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from today's wall street journal.  interesting part about the type of dline guys the 49ers drafted.  and of course mostert is a good story.

Chiefs vs. 49ers: The Super Bowl of Speed

Kansas City and San Francisco advanced to the Super Bowl with different blueprints. But they both advanced this far because of the one trait they have in common: They’re both fast. Really, really fast.

By 
Andrew Beaton in Kansas City, Mo., and 
Jim Chairusmi in Santa Clara, Calif.
Jan. 20, 2020 8:14 am ETPatrick Mahomes raced around the Tennessee Titans defenders and threw the ball to receivers who left their counterparts with dust-covered uniforms. San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert blazed Green Bay for 220 rushing yards, while 49ers defenders whizzed around the field, chasing down Aaron Rodgers like they were playing in hyperspeed while he was trudging through mud.

Four teams played on Sunday for a spot in Super Bowl LIV, and two of them looked like they play with jetpacks. They also happen to be the same two teams advancing to the final game of the season.

This time of year, the two remaining NFL teams become blueprints that the 30 other clubs try to mimic in hopes of making it to next year’s Super Bowl. The problem with that: the Chiefs and 49ers don’t have much in common. Kansas City has an old coach who likes to throw the ball more than anyone else. San Francisco has a young coach who enjoys running it as much as anyone else. The Chiefs have built around their offense. The 49ers have built around their defense.

But these teams share something that’s far more fundamental than any X, O, scheme or system: They’re both fast. Really, really fast.

This is oddly antithetical to NFL orthodoxy. The best teams have often been built around the biggest and burliest players, not the quickest. Quarterbacks were questioned when they had the temerity to use their feet to run outside the narrow confines called the pocket. Offenses packed the field tightly, while defenses were constructed to counter just that, turning games into bruising scrums determined by sheer brawn.

But the NFL is amid a revolution that’s as stylistic as it is schematic. Most teams aren’t just throwing more than they did in the past, they’re deploying more athletic personnel to spread the field to exploit the full 57,600 square feet they have to work with, from sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone. The tides quickly shifted to give the quickest players the space to operate, and speed became more valuable than ever.

The Chiefs built their offense around this very principle. They traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes, who in college at Texas Tech played in an extreme, pass-heavy version of football’s evolution called the “Air Raid.” And they surrounded his arm strength and athleticism with the types of players who could help form an offense that fully takes advantage of those abilities.

“It’s hard to stop,” said Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz. “We’ve got the best quarterback in the world, the fastest NFL player in the world and a couple other guys who are right there behind him.”

Four of the five wide receivers on the Chiefs roster ran 40-yard dash times faster than 4.5 seconds, forming an elite unit of track stars who can run laps around most NFL defenses. In the second round of the 2019 draft, they traded up to draft Mecole Hardman, who had a grand total of 321 receiving yards in his last year at Georgia but ran the 40 in 4.33 seconds, one of the best times in recent years. The year before that, they traded for speedster Sammy Watkins.

And two years earlier, they drafted perhaps the fastest person in the entire NFL, receiver Tyreek Hill, who wasn’t invited to the NFL combine after a domestic violence arrest but reportedly ran the 40 in sub-4.3 seconds.

The summation of that speed was on full display as the Chiefs came back from 24-0 to thump the Texans 51-31 in the divisional round and again in the AFC championship when they surged from down 17-7 to beat the Titans 35-24. Mahomes wasn’t just Kansas City’s leading passer—he led the team in running, too, highlighted by an improbable 27-yard dash at the end of the first half when he outran several Tennessee defenders to the end zone. Hill caught two touchdowns, while Watkins finished with 114 receiving yards and a 60-yard touchdown that showed just how hard it is to keep up with the Kansas City offense.

“Just being fast in itself isn’t the answer. You have to be fast and talented,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said after his team lost. “There are ways to defend the speed."

The Chiefs are by any measure talented, and if there are ways to defend it, most of the NFL has failed to find them. But there was one defense specifically designed to cope with this type of modern offense: San Francisco’s.

