INDIANAPOLIS --Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway has his eyes on the workouts of hundreds of potential Broncos at the Scouting Combine. But he knows the work at Lucas Oil Stadium -- which includes the hyped 40-yard dash -- is only part of the snapshot.
"You know, it's a big part of it, but it's also showbiz, too," Elway said of the 40. "It is important to be able to see what these guys can run, but they also train for it now, too.
"So it does help you, and you like to see guys run fast, but you can also see how fast they play on tape, too. A lot of it is game speed. A lot of guys can come run a 4.2 here, put pads on them and they run a 4.7.
"So a lot of guys don't carry their pads nearly as well as other guys."
But what an outstanding workout can do is open teams' eyes to a player. Then the personnel evaluators can go through an extended game film and character study to find out why there was a discrepancy between the workout performance and what's on the tape.
"Yeah, and I think a lot of times you say, 'Can we get that out of them? He knows he has that potential; can he mature into being that guy?' Because you can't coach athletic ability, you can't coach speed.
"So that's why those guys that have good numbers here are always very intriguing, because it's a matter of whether you can get it out of them or not."
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Shots from Friday's first day of workouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. (Credit: The Associated Press)