2010 NFL Combine

I expect quite a bit of uproar after the Simulcast of the fastest players from each position group, minus Holliday, revealed a massive discrepancy with the “official” times. Ford (4.28) was in first with Mays (4.43) a little less than a yard behind. Behind Mays by about a yard was Jahvid Best (4.35) who was about a half yard ahead of Dorin Dickerson (4.40). The QB (4.54) and the LB (4.54) were way behind with about a yard separating the two.

It’s time to make drastic changes to the timing in Indy.

Funny you mention this, I’m watching the replay and they just showed ford vs mays and I notice the samething.

I wonder how they even do the Simulcast is there is a manual start. I mean, overlaying the athletes’ runs is cool and all, but you can overlay me ahead of Bolt if you put me 5 seconds into the race and him 4. That’s an exaggeration, but I just don’t get how they even go about doing that unless they go in reverse, which they didn’t seem to do usually.

You would think they could do that right, wouldn’t you? …quite unfortunate. I have an idea. Pay a good track official his usual stipend of $50/day, feed him a peanut buttter sandwich, then let him use Dartfish to determine the times. Don’t get me started on what happens when you hit the 10m beam with your chest then the 20m beam with your hand then…

No question. The problem, however, is the dogma surrounding the American football coaching profession.

Most coaches/scouts are too conditioned to consider timing means other than stop watches because the annals of American football speed are recorded by hand.

The introduction of fully automatic timing would provide no comparison against the history of ‘fast’ performances and would require a paradigm shift in the current perception of speed in American football.

The business of the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry yet draft boards are influenced by the hundredths of a second variances between athletes’ times that are recorded by scouts, coaches, and GMs with their stop watches.

Interesting to say the least.

I have been communicating with Sally Crawford of Fusion Sport regarding our interest in their timing system. http://fusionsport.com/portal/index.php

What did you think about the starting technique used by Mays and Spiller? While, in my opinion, it is not even close to optimal, there could be a possibility that it could throw a few scouts off and result in a faster time for the athlete. Both Spiller and Mays has disproportionate discrepancies between their unofficial and official times compared to the rest of the field.

It would shorten the distance to move forward. Question is if doing that changes the progression of mechanics that follow.

Well obviously any effect it would have on mechanics is likely to be a negative one. The question is whether it allows the athlete to trick the timer and steal a few hundredths.

That starting technique is a tumbling mistake and one that I’m certain cost those athletes hundredths, or more.

The extended trail leg almost completely obviates the power it is capable of generating in a more conventional stance in which it is bent. It’s essentially a one legged start.

I was absolutely shocked to see this being used; particularly by the players with T&F backgrounds. My initial thought was that the T&F athletes would have immediately questioned the competence of whoever instructed them to use that stance.

Done that way the forward leg then becomes solely responsible for driving out of the start position.

My 2 cents: Working with high level national athletes, sprinters and half milers, males and females,and meeting / talking to may also from other disciplines, I discovered that athletes usually do not know anything about training; rather, they trust the coach for everything…Mays arm technique was awful, …these " combine gurus" go against anything what even an average middle school track coach would know.
To sync the start on the comparison, I think they started from the first frame with a movement.From the replays, I suspect they could have an accuracy on the hundreth of a second analyzing the dashes.



Short of the Combine going solely with fully automatic timing, which is something I wouldn’t count on, I would suggest, to those of you who are motivated enough, to apply for credentials to the 2011 Combine in that you may at least record the athletes with your own watch and draw your conclusions from there.

I was able to do this for the days that I was there and I found that my stop watch read very closely to the unofficial times that are immediately posted to the live NFL Network coverage (which are the product of one individual with a stop watch).

For example, I clocked Dorin at 4.41 on my watch and his unofficial time was 4.40 (as well as his official so go figure) and I clocked Jacoby Ford at 4.27 or 4.28 (which is also equal to his official time). This tells me that, at least for those two, the laser time was closer to the ‘unofficial’ times whereas in May’s first run I have a feeling that the hand timer was fast to hit stop and the person operating the laser was slow to hit start.

As I posted previously, the official times are primarily convoluted due to them being an aggregate of two hand times that are averaged and taking that number and either adding to and averaging it with, or comparing it against, the manually started electronic time.

So while the unofficial times are twice more affected by human error, versus the manually started laser system, they are for the most part, due to the ‘math’ that is currently used, a more accurate representation of who’s faster than who.


This is a good read and, incidentally, I recorded the nearly exact same time for Dorin’s run’s on my watch as the reported hand held times listed in the article. I remember recording 4.51 on his first one and then getting a text that the official was 4.40 (so I figured that’s great for him) then I got 4.41 on his second run (which I think I mentioned earlier in this thread).

This makes sense when you consider the simul-cam footage that showed Dorin, Mays, Holiday, assuming the footage starts at the same time for each runner’s take-off, where we can see the separation at the tail end of the 40; however, I would have liked to see Dorin’s second run, which was his faster attempt, placed in comparison to the other runners.

The fastest I’ve clocked Dorin on my watch at the facility is 4.3high (I recorded it so I’m able to re-time it when watching the video).

Interesting that the individual operating the laser was getting faster times, on occasion, then the hand timers. This has NEVER happened to me when I use our existing Brower system and a stop watch at the same time to compare my hand held time to the manual start/beam finish Brower. I’m usually a tenth faster on my stop watch.

I am not sure, but I think that they measure the 10 yard dash by just using a beam placed 10 yards out when people are running the 40 yard dash. If that’s the case, couldn’t you get much more accurate representations of speed by just subtracting the 10 yard dash time from the 40 time? It seems like a good way to get more consistency.

It would be more consistent, though lasers themselves can be quite inaccurate. My own experience with a laser set-up has shown that there can be multiple hundredth variations if the beam is broken by a foot/hand/knee/etc. (stuff other than the torso).

You guys still mad over the combine timing methods, it’s not gonna change. Let’s all pray that James becomes the head guy and make changes. :slight_smile:

As a reminder, it’s important to maintain site of the fact that all the talk of official and unofficial 40 times is only relevant amidst forums such as this, media, NFL website and so on.

None of this information exchange is relevant within the context of discussions occurring in front of the draft board at one single NFL organization.

There are multiple talent evaluators representing each of the 32 teams at Indianapolis. Each one documents his own record of events that are timed on his individual score sheet and that’s what is brought back to the team. A minimum of 32 possible different accounts of the same event.

Any place to find splits for the Combine 40’s?

I’d be curious to see how much correlation exists between various segments and final time.

The Texans are moving your boy to WR, I think he would be a bigger match up problem at TE.