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  • The 40 yard dash

    While watching Kent State play I heard one of the announcers say this about spreedy Dri Archer (little slot/running back guy) ....4.21 is said to be his PR.

    "he wants to break Chris Johnson 40 time at the combine"

    I'm guessing it's a 4.2 low. Never have figured out just what to do with the 40.

    Who remembers big Curtis Dickey a running back for Texas A&M/Colts? He was the last NFL running back to be world ranked as an NCAA sprinter. Dickey a 9.2 guy who was great in the indoor 60. I saw him play many times as a college kid and a pro, no way did he look like a world class sprinter. Then there was Rocket Ismail who Dickey would have blown away in any race looking like Flash. Ya see Dickey couldn't cut, stop, start, pivot while running fast, the Rocket could....which is football.

    Carl Lewis (who was drafted by the Cowboys) is faster than any footballer (can argue Hayes) yet he would have been pretty much useless on a football field, other than....just run and I'll throw it. No way King Carl is shuckin' n' jivin' and making people miss.

    The NFL is full of track guys far more than I think most are aware of, and that old....well Ray Norton, Frank Budd, Jimmy Hines, Tommie Smith, showed us that.......well actually nothing. That list of track guys who did make it is a mile long........trust me!

    While the 40 is some indication of speed it's really not all that. Qucks, a burst, agility while at near max speed is really where it's at.

  • #2
    Re: The 40 yard dash

    By 4.21, they mean someone hand-timed him running that, which means that he MIGHT be able to run an auto-timed 4.4. I would love to see what Ben Johnson could run in an NFL combine-style 40 in his 1988 steroided best.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The 40 yard dash

      Originally posted by JumboElliott
      By 4.21, they mean someone hand-timed him running that, which means that he MIGHT be able to run an auto-timed 4.4.
      Exactly! Since the NFL began using its current SAT system to time the 40 in Indianapolis, approximately 3000 football players have been timed. During that time period, scores of skill players have shown up there claiming 4.2 speed, but only four have actually run an official 4.2 in Indianapolis: Here's the list:
      • Chris Johnson - 4.24
        Marquis Goodwin - 4.27
        Jacoby Ford - 4.28
        Demarcus Van Dyke - 4.28


      Trindon Holliday showed up in Indianapolis promising to take down Johnson's record, but he could only manage a 4.34 the same year Ford ran 4.28, and this should come as no surprise to folks who saw Ford consistently beat Holliday at 60 meters the previous indoor season. The bottom line is that Indianapolis is the place where 4.2 myths go to die.

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      • #4
        Re: The 40 yard dash

        Great points all... One amazing fact is that even 40yd dash "speed" is not a great measure of RB talent. How many great RBs, even the smaller and the quickest ones, have had ho-hum 40 times ? Of course the greatest one of all Barry Sanders comes to mind. He was untouchable but was probably barely 4.5 by the old , pre SAT, timing standard. Today would he break 4.6 in Indianapolis ?

        Even the fastest of them all Bob Hayes, did not blow people away on the football field as one might expect him to have based on his 100m time ... Bob was certainly both fast and quick but he did not have the change of direction explosiveness and vision of the greatest NFL ball carriers.

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        • #5
          Re: The 40 yard dash

          Originally posted by JumboElliott
          By 4.21, they mean someone hand-timed him running that, which means that he MIGHT be able to run an auto-timed 4.4. I would love to see what Ben Johnson could run in an NFL combine-style 40 in his 1988 steroided best.
          Nobody is talking hand times here, it's more about his 4.21 being a legit auto time.

          As we can see the kid has some serious jets.


          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMHo1j8fDns

          Sprintdom is full of Jerry Sims, Sam Perry etc, guys who were right there with the greats in the short distances, Both Sims and Perry ran a 5.9 60 which is what Hayes/Hines/Greene all ran. A 40 being too short to seperate real speed so these footballers can hang with legit sprinters.

