Originally posted by ArmchairQB:
I've often wondered about the speed of the game in the past. What were the 40 times of historic players? Would they compete today?
The game has gotten a lot faster. In the 60's for example, the fastest player in the league was Bob Hayes, an Olympic gold medalist in the 100. I read somewhere that Hayes ran the 60 yard dash in 5.29 seconds, so I'm sure he was at the 40 in less than 4.5 seconds, but these days, there are lots of players running at that speed. The Niners have a 6-3, 255 lb tight end who runs at that speed. And, the speed of the linebackers and lineman has really increased. There were literally no linebackers running at the speeds the Niners linebackers run at today. In fact, one of the reasons Walsh's WCO was so successful early on was that he was taking advantage of the average speed of ILB's who were there to plug the run and really couldn't cover passes. In a very real way, Walsh's WCO was what precipitated the onset of extremely quick linebackers, first with the pass rushing OLB's who were just getting up-field to blow up the timing of those plays and secondly with ILB's who had to start watching those runners coming out of the backfield for short passes.