Be like Bolt? 49ers rave about team speed


Be like Bolt? 49ers rave about team speed

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."

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”