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The NFL Combine, also known a meat market, is in Indianapolis this week measuring and testing players. No doubt you’ll hear ridiculous 40-yard sprint times. Don’t believe the reports, especially the ones of players supposedly running 40 yards in 4.3 or 4.4 seconds.
Know this: When New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush, the Helix High alumnus and 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, was in San Diego last week to announce his inaugural Camp 619 on March 24 at Qualcomm Stadium (which filled its 2,000 registration slots for the free clinic in just one week), one of the non-camp questions he was asked was his 40-yard time.
“4.3,” Reggie said.
Have you seen the gears Reggie has on a football field? No one can catch him when he turns it on. Bush, who has the speed to have become an Olympic sprinter if his football instincts hadn’t taken him in another direction, is one of the fastest players in the history of the NFL.
Bob Hayes, the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters who played wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, once said he ran 4.4 for 40 yards.
I saw how NFL scouts time 40-yard times when Ricky Williams, a Patrick Henry High alumnus who won the 1998 Heisman, had a workout in March, 1999 at UC San Diego. They wait for the athlete to move and then gather together to confer on the time. Such a method would never validate a time at a track meet.
Until you see somebody run down Reggie Bush on a football field, don’t believe the 40-yard times.
— TOM SHANAHAN