The 49ers tailored their defense to be uniquely capable of counteracting these exact type of offenses. In the last five drafts, they’ve spent four first-round picks on defensive linemen who aren’t just strong. They’re fast enough to chase down quarterbacks in any direction they might head and make their lives miserable when they loaf around waiting for their roadrunner receivers to get open.

Quarterbacks are the NFL’s most valuable position players and, judging by who teams pay, pass rushers are the second most valuable. And San Francisco didn’t just invest in those—they sought out modern versions who could keep pace in today’s game. As if those draft picks weren’t enough, the 49ers traded for Dee Ford, a former first-round pick by none other than Kansas City, who combines a pass rusher’s size with a wide receiver’s quickness to form one of the NFL’s most imposing defensive weapons.

“He’s the key that unlocks everything with his speed off the edge,” said 49ers lineman Joe Staley.

After getting banged up in the latter half of the season, Ford returned to help torment Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in the NFC divisional round. When Ford was on the field, Cousins was limited to 9-of-14 passing for 48 yards and threw one interception. Aaron Rodgers’s results in Sunday’s conference championship weren’t much better, with most of his 326 yards passing yards gained when the game was already out of reach. Between Ford, rookie star Nick Bosa and the other first-round talents on the 49ers roster, opposing defenses often just don’t have the manpower to keep up with all of them.

Of course, the 49ers occasionally have to play offense too, and they’re also pretty fast on that side of the ball. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only had to attempt eight passes in Sunday’s 37-20 win because Mostert gashed the Packers for 220 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

“It seemed like every run [Mostert] did, he was about to score,” 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel said.

Mostert, who was cut by six NFL teams before arriving in San Francisco late in the 2016 season, began this year as the team’s third-string back. But he has emerged as more than just a special teams ace, rushing for a team-leading 772 yards during the regular season while fellow backs Tevin Coleman and Matt Brieda have battled injuries. Coleman was carted off the field in the second quarter on Sunday after suffering a shoulder injury.

On Sunday, Mostert reached a top speed of 21.87 MPH on his 36-yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Packers, the fastest play by a ball carrier in this postseason, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

“I think defenses underestimate his speed,” said 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. “You can just see it. He’ll hit a hole and the guy will take what he thinks is a good angle. And next thing you know, he’s by him, doesn’t even touch him. His 0 to 60 is literally in two steps.”

This makes the Super Bowl the ultimate test. It isn’t just about which team is the best. It’s which team will be the fastest.

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10 minutes ago, rangerous said:

from today's wall street journal.  interesting part about the type of dline guys the 49ers drafted.  and of course mostert is a good story.

Chiefs vs. 49ers: The Super Bowl of Speed

Kansas City and San Francisco advanced to the Super Bowl with different blueprints. But they both advanced this far because of the one trait they have in common: They’re both fast. Really, really fast.

By 
Andrew Beaton in Kansas City, Mo., and 
Jim Chairusmi in Santa Clara, Calif.
Jan. 20, 2020 8:14 am ETPatrick Mahomes raced around the Tennessee Titans defenders and threw the ball to receivers who left their counterparts with dust-covered uniforms. San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert blazed Green Bay for 220 rushing yards, while 49ers defenders whizzed around the field, chasing down Aaron Rodgers like they were playing in hyperspeed while he was trudging through mud.

Four teams played on Sunday for a spot in Super Bowl LIV, and two of them looked like they play with jetpacks. They also happen to be the same two teams advancing to the final game of the season.

This time of year, the two remaining NFL teams become blueprints that the 30 other clubs try to mimic in hopes of making it to next year’s Super Bowl. The problem with that: the Chiefs and 49ers don’t have much in common. Kansas City has an old coach who likes to throw the ball more than anyone else. San Francisco has a young coach who enjoys running it as much as anyone else. The Chiefs have built around their offense. The 49ers have built around their defense.

But these teams share something that’s far more fundamental than any X, O, scheme or system: They’re both fast. Really, really fast.

This is oddly antithetical to NFL orthodoxy. The best teams have often been built around the biggest and burliest players, not the quickest. Quarterbacks were questioned when they had the temerity to use their feet to run outside the narrow confines called the pocket. Offenses packed the field tightly, while defenses were constructed to counter just that, turning games into bruising scrums determined by sheer brawn.

