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Usain Bolt as a Bolt?????

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by RM24, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?campaign=ec0005&template=with-video&confirm=true&id=09000d5d80a2be46

    I know we're just dreaming here, but Bolt on the "Bolts" would be awesome. If he could catch and play WR, which is much different than just running track. But "Bullet" Bob Hayes did it with Dallas back in the day.

    Could Olympic gold-medal sprinter Bolt charge into the NFL?

    By Gil Brandt

    Petr David Josek / Associated Press
    [​IMG]
    A lightning-quick sprinter, Jamaica's 6-foot-5 Usain Bolt would be a perfect marketing fit for the Chargers.

    Someone asked me the other day what I thought about the idea of making Olympic gold-medal sprinter Usain Bolt a football player. Let's put it this way: If Hall of Fame general manager Tex Schramm and I were still running the Cowboys, we'd be in Jamaica right now waiting for Bolt's plane to land.

    That's not to say anyone can predict what the fastest human being alive might do on a football field. But in a sport that places such a premium on raw speed, why not take a chance on a guy who just shattered world records?

    Bolt electrified the Olympics this week as he set records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He became the first Olympian since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win gold in both those races.

    James Flores / National Football League
    Bob Hayes is the exception when it comes to track stars trying to make transition to the NFL.

    Photos: From track to the turf

    FYI, we drafted Lewis in the 12th round of the 1984 draft. It was a calculated risk; Lewis never signed with Dallas.

    We had set the ultimate precedent for that 20 years earlier, when we used our seventh-round draft pick on a marginal running back from tiny Florida A&M. Of course, it wasn't his skills as a running back that impressed us. We drafted Bob Hayes for one reason and one reason only: speed.

    I first met Hayes in the spring of 1963, when I was introduced to him by Florida A&M coach Jake Gaither. The Cowboys just loved fast guys, and we felt he was worth a shot. Teams were allowed to draft players back then even if they still had a year of eligibility left, so we took Hayes in the 1964 draft -- which was actually held in December 1963.

    Hayes had already set records in track, but his finest moments as a sprinter came later, in the 1964 Summer Games. Hayes set a then-world record of 10 seconds flat in winning gold in the 100 meters (even though he was running in a lane that had been badly worn from a race the day before). And in the 4 x 100 relay, he led an amazing come-from-behind victory with a 100-meter leg that was unofficially timed at 8.6 seconds.

    When Hayes arrived in Dallas, we moved him to wide receiver to best take advantage of his speed, and it proved to be a wise move.

    As a rookie with the Cowboys in 1965, Hayes caught 46 passes for 12 touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl. After his first three seasons in Dallas, Hayes had a total of 159 receptions and 35 touchdowns -- an incredible average of one touchdown every 4.5 catches.

    When you consider that the Cowboys ran the football 56 percent of the time back then, and they played a 14-game season, well, it's no wonder his teammates nicknamed him "Speedo." Not only did Hayes excel at receiver, but in 1968 he led the NFL with a 20.8-yard punt return average, returning two punts for scores (to go along with 10 TD catches -- his fourth consecutive season with at least 10).

    While it's true that offensive schemes were much simpler in those days, Cowboys head coach Tom Landry did find creative ways to get Hayes the football. Not that it wasn't enough just to send Hayes deep every week. But Landry did something that was quite new at the time: He would have Hayes line up on the outside, take a step back as the ball is snapped and get a quick pass from the quarterback. The wide receiver screen was born.
    Bob Hayes, WR

    With Hayes running the receiver screen, it was an unbelievably dangerous play. I remember former Giants cornerback Dick Lynch was once asked about Hayes' speed and he said, "Well, I remember one game when he caught a quick screen at the 45-yard line. I started out even with him -- and by time he crossed the goal line he was 10 yards ahead of me."

    Simply put, Hayes did more to change defenses than anyone to come into the league at that time. His ability to stretch the defense forced coaches to adjust the basic zone defenses they were using at the time.

    It remains a major bone of contention to me that he is still not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Nobody will convince me that he doesn't belong. That said, he remains the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.

