Intriguing 40 yard dash article

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by drew4008, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. drew4008

    drew4008 In the Starting Line-Up

  2. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

    Very interesting read. Thanks for the link.
  3. smg93

    smg93 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #54 Jersey

    Very interesting article. One of the things I noticed when watching the 40 at the combine was the idea that the time starts as soon as the player moved. I didn't quite understand that. Why didn't they use regular starting blocks with a starter gun and electronic timing much like in Track meets?

    The snap of the football from center to QB is much like a starters gun. The NFL should count reaction time as well because quickness out of the blocks is one of the most important part of a football players skill. A quick DE can go by a tackle faster, a WR can create separation sooner, and a LB can shoot through a gap earlier. Why they insist on measuring the 40 in this old fashioned way is beyond me. Maybe that's partly the reason why track speed and football speed can be so different sometimes.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned


    That was a good read. Thanks for posting the link.

    I think two things stood out to me:

    1. The fastest man in the world Ben Johnson, while pumped up on steroids and in perfect conditions, only ran a 4.38. So NFL players who supposedly ran under that time have bogus times.

    2. NFL times are measured by coaches' stopwatches, which they start and stop with their fingers. There is so much room for error, that I feel the 40-time is pretty much only useful as a screen for players who can run under 4.6. It doesn't seem to be precise at all.

  5. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Practice Squad Player

    Ben Johnson was at 40 yards in 4.37 seconds (not 4.38). But that INCLUDES his reaction time of 0.13 seconds. So his actual running time was 4.24 seconds. Here were his 10-meter splits --

    RT 0.13 (0.00 running time, 0.13 total time)
    10 1.70 (1.70 running time, 1.83 total time)
    20 1.04 (2.74 running time, 2.87 total time)
    30 0.93 (3.67 running time, 3.80 total time)
    40 0.86 (4.53 running time, 4.66 total time)
    50 0.84 (5.37 running time, 5.50 total time)
    60 0.83 (6.20 running time, 6.33 total time)
    70 0.84 (7.04 running time, 7.17 total time)
    80 0.85 (7.89 running time, 8.02 total time)
    90 0.87 (8.76 running time, 8.89 total time)
    100 0.90 (9.66 running time, 9.79 total time)

    Forty yards is 36.576 meters. He was at 30 meters in 3.67 seconds running time (3.80 total time), then covered the next 10 meters in 0.86 seconds. Given his rate of acceleration, he covered those initial 6.576 meters in 0.57 seconds, putting him at 4.24 seconds running time (4.37 total time) when he was at 36.576 meters, or 40 yards.

    And Johnson doesn't even hold the record. When Maurice Greene ran a 9.82 in 1999, he covered the first 40 yards in 4.18 seconds. His splits were 1.69 for the first 10 meters (tied for the fastest ever), 1.00 for the second 10 meters (tied for the fastest ever), 0.92 for the third 10 meters and 0.86 for the fourth 10 meters. So he covered the first 30 meters in 3.61 seconds. We have to extrapolate the next 6.576 meters, and it comes out to 0.57 seconds. Total running time over 40 yards: 4.18 seconds.

    And when Asafa Powell set the world record in the 100, he covered the first 40 yards in 4.25 seconds.

    At the Combine, they use a hand start (on the runner's first move) and an electronic finish. So the only adjustment to make between a fully electronic 40 and an electronic 40 at the Combine is the hand-timer's reaction to the player's first move, which could be anywhere from 0.10 to 0.25 seconds. In other words, had Maurice Greene been running at the Combine, his electronic 40 would have been recorded as somewhere between 3.93 and 4.08 seconds -- or more than 0.20 faster than the Combine record.

    Really, it shouldn't be difficult to figure out the inherent differences between an NFL 40 and a track race, but none of these articles that supposedly debunk the 40 have realized what those differences are.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  6. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned


    I stand corrected. Thanks.


Share This Page