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View Full Version : Question About The 40 Yard Dash...


V.I.P
02-21-2010, 03:36 PM
...I've searched Google some and quickly searched for some threads here...but here's my question as I have yet to find an answer:


Why don't they run the 40 yard dash with pads at the combine?

To me it just makes more sense that they would run the 40 with their pads and everything on. That way it's at least somewhat more accurate. IMO, it's still useless to be used as a major scouting tool. But it would be more helpful than the current way they do it. In a way, it would eliminate just the track star athletes from having just a super combine. Or maybe not eliminate, but it would give teams a more accurate football speed.

Idk...maybe there's some easy answer that I haven't thought of yet.

My question applies also to cone drills and shuttle times. They don't do any of those in pads either. Everything is without pads. Pads definitely make a difference in those cuts and turns. So if you apply my basic question to all those types of drills...what's the reasoning then?

Basically the point of my question is not to make the 40 time a more accurate measuring tool. Rather, it is a question that can be applied to any thing measuring some kind of football speed....cone drills, shuttle times, 40s. All of these are done without pads.

Why not use pads? What's the purpose, when in a game, they do all of these things with pads?

MikeTeel
02-21-2010, 03:47 PM
The point of drills like the 40 yard dash is too see how athletic the player is, so with pads it wouldn't be as telling. They should do it in pads and without pads.

superman
02-21-2010, 03:51 PM
as long as you're comparing it to everybody else, pads would show how athletic they are. i think it's a good idea. then again it would start becoming who has the best, lightest, smallest pads. what schools can afford the newest kinds. and if the combine just handed them out, the players would complain they weren't used to them.

MikeTeel
02-21-2010, 03:59 PM
as long as you're comparing it to everybody else, pads would show how athletic they are. i think it's a good idea. then again it would start becoming who has the best, lightest, smallest pads. what schools can afford the newest kinds. and if the combine just handed them out, the players would complain they weren't used to them.

The point isn't that theyre comparing how athletic they are compared to other players, the point is that they just want to see how naturally athletic the player is.

bored of education
02-21-2010, 04:01 PM
Should the do the SATS in college while your coming down on a coke binge? It may not be a true testament as to your abilities and speed on the field, but it is a way to gage where you are at in comparison to other prospects

RealityCheck
02-21-2010, 04:07 PM
The point of drills like the 40 yard dash is too see how athletic the player is, so with pads it wouldn't be as telling. They should do it in pads and without pads.
Bingo. +rep for that.

TACKLE
02-21-2010, 04:30 PM
This whole idea is ridiculous. You want as few variables as possible so there is consistency among all the players you evaluate. The scouts want everyone on a level playing field. It would just turn into nonsense if they had to put on pads. It would be all about who has the lightest pads, who has the least padding. It would give a less accurate picture of speed than without pads because of the lack of consistency. If you are really concerned about how fast a player runs in pads, just watch his film.

Malaka
02-21-2010, 04:38 PM
Football speed isn't just pads guys... most of the time its hesitation, even for a split second, the fear or getting hurt or just overall thinking too much is what might slow a player down not just pads. Honestly IMO, if you're faster than the next guy without pads you should be with pads as well, I don't think pads make much a difference.

superman
02-21-2010, 04:42 PM
The point isn't that theyre comparing how athletic they are compared to other players, the point is that they just want to see how naturally athletic the player is.

the entire draft is comparing one player to another and seeing who to pick first. i think it'd be just like changing the 40 yd dash to 50 yd dash. times would be slower than previous years but it's all relative and wouldn't affect anything draft wise.

FUNBUNCHER
02-21-2010, 04:47 PM
You're 100% right, same thing about how many reps a prospect can put up in the bench..another almost totally useless measurement.

The best answer I can give is that it's tradition and it gives teams an opportunity to quantify the performance they see on the field.
IMO it's been overemphasized by most teams, but that's the nature of the beast.

Most scouts can tell from watching games live how fast a potential prospect is and whether or not he has the athletic ability/speed/quickness to play in the NFL.

underscore
02-21-2010, 04:54 PM
Playing devil's advocate, why do they run a 40 yd dash at all?