But the NFL is amid a revolution that’s as stylistic as it is schematic. Most teams aren’t just throwing more than they did in the past, they’re deploying more athletic personnel to spread the field to exploit the full 57,600 square feet they have to work with, from sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone. The tides quickly shifted to give the quickest players the space to operate, and speed became more valuable than ever.

The Chiefs built their offense around this very principle. They traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes, who in college at Texas Tech played in an extreme, pass-heavy version of football’s evolution called the “Air Raid.” And they surrounded his arm strength and athleticism with the types of players who could help form an offense that fully takes advantage of those abilities.

“It’s hard to stop,” said Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz. “We’ve got the best quarterback in the world, the fastest NFL player in the world and a couple other guys who are right there behind him.”

Four of the five wide receivers on the Chiefs roster ran 40-yard dash times faster than 4.5 seconds, forming an elite unit of track stars who can run laps around most NFL defenses. In the second round of the 2019 draft, they traded up to draft Mecole Hardman, who had a grand total of 321 receiving yards in his last year at Georgia but ran the 40 in 4.33 seconds, one of the best times in recent years. The year before that, they traded for speedster Sammy Watkins.

And two years earlier, they drafted perhaps the fastest person in the entire NFL, receiver Tyreek Hill, who wasn’t invited to the NFL combine after a domestic violence arrest but reportedly ran the 40 in sub-4.3 seconds.

The summation of that speed was on full display as the Chiefs came back from 24-0 to thump the Texans 51-31 in the divisional round and again in the AFC championship when they surged from down 17-7 to beat the Titans 35-24. Mahomes wasn’t just Kansas City’s leading passer—he led the team in running, too, highlighted by an improbable 27-yard dash at the end of the first half when he outran several Tennessee defenders to the end zone. Hill caught two touchdowns, while Watkins finished with 114 receiving yards and a 60-yard touchdown that showed just how hard it is to keep up with the Kansas City offense.

“Just being fast in itself isn’t the answer. You have to be fast and talented,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said after his team lost. “There are ways to defend the speed."

The Chiefs are by any measure talented, and if there are ways to defend it, most of the NFL has failed to find them. But there was one defense specifically designed to cope with this type of modern offense: San Francisco’s.

The 49ers tailored their defense to be uniquely capable of counteracting these exact type of offenses. In the last five drafts, they’ve spent four first-round picks on defensive linemen who aren’t just strong. They’re fast enough to chase down quarterbacks in any direction they might head and make their lives miserable when they loaf around waiting for their roadrunner receivers to get open.

Quarterbacks are the NFL’s most valuable position players and, judging by who teams pay, pass rushers are the second most valuable. And San Francisco didn’t just invest in those—they sought out modern versions who could keep pace in today’s game. As if those draft picks weren’t enough, the 49ers traded for Dee Ford, a former first-round pick by none other than Kansas City, who combines a pass rusher’s size with a wide receiver’s quickness to form one of the NFL’s most imposing defensive weapons.

“He’s the key that unlocks everything with his speed off the edge,” said 49ers lineman Joe Staley.

After getting banged up in the latter half of the season, Ford returned to help torment Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in the NFC divisional round. When Ford was on the field, Cousins was limited to 9-of-14 passing for 48 yards and threw one interception. Aaron Rodgers’s results in Sunday’s conference championship weren’t much better, with most of his 326 yards passing yards gained when the game was already out of reach. Between Ford, rookie star Nick Bosa and the other first-round talents on the 49ers roster, opposing defenses often just don’t have the manpower to keep up with all of them.

Of course, the 49ers occasionally have to play offense too, and they’re also pretty fast on that side of the ball. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only had to attempt eight passes in Sunday’s 37-20 win because Mostert gashed the Packers for 220 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

“It seemed like every run [Mostert] did, he was about to score,” 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel said.

Mostert, who was cut by six NFL teams before arriving in San Francisco late in the 2016 season, began this year as the team’s third-string back. But he has emerged as more than just a special teams ace, rushing for a team-leading 772 yards during the regular season while fellow backs Tevin Coleman and Matt Brieda have battled injuries. Coleman was carted off the field in the second quarter on Sunday after suffering a shoulder injury.