          Houston McTear was a running back at Baker HS (avg over 13 yards a carry) would love to know what he ran the 40 in. Him and Big Ben in a 40...whoa!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The 40 yard dash

            Originally posted by user4
            Great points all... One amazing fact is that even 40yd dash "speed" is not a great measure of RB talent. How many great RBs, even the smaller and the quickest ones, have had ho-hum 40 times ? Of course the greatest one of all Barry Sanders comes to mind. He was untouchable but was probably barely 4.5 by the old , pre SAT, timing standard. Today would he break 4.6 in Indianapolis ?

            Even the fastest of them all Bob Hayes, did not blow people away on the football field as one might expect him to have based on his 100m time ... Bob was certainly both fast and quick but he did not have the change of direction explosiveness and vision of the greatest NFL ball carriers.
            Gotta disagree about Hayes, he was a running back in HS/FAMU (Cowboys made a receiver out of him) and a punt returner he had some quicks/agility to go with the speed. He ran back three punts for tds in the NFL and avg over 11 yards a carry, that's quicks/agility not just speed. One season he avg over 20 yards a carry, that's amazing.

            Back in the days of the old hand times 40, the fastest time I ever came across was a 4.1 by tiny kick returner for Tennessee State/Chiefs....Nolan "Super Gnat" Smith. Then when Nehemiah came to the Niners he was said to run a HT 4.1. Why he even ran a 40...???

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The 40 yard dash

              Originally posted by Dixon
              Originally posted by JumboElliott
              By 4.21, they mean someone hand-timed him running that, which means that he MIGHT be able to run an auto-timed 4.4. I would love to see what Ben Johnson could run in an NFL combine-style 40 in his 1988 steroided best.
              Nobody is talking hand times here, it's more about his 4.21 being a legit auto time.
              Since the NFL started using its current SAT setup, no one has ever run 4.21. The record is 4.24 by Chris Johnson. The number of players who have run 4.2's at their school are a dime a dozen which is why I don't give them much credence. Why is it that all these supposedly "legit" 4.2 guys become 4.3 and 4.4 guys when they show up at Indianapolis? It's because the running surface and/or the timing sytem are different, that's why. Before the advent of the combine, there were even players who boasted impressive times run at their school on courses that turned out to be less than 40 yards, which one reason why there was an impetus to bring some uniformity to the NFL's scouting process.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The 40 yard dash

                Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                Originally posted by Dixon
                Originally posted by JumboElliott
                By 4.21, they mean someone hand-timed him running that, which means that he MIGHT be able to run an auto-timed 4.4. I would love to see what Ben Johnson could run in an NFL combine-style 40 in his 1988 steroided best.
                Nobody is talking hand times here, it's more about his 4.21 being a legit auto time.
                Since the NFL started using its current SAT setup, no one has ever run 4.21. The record is 4.24 by Chris Johnson. The number of players who have run 4.2's at their school are a dime a dozen which is why I don't give them much credence. Why is it that all these supposedly "legit" 4.2 guys become 4.3 and 4.4 guys when they show up at Indianapolis? It's because the running surface and/or the timing sytem are different, that's why. Before the advent of the combine, there were even players who boasted impressive times run at their school on courses that turned out to be less than 40 yards, which one reason why there was an impetus to bring some uniformity to the NFL's scouting process.
                That's what I'm saying, is that 4.21 legit? I'm with you 100%, I'm also suspect about these sub 4.4 times we hear/read about. I do however get this feeling from watching the kid play that Archer is a 4.2 guy, just something ya pick up on with experience, ya can just see the burst the kid has. Which is the 40.

                Michael Vick was said to have ran a 4.2 while at WV, I never believed that. I've also never bought Bo's 4.1 either.

                Read somewhere that when Bolt set his 100m WR he passed the 40yard in 4.34....hmmm?

                These short distances do even things out. Some years (obviously) ago Don Quarrie and Steve Williams showed up at an indoor meet in Arizona to run a 60. In the field was a local high school kid named Lanoris Marshall. yep...the kid beat both world classers. Who would have given the kid a chance?