No lineman runs 40 yds at a clip in a game. A QB very rarely does.

Not many LBs do. RBs do once in a while. DBs/WRs do a couple times a game, but rarely in a straight line.

Malaka
02-21-2010, 04:56 PM
You guys over analyze the 40 yards dash... it is just a barometer to see who is faster than who, its only purpose is to give us an idea about speed not to gurantee he'll be running circles around people in the NFL there is no such workout that would let us see that.

CashmoneyDrew
02-21-2010, 05:00 PM
With a ball in their hands!

wicket
02-21-2010, 05:03 PM
With a ball in their hands!

and without ;)

eagles6606
02-21-2010, 05:22 PM
People keep over emphasizing this one drill. You don't play football in a t-shirt and shorts. You play football with helmets and pads, a tired and sore body, and with your instincts. In my opinion, the 40 is only a tool for scouts. If a player runs slower than you expect, then you go back to the tape and see if you missed anything. If someone runs faster, then you go back to the tape and see if it translates. It is foolish to take someone based on their 40 speed. You should take a player because of their game speed.

Monomach
02-21-2010, 09:14 PM
Playing devil's advocate, why do they run a 40 yd dash at all?

No lineman runs 40 yds at a clip in a game. A QB very rarely does.

Not many LBs do. RBs do once in a while. DBs/WRs do a couple times a game, but rarely in a straight line.

The 40 yard dash was invented as a way to see how quickly a guy could get to a punt returner. It was for choosing special teamers.

At some point, they just said "screw it" and made everyone run it.

RaiderNation
02-21-2010, 10:00 PM
It makes to much sense to wear pads when they do the 40 yard dash, thats why

brat316
02-21-2010, 10:21 PM
someone could get injured with the added weight.

underscore
02-22-2010, 05:44 AM
Make it real interesting...put a hungry lion in the arena with them, gladiator style. I'll bet times increase :)

TitanHope
02-22-2010, 06:25 AM
I wish they would.

That way my wish of a LB coming out of nowhere and blindsiding a WR who's mid-sprint down the 40-track has a better chance of coming to fruition.

AntoinCD
02-22-2010, 06:33 AM
The 40yd dash is there measure things like burst and straightline speed. With pads or without it's easily tested. Why it's 40yds still is beyond me. With the exception of WRs no player would need to run 40yds in a straightline. The most important parts of the 40 for me are the 10 and 20yd splits

Pick6TheSaintWay
02-22-2010, 10:18 AM
People keep over emphasizing this one drill. You don't play football in a t-shirt and shorts. You play football with helmets and pads, a tired and sore body, and with your instincts. In my opinion, the 40 is only a tool for scouts. If a player runs slower than you expect, then you go back to the tape and see if you missed anything. If someone runs faster, then you go back to the tape and see if it translates. It is foolish to take someone based on their 40 speed. You should take a player because of their game speed.

Excellent point. If a player is drafted directly based on their 40 time then the scouts haven't done their job. A 40 time is a basis of how a player is athletically. Scouts tend to have an idea of how fast a player is going into the drill and if his 40 is way off then what they expect, then the scout must go back and look at tape to see if it translates to how they run on the field.

SKim172
02-22-2010, 11:12 PM
Because the faster they run, the more people will watch.

All of us know that the forty time is subjective and a poor way to gauge real speed. It can give you a sense of a player's speed, but a tenth of a second one way or another doesn't really tell you anything.

However, people who watch the event will go, "Did you see so-and-so? He ran a 4.2! OMG!" It's meaningless, but it's a whole lot more fun to rank players by speed than to look at a chart of arm length measurements.

niel89
02-23-2010, 12:09 AM
The 40yd dash is there measure things like burst and straightline speed. With pads or without it's easily tested. Why it's 40yds still is beyond me. With the exception of WRs no player would need to run 40yds in a straightline. The most important parts of the 40 for me are the 10 and 20yd splits

This.

Even though they make them all run 40 yards different parts are more important for different positions. For the linemen its more important to look at the 5, 10, 20 yard times instead of the 40 time. Some scouts could care less about the total 40 time but they care more about the 0-10, 0-20 or something like 5-10 yard.