We LOVE 40-yard-dash times. Sometimes it seems like nothing else matters. Al Davis was well known for putting an extreme level of emphasis on 40-yard-dash times of players even though that philosophy very rarely worked in the Raiders' favor. So, when the 40-yard-dash times came out from the Veterans Combine Sunday, there was a collective gasp at how 'slow' they were.
Just looking at the running backs, the best times were in the 4.7 range to the worst surpassing 5. That's offensive lineman kind of time right there.
One such running back to get bad news following his 40-yard-dash was former Raiders starting running back, Michael Bush. He was told he had been clocked at 4.91 and he wasn't happy about it.
Michael Bush when he learned he ran a 4.91 40 at the Veteran Combine: 'You gotta be ****ing me. 4.91? There you go, there goes my career.'— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) March 22, 2015
There is some solace for Bush though. As it turns out, those times -- which seems very suspect from the start -- are not the actual times.
NFL source says vet combine 40 times should be adjusted .1 to .2 seconds faster when comparing to college combine. So 4.85 = 4.65 to 4.75.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 22, 2015
This puts Bush's time around 4.71 rather than 4.91 which is a lot more realistic. Even as big a back as Bush is (6-2, 250), I don't see any 300+ pound defensive tackles running him down from behind anytime soon.
What sucks is how seemingly every national media outlet took the initial numbers and ran with them without questioning anything. I mean, I get that these are no longer rookies anymore. Perhaps they have each lost a little speed. But come on, Felix Jones ran a 4.79 40? Be real.
For Bush's part, he doesn't have as much mileage on him as your typical 30-year-old running back. He has seen all of 63 carries over the past two seasons due to the Bears giving him, as he put it "the short end of the stick" and not letting him "earn [his] keep". He was part of the Cardinals for ten days last season.
Due to his brutal leg fracture his senior season at Louisville, he didn't play a down of football for two years. He's only started 20 games in the NFL with 809 career carries.
"All I want is a shot," Bush told the Chicago Tribune. "Just a shot, man. That's it.
"Put it like this: you sign me, you're going to get an angry, pissed off football player who wants some respect."
Raiders fans have fond memories of Bush's hard running in Oakland. He stepped up on many occasions for the oft-injured Darren McFadden. And he almost always gave the Raider a boost when he did.
Some team needs to give him the shot he is looking for. It seems doubtful it would be the Raiders, but as they say 'Once a Raider, always a Raider' right?