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Friday, August 10, 2012

Be like Bolt? 49ers rave about team speed





Ted Ginn, Jr. was a near-unanimous choice to win the gold medal if the 49ers held an Olympics-like 100-meter dash among players.

By Matt Maiocco

August 9, 2012

SANTA CLARA -- We don't know exactly why, but football evaluators use the 40-yard dash as the measure of a player's speed.

The 49ers have a number of players who ran the 40 in sub-4.4 seconds during their respective pre-draft workouts. And with the amount of speed on the team, it would make for some good competition.

Cornerback Tarell Brown, who ran in the low-4.4s at the NFL scouting combine in 2007, struggled when asked who would be atop the podium if there were an Olympics-like 100-meter dash among 49ers players.

There might not be anyone like Olympic sprints champion Usain Bolt on the 49ers. But there are plenty of players who can bolt down the field.

"Definitely, Teddy (Ginn)," Brown said. "We have a bunch of guys who can run. We got six guys -- or more. Vernon (Davis), Randy (Moss), Teddy, me, (Chris) Culliver. A.J. Jenkins. And there are some other young guys, (Deante') Purvis, (Nathan) Palmer.

"If we had a relay team, we'd win the NFL Olympics."

Cory Nelms, who ran track at Miami (Fla.), was clocked as fast as 4.35 in the 40 last year. So, of course, he envisions winning the gold among the 89 players on the 49ers' roster. Ginn is his choice for the silver.

As for the bronze . . . "believe it or not, Randy. He can get down there."

Nelms mentioned Kyle Williams, who ran 4.34 at his 2010 pro day, as someone who would be in medal contention. When asked about rookie running back LaMichael James, Nelms answered, "I've never seen him open it up."

Running Frank Gore picked James for third behind his projected top two of Ginn and Davis.

"You can tell he's fast," Gore said of James, who clocked a 4.32 at the combine in February.

Jenkins, who was timed as low as 4.30 in the weeks leading up to the draft, also lists James as the bronze medalist. He resisted the urge to put himself on the podium.

"The first one has to be Ted Ginn," Jenkins said. "Who's the second-fastest? I'm not going to say myself. I think the second-fastest is Kyle Williams. I'll put LaMichael at third. I'm not being biased."

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