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Old 02-28-2012, 08:05 PM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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Default Official vs Unofficial 40 Times

Do pro scouts, GM's and HC's care about official times????

Each scout, GM and HC times by hand each prospect as he runs his 40 while the official time starts when a player even twitches before starting his run, the littlest of movement can cause a .5 differential.

I suspect that most teams use their hand times rather than the official time to judge a prospect. They probably find them more reliable.

What would you use????
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:10 PM    (permalink
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The electronic time is probably more accurate because there is less human error involved. Interesting theory, but I'll take the computers in this matter.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:24 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
The electronic time is probably more accurate because there is less human error involved. Interesting theory, but I'll take the computers in this matter.
If the electric timer can start by any kind of movement, how does that equate to a football game or to being more accurate. It may be more accurate for an Olympic runner but is it really more accurate for a football player or is it more accurate to time a football player when he actually starts to run which is where the .5 differential comes from.

If the electric timer starts when a player moves his hand slightly by accident, isn't that machine error as far as football is concerned.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:29 PM    (permalink
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I believe Olympic timing, they start when a foot leaves the block, not the hand leaving the ground.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:38 PM    (permalink
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I believe Olympic timing, they start when a foot leaves the block, not the hand leaving the ground.
From Mayock and other commentators, it seems like the timer at the combine starts with any movement and the guy in charge can be heard explaining to the players, that he will do a restart if he sees any movement so they aren't robbed of a fast time by say, a simple finger twitch.

Personally, I don't think the scouts, GM's and HC's throw out their own hand times at the combine, I think they are still used by many and official times are often ignored.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:45 PM    (permalink
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I don't trust the official times after Taylor Mays got robbed
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:50 PM    (permalink
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Anyone who watched Rainey run and then saw his "official" time knows that going by those times is not a good idea. I'm sure that teams trust their own guys more than what is released to all of us.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:01 PM    (permalink
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Isn't the official time stared by some guy pushing a button? One does it stop? When their body goes past, finger, head?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:33 PM    (permalink
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I've never heard anyone interviewed say they trust the "official" times over their own hand-times. But I've heard countless individuals say they go by their hand-times.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:42 AM    (permalink
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I don't trust the official times after Taylor Mays got robbed
yeah i was so mad about that. especially after they showed the video of him running with other "faster" players
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:44 AM    (permalink
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Most teams go by their hand times, to the best of my understanding. Actually, while passing through Baltimore yesterday, Vinny Cerrato said the exact same thing (while Vinny is a nice punchline at times for the Redskins faults, he was a GM and is versed in league practices).
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:53 AM    (permalink
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Teams trust their own hand time way more I'd guess. I personally trust the nfln unofficial times more than the official ones.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:53 AM    (permalink
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I can tell you for fact that teams go with there scouts times over these "official times".
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:12 AM    (permalink
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The thing is to me, if you want accuracy, use those high speed cameras, you can get them to shoot at 1000 fps easy, use that, and go in and break it down by the frame where you can tell he's actually beginning to run, and the frame when they break the finish 40 yards later. If you want accuracy the technology is there, but I think most people would rather believe in what they know and what they are comfortable with, and that's something they can control, the hand timers.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:50 AM    (permalink
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If the electric timer can start by any kind of movement, how does that equate to a football game or to being more accurate.
That's the issue. It's why teams go by hand timed, there are 32 "official" times. And talking with former scouts and people I trust, they often vary "wildly".

As for people getting robbed in official times, it is impossible to match up the start of the runners at the EXACT same time. So when they shadow on the NFL Network, both runners first movements don't start on the exact .01 most times.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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That's the issue. It's why teams go by hand timed, there are 32 "official" times. And talking with former scouts and people I trust, they often vary "wildly".

