T Nation

Usain Bolt Should Play Football

Someone needs to see if that sonofabitch can catch a football.

I wonder what his 40 time would be.

Just because the dude is fast on a track does NOT mean it translates into football skill — especially for the NFL. I doubt he could even keep up with most of the guys in the CFL in terms of overall football skill - agility, strength, smarts, etc.

I would love to see what his .40 time is, though.

When I watched his race he wasn’t the most explosive runner. He had great mid/top end.

Some of those NFL boys are way to powerful, I doubt Bolt could even keep up to some of them.

You guys are thinking about this all wrong. Fuck skill.

Just line up as a wide out and run straight.

6’5"? Cornerback what?

I bet he has amazing jumping ability also, just send him on a deep pass he is strong enough and definitely fast enough to blow by anyone.

I really think that most of the skill could be developed fairly quickly. He has the raw tools–speed, size, and is probably strong as shit as well. I mean, I’m willing to bet that he could squat and clean with the best of the NFL dudes.

Use him as a deep threat with limited packages and some simple routes and I could see it.

Yeah sprinters are some of the strongest athletes in track and field, ben johnson could squat over 3x his bodyweight.

The question is really if he can take a hit.

Well, can he?

His 40 m split was 4.65. I’d guess his 40 yd time would be around 4.5-4.55. And that’s running out of the blocks, on a track, neither of which apply to a 40 yd dash test.

Put the guy in front of a corner who would probably have no trouble getting a good jam at the line, and he’ll never get up to top speed. Plus he’s never run in pads, never been hit, never run a route, etc, etc.

But this is ridiculous speculation anyway. When you’re the best the world has ever seen at something, you should stick to that thing. Just ask Michael Jordan.

Link to split times:
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/08/beijing-2008-men-100m-race-analysis.html

if this strategy actually worked, why hasnt it been done to any great degree, already?

other than willie gault and bob hayes, i cant think of any other olympic sprinters who have had much success in pro football.

[quote]hypnotoad wrote:
if this strategy actually worked, why hasnt it been done to any great degree, already?

other than willie gault and bob hayes, i cant think of any other olympic sprinters who have had much success in pro football.[/quote]

Tons of high school football players do track and field also, a lot of pro football players did track in high school also. They usually stop in college though and focus just on football-since more money-

He might be ok on the football field, but a better question is are there some 6’5 nfl guys that might have been great 100 meter runners if they grew up running track?

Bolt will HAVE to gain SOME weight to play football, and will he be that fast? or if he had to run avg of 15 yards 50 times a day back to back would he still have the same speed?

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
His 40 m split was 4.65. I’d guess his 40 yd time would be around 4.5-4.55. And that’s running out of the blocks, on a track, neither of which apply to a 40 yd dash test.

Put the guy in front of a corner who would probably have no trouble getting a good jam at the line, and he’ll never get up to top speed. Plus he’s never run in pads, never been hit, never run a route, etc, etc.

But this is ridiculous speculation anyway. When you’re the best the world has ever seen at something, you should stick to that thing. Just ask Michael Jordan.

Link to split times:
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/08/beijing-2008-men-100m-race-analysis.html [/quote]

This is kind of irrelevant. The 100 meter is not an all-out event like the 40 yd. or 60 meter. Sprinters are trained to pace themselves and drop the hammer later into the race. Indeed, Playboy just ran an article about this very fact in the (I think) August issue.

This is the same argument I made in response to the claim that the NFL combine times are not accurate because those athletes are putting down times that are as fast or faster than the 40 yd. splits of track athletes in major competitions.

The point is that you cannot make a direct comparison that way. I’m willing to bet that a good track athlete could run an incredible 40 yard dash. But it is true that Bolt is not that great at shorter distances; he has great endurance and top speed, but his acceleration is not that impressive (for elite sprinters).

[quote]hypnotoad wrote:
if this strategy actually worked, why hasnt it been done to any great degree, already?

other than willie gault and bob hayes, i cant think of any other olympic sprinters who have had much success in pro football.[/quote]

Most sprinters see football as a sure fired way to blow out a knee. Besides there lots of money in track and field with endorsements and such.

Tony Meola, His awesome foot translated to one game with the New York Jets where he was almost mowed down on the kick return. . . . see there IS translation!

[quote]shizen wrote:
hypnotoad wrote:
if this strategy actually worked, why hasnt it been done to any great degree, already?

other than willie gault and bob hayes, i cant think of any other olympic sprinters who have had much success in pro football.

Tons of high school football players do track and field also, a lot of pro football players did track in high school also. They usually stop in college though and focus just on football-since more money- [/quote]

was referring more to the idea of olympic sprinters doing it, and the strategy of ‘sending the fast guy straight down field cause no one can keep up’- but point taken.

I cannot find the exact reference, but I heard on a track coach say on ESPN radio that Bolt’s 40 yard dash time would be 3.5 seconds. Yes, that was 3.5 seconds. He was using a time conversion chart that is common in high-class sprinting.

There have been other sprinters/football players. Willie Gault comes to mind.

Andre Johnson [Texans] was a Big East sprint champ at Miami. He’s also built like a brick shit house and has great hands. But speed is his bread and butter.

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
His 40 m split was 4.65. I’d guess his 40 yd time would be around 4.5-4.55. And that’s running out of the blocks, on a track, neither of which apply to a 40 yd dash test.
[/quote]

Your guess is way off the mark.

Using the timing system the NFL uses, he hit 40 meters in less than 4.5. His start is his weakest part of the race, but if he went to the combine he would still come pretty close to breaking the record.

I have seen countless track guys who try to play football fail miserably. There are very few occasions in football where you run in a linear fashion. You are always cutting, juking, and adjusting speed, which is something you don’t deal with in track and field events. Sometimes you do have guys who make a successful transition, but its more the exception than the rule.