Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson's 40-Times Create Total Confusion

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMarch 29, 2012

How fast is Trent Richarson with pads on? That's what matters.
How fast is Trent Richarson with pads on? That's what matters.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Trent Richardson finally ran on Thursday. Roll Tide, yipee. It was Alabama's "pro day" and there are supposed to be some real prospects from that school in Tuscaloosa—one of them being that sturdy young lad named Trent.

Richardson ran the 40 and Holy Bear Bryant, the reports of his times are all over the place, according to Pro Football Talk.

They were as fast as 4.45, via NFL.com, which throws us back to the days when Forrest Gump ran rampant all over the rest of the SEC as a kick returner.

They were as slow as 4.61, via Sports Illustrated, which begs us to wonder if Trent was dragging a 45-pound weight plate.

When it comes to 40 times, I defer to my memory banks when Don Shula gave me a one-hour private lesson on pro football back in 1980, and if those well-worn banks serve me correctly, Shula told me he never paid much attention to 40 times.

You might agree with him. Consider the futility of let's say, having a back that runs 4.2 if there is no hole for him to run through. Right? Someone once said that they timed Emmitt Smith's 40 with a sun dial. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have Richardson in for a visit between now and the draft, one of those moments from the King and I, you know "getting to know you, getting to know all about you..."

What is important for a team like the Bucs, or any team when you think about it, is that a running back needs to get up in the hole, he needs to be able to make tacklers miss, he needs to break tackles and then perhaps he can begin to think about trying to out-run someone.

It also helps if the guy can catch, make his reads, pick up a blitzing linebacker or safety and most of all, stay out of the training room.

For a team like the Bucs, it would also help if a guy can pick up three yards when it's 3rd-and-2. Are you listening, LeGarrette Blount?

For a team like the Bucs, it would also help if a guy doesn't fumble the football at inopportune times. Is there really a time that is not inopportune? Are you listening LeGarrette Blount?

Which brings us back to all of this 40-yards of confusion.

The thought here is that it is certainly much ado about nothing.

Sadly, we're all here in the same drifting pre-draft rowboat. We can mock all the drafts we want, we can make all the suppositions we want, but the fact is that we simply do not know how picks three, four and five in that first round later next month are going to pan out.

We do not know exactly who will or won't be there for the Bucs.

We simply don't know—kinda like Trent Richardson's 40 times.