Steelers weigh in on Olympic sprinter Bolt
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, 7:38 p.m.
Usain Bolt doesn't just run like the wind, he is faster than any man in history. His 100-meter dashes last about as long as it takes to flip open a cell phone and dial a number, and he accelerates to a speed that doesn't seem all that much slower than a Jeff Karstens breaking ball.
The nightmarish thought of Bolt lining up as an NFL wide receiver, ready to turn the most innocent looking of passes into the longest of gains, is enough to make Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor believe there might be a better way to make a living.
“I don't know how he does it, I don't know where he gets it from,” Taylor said Tuesday, referring to Bolt's Olympic-record 9.63 time in the 100-meter dash. “That's just too fast.”
NFL players are among the world's fastest athletes — and absentee Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace is among the fastest of them — yet a few random Steelers polled aren't ready to predict that Wallace could keep up with Bolt in a 40-yard dash, the league's prime measurement of speed.
“Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “He's something else, He ran a 9.8-something just jogging and came back and ran a 9.63. That's definitely supernatural.”
Still, wide receiver Antonio Brown would challenge Bolt if he could.
“Randy Moss is really fast. Mike Wallace is pretty fast, too,” Brown said. “But no question (an NFL player could hang with Bolt). Could I? Possibly, uh, no question.”
Sanders doesn't sound as confident, saying, “Usain Bolt has top-end speed.”
Bolt, also the Olympic 200-meter dash favorite, ran a world-record 9.58 in the 100 in 2009. Since then, sports scientists have attempted to quantify his 40-yard dash time. Their best estimates? Anywhere from an astounding 3.8 seconds to 4.2 seconds.
In that 2009 race, he ran the first 40 yards (35.6 meters) in 4.24 seconds but, based on how the NFL measures players only after they have started moving, a more accurate estimate is 4.11. But Bolt also had the advantage of a starting block, which NFL rookies don't have when they are timed at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Steelers scouts can't recall timing any player in less than the low 4.3s on campus. Titans running back Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 at the combine, Wallace a 4.33. Sanders ran a 4.41; Brown has been timed at 4.47.
Former Olympic sprint champion Bob Hayes, arguably the fastest player in NFL history, apparently never ran an accurately measured 40, but estimates are he could have run a 4.2.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Rice cornerback among 3 draft prospects to visit Steelers
- Despite many moves, Steelers’ depth still a work in progress
- Steelers sign former Texas cornerback McCain
- Expanded NFL replay draws mixed reviews
- Steelers take flier on ex-Colts WR Heyward-Bey
- NFL, players union turn attention to respect, conduct in workplace