Florida State, etc.), trainers specifically train players how to keep one hand on the pad for as long as possible while still making an all-out start.

                  The article had speculation about how much this
                  starting scheme saved over the conventional gun, but I don't remember any hard numbers.

                  -Mark

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                  • #24
                    Re: Football 40-yard times

                    I've read a couple things about Ben Johnson as well. One article stated that some analysts used video footage of his 9.79 in Seoul to get his 40 yard time. It was a 4.26.

                    It's kind of funny the way it works. Each year, there are approximately 20-30 high school football players who are "timed" at 4.3. That means there are 20-30 high school students each year who are purportedly nearly as fast as the NFL chemically enhanced fastest man in the world. Whatever.

                    There is no doubt that there are many fast football players, as many on this board have noted. Many are former sprinters and most running backs can turn in a 10.4-10.6h just off of the training they do for football. If they underook a real track training program, most of them could run at least that fast w/automatic timing.

                    However, no way are they faster than elite level sprinters, with several exceptions. These posts have forgotten to mention James Jett, the Raiders wideout who beat Carl Lewis at the 1992 Oly trials (however, Lewis had a stomach virus that day).

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                    • #25
                      Re: Football 40-yard times

                      In football it's not just the time but the SIZE that counts.

                      Back in early 1990, I was finishing track practice at Ole Miss and a friend of mine, Tony Bennett was training on the practice football field for a Pro football combine. Tony was an all american and later a star in the NFL at Defensive End with Indy (and later Green Bay before Reggie). Tony asked me to time him the 40y, as he only trusted a Track guy with giving him an accurate time. He said to start the timing at his first movement. Now I had always watched Tony play from the stands and this was the first time I was this close to him when he was in foll flight. I can't begin to tell you how scary it was as a 5'7" 130 lb. distance runner to have a 6'4" 260 lbs. man (who had even less body fat that me) come at you at top speed. I hand timed him at 4.5 secs for the 40y (on grass). Which is what he ran at the combine and is very fast for someone that size. From that day forward I new respect for QB's who have multiple guys that size going full bore at them every play.

                      As I can not attest to its not just the speed but the size that is impressive.

                      Also remeber that these times are on grass which is a significantly slower surface for a sprinter.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Football 40-yard times

                        Was wondering when someone would mention Jett - who I believe also got a Gold on a 4 x 1 - also M. Bates - kick return and 200m, James Lofton, LJ and 200m - pretty good wide receiver at in his mid 40's now still runs around 50 flat in 400 - always loved it when they talked about Deon being the fastest, or so fast - he was a 10.21 100m I believe - Donald Driver was a 7'7" HJ range guy -

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                        • #27
                          Re: Football 40-yard times

                          Lofton also ran a 45 sec relay leg while at Stanford...and Wesley Walker ..WR with the NY Jets also ran a few 45 sec legs while at Cal..the list is endless with Footballers who ran track..and then there are the tracksters who played football. Big diffrence between the two.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Football 40-yard times

                            I suppose John Capel could count as well; however, he washed out of the Bears training camp and didn't make the team.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Football 40-yard times

                              I read in a back issue of T&F News that Ben Johnson's 1988 :9.79 100m dash was figured on film to be a :4.27 40yd dash. That says it all, football 40's are hogwash.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Football 40-yard times

                                Sorry if I missed him in all the lists, but Rod Woodson would have to be considered. Wasn't he a 4th place 110HH WC trials placer? This was on one abbreviated spring of work.

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