    In 1982, we lost out to the 49ers in our effort to sign another world-class track star, hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah. If not for America's boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, the reigning world-record holder in the 110-meter hurdles at the time, likely would have matched Hayes' amazing double. He played three seasons for the 49ers and was part of the 1984 team that won Super Bowl XIX.

    Other athletes to make the transition from the track to the turf include Ron Brown, Willie Gault and James Jett. Interestingly, all three, at one point in their NFL careers, played for Al Davis' Raiders.

    Of course, that doesn't mean signing Olympic speedsters is a no-brainer.

    Three years after we drafted Hayes, the Miami Dolphins tried to follow suit. Jimmy Hines was a sprinter from Texas Southern who did in the 1968 Olympics exactly what Hayes had done four years prior. Hines broke Hayes' Olympic record in the 100 meters, and he led an amazing comeback win in the 4x100 relay with a blazing anchor leg.

    The Dolphins had drafted him in the sixth round in 1968, and they signed him just four days after the Olympics.

    But Hines was no Hayes. In fact, it didn't take long before Hines earned a nickname of his own. The Dolphins called him "Oops" -- because that's what he said every time he dropped a pass in practice, which was often. Hines caught a total of four passes in parts of two NFL seasons.

    So would Usain Bolt make it in the NFL?

    There's no way of knowing for sure. He's got a tremendous body. The thing that would concern me is that he's such a long strider. Those long legs help him run fast, but they wouldn't do a lot of good making cuts.

    That said, he could probably fly past most any cornerback. If he had any hands at all, he'd be scary. Certainly worth giving him a look if you're a team in need at receiver.

    You never know when you might strike gold.
     
  2. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    This would be awesome. he's actually really tall for a runner. Cromartie would be the only one that could match up with his speed and he's on our team :tup:
     
  3. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    can he catch a football or gain separation?

    the NFL has tried this experiment before and with the exception of Bullet Bob Haynes it hasn't work (see James Jett and Rocket Ishmael).
     
  4. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Yeah, Bolt is the fastest man alive but can he catch a football on a go-route and with a DB or Safety on him? I bet A.J. is asking the same thing.....:icon_huh:
     
  5. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Watching his laid back sprinting syle as he smashes World records, I can't imagine he would make the most disciplined route runner!
    Plus he will earn many more millions sprinting than failing to make the cut at NFL training camp.
    (The "Bolt is a Bolt" T-shirt would be cool though :tup:)
     
  6. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I think the article was asking the same thing as well.
     
  7. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    I don't know, have you guys seen the way he acts? He reminds me of Chad Johnson or somebody like that the way he showboats. He seemed like he could easily turn into a prima donna, cancerous WR. Not sure if his character would be in the right frame of what we would like.
     
  8. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    • Like Like x 1
  9. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    LOL:tup: Classic!!!
     
  10. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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  11. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Hayes played football and ran track. Bolt is a track guy without a clue about football. Nehemiah was the same story as Jett and Rocket. He can make a ton more money from this time on without getting the crap beat out of him by sticking to track. Endorsements, appearance fees, etc., etc., etc. Bolt would be a fool to think about football and his mama would kick his ***.
     
  12. Cheapseats

    Cheapseats Loud, proud Charger fan

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    It would be an amusing publicity stunt, but he would either meltdown in a spectacular fashion or get destroyed the first time a safety gets a bead on him flat footed.

    By the way, I understand the Jamaican bobsled may be available...

    Geez!....

    :slap:
     
  13. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    Didn't James Jett & Rocket play college ball and were productive? Seems to me Jett went to West Virginia & Rocket went to Notre Dame or something like that.
     
  14. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    :lol:

    So......how do you know his mama?
     
  16. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    He would get his face smashed in.
     
  17. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    :icon_rofl:
     
  18. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    If I were Usain Bolt, I'd be happily taking around $10 million a year in endorsements and appearance fees, without having to take hits from guys 220 to 300 lbs a dozen times a game.
     
  19. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Being from Jamaica, I bet he actually wishes he could play cricket!!
     
  20. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    The NFL has drug policy, which I'm sure the level of THC from all the weed smoking will spell trouble for him. :lol:
     
  21. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    That would come in handy - you need to be stoned to enjoy cricket (that should get the English pissed!!!:lol:)
     

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