As for people getting robbed in official times, it is impossible to match up the start of the runners at the EXACT same time. So when they shadow on the NFL Network, both runners first movements don't start on the exact .01 most times.
I can't speak for their process, however I do believe that all of their cameras are shooting at 60 FPS or higher, so technically if they want to line it up, they could be accurate to 1/60th of a second. Which a far smaller number than .1

If it really mattered that much they could break it down that far, and even farther with their high speed cams, but it just goes to show that the difference in being accurate to the .001 isn't really critical, you just wanna see how closely a guy times vs what it looks like he's playing at speed wise.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:31 AM    (permalink
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They should stop this nonsense of the down position running. They got rid of that in the NFL, WR starting on their hands. Only linemen should run from that position everyone else from the standing position.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:38 PM    (permalink
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First, my issues with the 40.
Over the years, the 40 yard dash consumed me. It was the reason I even bothered to tune into the combine for the first time in 2006. Something seems wrong, though.
In the world of science, we can time things the millionth of a second. It's snowing. Nice.

Here are my biggest issues with the 40:

1. NFL Network's times are almost always anywhere from 0.05 of a second to 0.1 of a second off. I have no clue why, but it seems like a network that prides itself in recording every minute detail of a football game would want to get their times right. They have been unable to do so after nearly a decade of combine coverage. Seems fishy to me.

2. When will a player run 40 yards in a straight line? This is an argument you frequently see, and I'm a supporter of it. I don't understand why we are asking defensive tackles to run 40 yards. They will catch someone from behind once in their career at that distance.

3. Why are we timing every position the same? Why aren't we timing running backs from this starting position, while holding a ball? Why aren't we timing every position from their respective starting points?


It seems to me that 99% of the sane population would value a running back who ran a modified 40 yard dash (starting from the aforementioned newly conceived starting position) in 5 seconds but a 40 in 4.5 over a back who ran a 40 in 4.30 but could only run the modified 40 in 5.2.

Same goes for every position. Why are we timing cornerbacks from a stopped position? All of their movement stems from the initial dropback.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:11 PM    (permalink
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First, my issues with the 40.
Over the years, the 40 yard dash consumed me. It was the reason I even bothered to tune into the combine for the first time in 2006. Something seems wrong, though.
In the world of science, we can time things the millionth of a second. It's snowing. Nice.

Here are my biggest issues with the 40:

1. NFL Network's times are almost always anywhere from 0.05 of a second to 0.1 of a second off. I have no clue why, but it seems like a network that prides itself in recording every minute detail of a football game would want to get their times right. They have been unable to do so after nearly a decade of combine coverage. Seems fishy to me.

2. When will a player run 40 yards in a straight line? This is an argument you frequently see, and I'm a supporter of it. I don't understand why we are asking defensive tackles to run 40 yards. They will catch someone from behind once in their career at that distance.

3. Why are we timing every position the same? Why aren't we timing running backs from this starting position, while holding a ball? Why aren't we timing every position from their respective starting points?

It seems to me that 99% of the sane population would value a running back who ran a modified 40 yard dash (starting from the aforementioned newly conceived starting position) in 5 seconds but a 40 in 4.5 over a back who ran a 40 in 4.30 but could only run the modified 40 in 5.2.

Same goes for every position. Why are we timing cornerbacks from a stopped position? All of their movement stems from the initial dropback.
Its just because of the origins of the drill. If I remember correctly, it started because Tom Landry wanted to time how fast guys would get downfield on punt coverage. He thought that if they could run 40 yards in about 4.5 seconds, that they could be at the returner as he was catching the punt. Then for some reason everyone decided to keep that and leave the drill unchanged. It doesn't make any sense, but it is just the bar to measure guys by now.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:16 PM    (permalink
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I just don't see a need for official times.

The timer always seems to mess up and pick up the most useless movement and start just a tick or two too early.

If they want to call it official, they should verify it via high speed video to ensure that the electronic timer isn't misfiring.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:28 PM    (permalink
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The 40 is good for ST players and a lot of the later round guys are drafted on #s and potential of those numbers.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:41 PM    (permalink
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The "Unofficial" times are done by Charlie Casserly with a stopwatch.

The "Official" times are done with a half-hand, half-electronic timer.