On Sunday, Mostert reached a top speed of 21.87 MPH on his 36-yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Packers, the fastest play by a ball carrier in this postseason, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

“I think defenses underestimate his speed,” said 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. “You can just see it. He’ll hit a hole and the guy will take what he thinks is a good angle. And next thing you know, he’s by him, doesn’t even touch him. His 0 to 60 is literally in two steps.”

This makes the Super Bowl the ultimate test. It isn’t just about which team is the best. It’s which team will be the fastest.

Sounds like Mostert needs to be tested? 6 teams? Now he's like a blazing blur? 

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5 minutes ago, Jetster said:

Sounds like Mostert needs to be tested? 6 teams? Now he's like a blazing blur? 

some guys take longer.  

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Meh, speed helps bur like Vrabel said, it's not just having speed it's having talent but I'd take it further, it's how you develop your team around the speed you have on the roster.   

The Chiefs built around the strength of Mahomes arm with speed.  Their receivers all run 4.3/4.4's.  He has all day to throw and when a play breaks down, it's impossible to keep up with all that speed trying to get open for him.  It forces you to make a decision, play cover 3 or get burned and then they have speed that capitalizes the middle of the field in Kelce and their RB's.  

Speed had very little to do with why the 49'ers put the smack down on the Packers.  Mostert was running through lanes the size of a mack truck.  Sure, when he got space he was able to capitalize on the open field but his speed didnt create those holes, execution of the big uglies did.  And on D, they had 3 sacks, not 6, not 10...3.  Sure, Rodgers had to move but it's not because Bosa, Bucker and Armstead are track stars, it's because they're monsters who are tough to block and relentless when it comes to pursuit.

Speed helps, speed can kill but it's not why teams win.  The Ravens have elite speed at QB, RB, TE and WR....got smoked by the ground and pound game of the Titans who are not known for speed. 

Not sure why there is this constant pursuit to point to the ONE reason why a team is good or bad but it's bizarre, especially in a sport thats' more dependent on the guy next to you than any other sport.  Yes, speed is important but there a lot of fast dudes in the NFL that dont translate.  You need more than speed. 

 

 

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Andy Reid has always liked fast players.  His eagles teams were the same way.

This isnt new, jimmy Johnson loved faster player on the cowboys (especially on defense) 25 years ago.

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16 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Al Davis was right!

#40Times

:P

 

He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.  People take their shots at the feeble old man.  In his heyday he was a lion.  I would have loved to have Al Davis own and run the NY Jets when he was in his prime.

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3 minutes ago, chirorob said:

Andy Reid has always liked fast players.  His eagles teams were the same way.

This isnt new, jimmy Johnson loved faster player on the cowboys (especially on defense) 25 years ago.

Not really, Djax only for the most part..Owens?

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The 49'ers looked much faster on the filed than the Packers.

The 49'ers looked far more "up" for the game than the Packers, who looked beat almost before the game started.

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54 minutes ago, JiF said:

Not sure why there is this constant pursuit to point to the ONE reason why a team is good or bad but it's bizarre, especially in a sport thats' more dependent on the guy next to you than any other sport.  Yes, speed is important but there a lot of fast dudes in the NFL that dont translate.  You need more than speed. 

 

A perfect example is Chris Conley.  The guy is intelligent, supposed to respond well to coaching and he is as fast and as good an athlete as you will find. He was barely visible on the Chiefs. 

46 minutes ago, Biggs said:

He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.  People take their shots at the feeble old man.  In his heyday he was a lion.  I would have loved to have Al Davis own and run the NY Jets when he was in his prime.

+1

**** Rozelle. 

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2 minutes ago, Warfish said:

The 49'ers looked much faster on the filed than the Packers.

The 49'ers looked far more "up" for the game than the Packers, who looked beat almost before the game started.

My wife doesn't say much while she reads her book as she watches the non- Jets games. The one thing she said, '' The 49'ers have a lot of speed.'' lol.

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Man, when the Shanahans find a RB that fits their scheme... it’s a thing of beauty.

Speed is good. Scheme fit is just as good, if not better.

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10 minutes ago, Apache 51 said:

Not really, Djax only for the most part..Owens?

