Originally Posted by TD
When I first saw that, I was like "no frikkin way". Jerry says the same.
Steve Largent is who came to mind. No doubt he was slow.
Still...I think slower guys who succeed are the exception rather than the rule.
Rice can say what he wants, but the official time is the official time. Now that addresses your last point, however. I think official times come back to damage players' draft prospects, when they could be having an off day, nagging hamstring issue, slow fingers on the scouts, etc. You often see discrepancies between the official time at the combine and a pro day, for example. Too much emphasis is placed on the 40 times. As alluded to above, you can watch a guy's tape and figure out who he can outrun and who he can't.
Also worth noting is the change in offensive philosophy about the time Rice came in. The WCO is the dominant type of offense today. These guys now all run crossing routes, drags, slants, picks, etc. A lot of the pure speed philosophy is left over from the '70s, when you didn't go over the middle.