This year, at the combine, they are doing completely electronic times, but they're not releasing those numbers. Experts believe that with Fully Automated Timing (FAT) system the 40 times at the combine will be consistently be between .2 and .24 seconds slower than hand times, and the fear is that if they went to fully automatic times prospects would be spooked into not running at the combine (as a 4.4, which we've been conditioned to think is fast, has suddenly become a 4.6, which we've been conditioned to think is not so fast, and nobody wants to be told he's not fast) So the NFL is experimenting with completely electronic timing, but don't expect that number to be released... ever.

Anyway, as far as teams are concerned there is no "official" combine time. The packet of information that National Scouting gives out to NFL teams after the combine includes six times, for each of two runs there are 2 fully hand-timed numbers, and 1 half-hand/half-electronic timed number. The "Official" time that the NFL puts on the combine website and on NFLN is a fiction for entertainment purposes.

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:57 PM    (permalink
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man the Official isn't the half hand time?

That is what I been trying to say, they push a button to start the timer.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:35 PM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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First, they aren't going to change the 40 for every position, it is a way of measuring prospects against those who are already in the league and make no mistake, it counts for a lot in scouts and GM's minds, even if you are a linemen. They already take the 10 yard time and the 20 yard time for scouts and GM's to view as well.

Why is the 40 a meaningful timing for a football player, it is because a 40 time clearly indicates the ability to run fast in a short distance and measures how quick a starter you are. Anybody who follows track knows it takes a special athlete to run a short distance fast, many 100 meter runners cannot be effective at a short distance because they are way too slow out of the blocks, so it is a very good indicator of how fast a football player gets moving at the snap of the ball.

Anybody who thinks it isn't a great indicator of success at the next level is just being foolish, scouts and GM's know that over 90% of the athletes who played in the NFL ran within a certain time frame in the 40, no matter what position they played, each position having its own parameters and that over 90% of those who couldn't run within those time frames failed at the next level.

Of course it isn't perfect, there is a lot more than speed which makes a player effective but it is a very strong indicator of what odds a player has to be successful if he can run within the parameters.

NFL scouts and GM's know that the vast majority of say WR's who turned out to be great ran a 40 between 3.50-4.50 with the percentages favouring those who were the fastest, they have done their homework and know the facts, and nobody is going to change the importance that they place in the 40 now or in the future.

They don't care about official times because since scouting actually started in the 50's, players have been hand timed by numerous officials of each organization and a consensus of time reached. They don't care about accuracy, all they care about is whether or not a prospect falls within the framework of speed for his position and they all feel their hand timing is accurate enough.

The 40 is here to stay because every scout and GM knows it is the most reliable indicator of failure at the next level, there isn't another method that is as accurate as the 40 for eliminating the vast majority of prospects who will never be NFL players. While a fast 40 doesn't come close to guaranteeing success at the next level without using other factors, it does give each scout and GM over 90% certainty of who will fail and that is why it is considered by teams to be the most important event at the combine.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:41 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamcanadian View Post
The 40 is here to stay because every scout and GM knows it is the most reliable indicator of failure at the next level, there isn't another method that is as accurate as the 40 for eliminating the vast majority of prospects who will never be NFL players. While a fast 40 doesn't come close to guaranteeing success at the next level without using other factors, it does give each scout and GM over 90% certainty of who will fail and that is why it is considered by teams to be the most important event at the combine.
Huh? The 40 is here to stay because it provides useful information (less the actual 40 time, more the 10 and 20 yard splits), but I really don't think that it's either the most reliable indicator or the most important event at the combine in the eyes of NFL teams. Sure, the 40 gets the most attention from the media since it's comparatively interesting to watch and every fan instantly thinks they understand what it means.

But I believe that teams actually put as much weight (or more weight, depending on position) on things like shuttles and cones than as on the 40. I mean, if we're talking about OL, for example, I don't even care if they run the 40, but I'd like to see their cone below 7.65 and their shuttle below 4.65, for example.

It's just that those events aren't as engaging for the casual fan and you have to think a little to realize what they mean.
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