Why are 40 times stagnant?

Why are 40 times stagnant? Just looking at some prep times and it seems, at least for skill positions that 40 times have remained the same. There are more trainers and strength profesionals to enhance speed. However, players seem to either have reached a wall in 40 times or we are doing it wrong. Also, the ones who are in the NFL would be running a 4.5 if they just played pickup basketball twice a week. Where are the people who are beating expectations? Maybe in T&F, olympic lifting, bobsled athletes are being developed properly. I just think football is missing the boat as WR’s and DB’s who come in running a 4.5 leave running a 4.5.

You have to look at the time available to train the athlete. If you had 6 months to prepare, maybe we’d see better times. But you get 3 months if you’re lucky and the first 6-weeks is typically the time it will take to get healthy. A bobsledder may train for 8-9 months with a much shorter competitive season. It’s not fair to compare olympic sports to the football combine. If you ask is game performance still improving in football, that might be more relevant.

I think that once the players reach the professional level, they are expected to already be fast, athletic, agile, etc. Now, they can and should work on speed, strength and conditioning, but, from what I’ve seen, the bulk of established NFL players work on improving their football specific skills as it relates to their position. A former Washington Redskins strength/conditioning coach once said, “we are FOOTBALL players, not weightlifters, sprinters, or powerlifters.”

So, the lack of 40 yard dash time improvements at the elite levels may be more of a function of not training specifically for that, but rather, spending more time on practicing running plays, running routes, defensive drill, etc. that will help their position skill requirements.

Because 40 times don’t matter …

It’s hard to find accurate testing and I am guessing that preps are running fast hand times and later running those same times with a laser finish after college. They are also generally running these times at much higher weights than they were at previously.

YOU JUST WAIT! ONCE THE NFL TEAMS WAKE UP AND START DOING PRACTICES AND SPEED TRAINING AS WELL AS WEIGHTTRAINING THEY WAY THEY SHOULD BE, TEAMS WILL CHANGE PRETTY FAST. I DON’T HAVE THE EXACT ANSWER OR FORMULA BUT I KNOW AS OF RIGHT NOW MANY TEAMS COULD BE MAKING SERIOUS IMPROVEMENTS! After all, what do football players do after January? They have 5 months before July and what are they doing in that time? Answer nothing! Except for people like Tim Dwight who know’s that track speed is what got him there and it will be that work on the track that will keep him there for a few more years than most other NFL players.

There is also that Seattle Sehawks offensive lineman who pushes around SUV’s in the spring and summer and tells his team he is not going to the annual team training camp. He figures his training is better than the team training camp and he’s right! He is an important enough player that the coaches don’t say anything!

A 16+ week NFL season is certainly something to recover from.

have you any idea the trauma that football at that level causes? a month off at a minimum is more of a necessity than someone being lazy.

  1. I think Davan had it right in terms of why 40 times are “stagnant.” High school guys are timed by their coaches, who are trying to get them recruited. That alone is worth two tenths of a second. So a guy running 4.3 on the electronic clock at the NFL combine is quite a bit faster than the guy running 4.3 on his high school track with his coach working the stopwatch.

  2. Supervenom, don’t you think you’re being a little harsh on NFL players? Do you really think most of them do nothing between January and July but sit around? Just because a pro team’s S&C program isn’t as structured as a college team’s doesn’t mean the players aren’t training in the off season.

In college you have one team, one campus, one S&C coach. He tells you how you’re going to train because he’s the coach and you’re the student and that’s the way it goes.

Pro teams have S&C coaches too, but players also have their own trainers, so they don’t necessarily need to follow the team’s official S&C program year round. And as long as they show up to mini camp and camp in shape the teams don’t complain. Doesn’t mean NFL teams neglect strength and speed training. It just means that they realize these days a lot of guys are going to train on their own, either with a trainer or back on their college campus.

I used to see them when I was in school and I’m sure the guys I played with who are in the League now go back because they love the strength coach and they want to set an example for the younger guys.

But to suggest that guys don’t work out just because the NFL team doesnt directly oversee everyone’s off season training is just wrong. Too much money on the line for guys not to take care of themselves between seasons.

Walter Jones, the lineman on Seattle, is pretty much one of the only players that doesn’t lift much. NFL players live in the weightroom. With non-guarenteed contracts, players have everything to lose if they don’t keep getting stronger and faster.

I know Steve Smith is faster now than when he entered the NFL, and he broke his leg.