                The great short sprinter Herb Washington in a football 40, hmmm?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The 40 yard dash

                  I've taken to believing just about any apocryphal Bo Jackson or Larry Bird story.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The 40 yard dash

                    Originally posted by Dixon
                    Read somewhere that when Bolt set his 100m WR he passed the 40yard in 4.34....hmmm?
                    There are three factors that make Bolt's 4.34 in Berlin different than a 4.34 in Indianapolis.
                    • 1) The Berlin 4.34 is an estimated FAT time, as opposed to the SAT times in Indianapolis. 4.34 FAT = ~4.20 SAT.
                      2) Bolt used starting blocks and a four-point stance in Berlin as opposed to a three-point stance and no starting blocks in Indianapolis.
                      3) Bolt ran on Mondo in Berlin as opposed to much slower field turf in Indianapolis.


                    Factor #1 would improve Bolt's 40 time, while factors #2 and #3 would hurt his 40 time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The 40 yard dash

                      Originally posted by JumboElliott
                      I've taken to believing just about any apocryphal Bo Jackson or Larry Bird story.
                      My fav Bo story is how as a HS decathlete in Alabama, he never had to run the 1500 because he'd already have the meet won without it.

                      There is just nothing in his sprint prowess to hint at a sub 4.20 however. He was fast for a big guy but nothing special.

                      Another big speedster was Marcus Dupree. He was out leaned his senior year at the Miss State 100 yarder by Calvin Smith.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The 40 yard dash

                        Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                        Originally posted by Dixon
                        Read somewhere that when Bolt set his 100m WR he passed the 40yard in 4.34....hmmm?
                        There are three factors that make Bolt's 4.34 in Berlin different than a 4.34 in Indianapolis.
                        • 1) The Berlin 4.34 is an estimated FAT time, as opposed to the SAT times in Indianapolis. 4.34 FAT = ~4.20 SAT.
                          2) Bolt used starting blocks and a four-point stance in Berlin as opposed to a three-point stance and no starting blocks in Indianapolis.
                          3) Bolt ran on Mondo in Berlin as opposed to much slower field turf in Indianapolis.


                        Factor #1 would improve Bolt's 40 time, while factors #2 and #3 would hurt his 40 time.
                        I think we all realize the differences between a track 100m and a combine 40. It does however make you wonder just what the big guy could run a combine 40 in. I 'm guessing we'd be a bit surprised that he's now..wow..at that distance. His thing is the speed endurance after 50.

                        Then there was Darrell Greens 4.09....hmmm? He was a 10.08 guy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The 40 yard dash

                          Originally posted by Dixon
                          I think we all realize the differences between a track 100m and a combine 40. It does however make you wonder just what the big guy could run a combine 40 in. I 'm guessing we'd be a bit surprised that he's now..wow..at that distance. His thing is the speed endurance after 50.

                          Then there was Darrell Greens 4.09....hmmm? He was a 10.08 guy.
                          I think Jacoby Ford (4.28, 6.51, 10.01) and Trindon Holliday (4.34, 6.54, 10.00) provide us with the most useful data points. My guess is that Bolt would run between 4.23 and 4.26 if he brought his Berlin form to Indianapolis.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The 40 yard dash

                            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                            Originally posted by Dixon
                            I think we all realize the differences between a track 100m and a combine 40. It does however make you wonder just what the big guy could run a combine 40 in. I 'm guessing we'd be a bit surprised that he's now..wow..at that distance. His thing is the speed endurance after 50.

                            Then there was Darrell Greens 4.09....hmmm? He was a 10.08 guy.
                            I think Jacoby Ford (4.28, 6.51, 10.01) and Trindon Holliday (4.34, 6.54, 10.00) provide us with the most useful data points. My guess is that Bolt would run between 4.23 and 4.26 if he brought his Berlin form to Indianapolis.
                            I agree with that, and have thought the same about Holliday/Ford. I also see your 4.23-4.26 for Bolt. I was thinking the same thing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The 40 yard dash

                              Are there ever any false starts called with these guys run a 40?

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