Don’t shout

How relevant do you think is the straight 40 yard dash time?

3 words, Deion “PRIMETIME” Sanders. If your 40 time means as little as people say it does then why did WR’s fear this cornerback so much. A corner who would most of the time play man to man bc he knew he could recover from a mistake on the field and catch up to his man and still make the play. I know the 40 isn’t everything in football, skill is a big component as Jerry Rice and others have shown us. I just think that organization of the S and C coach and head coach could be much better so that you get a complete athlete.

It is ironic that I mention Deion Sanders bc he never trained to be fast he was just born that way. Nonetheless, I think it was best when Matt Millen said that “I believe that Deion Sanders could be the fastest man in the world if he trained for it!”. I personally think Deion could have been faster than his 4.1 40y dash time. This is my point just bc you have speed doesn’t mean that you should be content with yourself. I think we will see a freak athlete coming real soon, somebody who will change the way the game is played like Bob Hayes did. I know we already have seen a quarterback like that by the name of Michael Vick (i.e. agility and speed). Just wait till you see a WR who will have 40y time close to what Ben Johnson had i.e. 3.7 40y dash time! I know teams do focus on the 40 but I don’t think they have an organized vertical integration approach, at least not most and if they do are they counting the volume and intensity and etc every year for each player? I don’t think so. I know Nebraska does but I have issues with the way their weight program is set up in terms of the intensity of their lifts in season and before training camp.

I know that running backs and other postions also need agility (i.e. waiting to attack holes, accelertaion deceleration acceleration) but speed should still be worked on. You may not consider a 40y time relevent but you must consider a 10-20y time relevent for these postions. If you can only use one speed indicator for all positions then I do think the 40y time is relevent. What’s that saying, ummm, “SPEED KILLS”. To reiterate, speed is not everything but it cannot be ignored to the extent that I see it being ignored. I’m not saying this is particulary the athletes fault seeing as coaches have the final say in what an athlete does in season but I do feel that it can be better organized. I.e. What’s the point in doing windsprints after you have a bad practice when the game is on the following day? This doesn’t just apply to football, but all sports.

That “freak athlete” could be Reggie Bush. Sprinter speed and doesn’t lose a step in pads.

Well said. They are fun to look at, but really they don’t matter. A 4.5 wide receiver can catch balls all day against a 4.2 cornerback if he runs good routes and has good hands. Just ask anyone who tried to cover Jerry Rice.

Mike Vick is a great athlete, but he hasn’t revolutionized anything until he can win a Superbowl. He lacks any consistency and I don’t see any QBs of his running style being any more consistent than him, yet. Vince Young is a possibility, but I have a feeling he’ll fall into the same trap.-

Not if they can hit like Ronnie Lott!!!

So you have to win a Superbowl to be recognized as “great”… :rolleyes:

It is an embarrassment to the league that more quarterbacks don’t have speed like Michael Vick. Why do teams continue to draft slow quarterbacks that sit back in the pocket and fail to outrun 350 lbs lineman? It is shocking!

In the recent AFC and NFC championship games, quarterbacks were forced to run for yards probably once every 3 plays. And they would get little yardage because they lack speed. I can’t help but laugh when I see a quarterback getting run down by a lineman. Who trains these QB’s? Ever heard of training to get faster?

Perhaps because they are the ones who help their teams win? BTW, I don’t think there are many 350lb defensive linemen (maybe a nose tackle or two.)

Unless you are running the option, the ability to read defenses and make good decisions is much more important than sheer athletic ability for a QB.

In the recent AFC and NFC championship games, quarterbacks were forced to run for yards probably once every 3 plays. And they would get little yardage because they lack speed. I can’t help but laugh when I see a quarterback getting run down by a lineman. Who trains these QB’s? Ever heard of training to get faster?

On the other hand, these were the QBs who lead their teams into and through the playoffs. The handful of QBs with speed were sitting at home and watching!

QB who are fast in college get turned into RBs or WRs. E.g. Matt Jones. Speed is more valuable at those positions than QB.

He didn’t even make it to the play-offs with a respectable D and a great running game. For all of the games he “won” with his legs, he has lost quite a few too for making bonehead mistakes or just not playing well period.

That’s because this year he tried to be a pocket quarterback and run rarely. He needs to be a scrambler so that the defense needs to defend his run as well and leave an extra man off of coverage. When he scrambles him and his team succeed, he doesn’t have the instincts or accuracy to be a drop back and throw QB and he doesn’t lose anything on his throws on the run.