Westbrook's also

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39 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

and yet so many here love bell and want to get rid of anderson.

Because one doesn't  have speed but has proven he can be effective at many things, and the other has speed and is only effective at one thing

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13 minutes ago, Biggs said:

He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.  People take their shots at the feeble old man.  In his heyday he was a lion.  I would have loved to have Al Davis own and run the NY Jets when he was in his prime.

Al Davis was amazing for decades.  He got really old and never accepted help, but amazing for 30 years.  Dont discount his role in forcing the AFL NFL merger.

Also, decades ahead about diversity.  Hispanic head coach, black head coach.  Didn't care about players racial make up, could you play, and would you play for him, that's all he cared about.

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5 minutes ago, chirorob said:

Westbrook's also

B West was awesome, awesome.

 

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While this is a bit reductionist, it does bring into question Macc's strategy of drafting the slowest ******* guys imaginable.  I'm starting to wonder if maybe Macc didn't do a very good job, you guys.

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40 minutes ago, chirorob said:

Al Davis was amazing for decades.  He got really old and never accepted help, but amazing for 30 years.  Dont discount his role in forcing the AFL NFL merger.

Also, decades ahead about diversity.  Hispanic head coach, black head coach.  Didn't care about players racial make up, could you play, and would you play for him, that's all he cared about.

Erasmus Hall FTMFW!

3 minutes ago, TeddEY said:

While this is a bit reductionist, it does bring into question Macc's strategy of drafting the slowest ******* guys imaginable.  I'm starting to wonder if maybe Macc didn't do a very good job, you guys.

He really didn't.  He usually went with the chalk pick at the top, but he went after some excellent athletes late.  Lee, Jones, Clark, Peake, Cannon, Nickerson, Donahue were all very fast for their positions.  He brought in every rocket he could find as street FA - Jeff Smith, Trinnaman, Terrell Sinkfield, Darryl Roberts, Bucky Hodges, Gwacham, Middleton, etc.  Presumably, that is how they found Anderson.  The guys that were slow were Burris, Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins.  Jenkins has a ton of length and his other numbers weren't bad.  The other two were flat out terrible. 

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Chiefs have speed and a q back who can run around and throw. Niners have speed and amazing athletic talent with a well coached unit on both sides of the ball. Jimmy G won games throwing the ball when he had to. Lately he hasn't had to.

Niners are better in the trenches..........both trenches.........Not just the trenches on O but the blocking of the fullback and tight end makes it a 7 man blocking scheme.

 

Very hard to contain

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10 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

Erasmus Hall FTMFW!

He really didn't.  He usually went with the chalk pick at the top, but he went after some excellent athletes late.  Lee, Jones, Clark, Peake, Cannon, Nickerson, Donahue were all very fast for their positions.  He brought in every rocket he could find as street FA - Jeff Smith, Trinnaman, Terrell Sinkfield, Darryl Roberts, Bucky Hodges, Gwacham, Middleton, etc.  Presumably, that is how they found Anderson.  The guys that were slow were Burris, Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins.  Jenkins has a ton of length and his other numbers weren't bad.  The other two were flat out terrible. 

kind of speaks to the argument that it's not just speed.  yep those guys were fast.  lee was supposed to be one of those fast tweener lb's who could cover te's.  too bad he couldn't cover those 4.8+ te's he faced.

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1 hour ago, Jetster said:

Sounds like Mostert needs to be tested? 6 teams? Now he's like a blazing blur? 

Tested for what? Fresh legs?

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1 hour ago, #27TheDominator said:

Erasmus Hall FTMFW!

He really didn't.  He usually went with the chalk pick at the top, but he went after some excellent athletes late.  Lee, Jones, Clark, Peake, Cannon, Nickerson, Donahue were all very fast for their positions.  He brought in every rocket he could find as street FA - Jeff Smith, Trinnaman, Terrell Sinkfield, Darryl Roberts, Bucky Hodges, Gwacham, Middleton, etc.  Presumably, that is how they found Anderson.  The guys that were slow were Burris, Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins.  Jenkins has a ton of length and his other numbers weren't bad.  The other two were flat out terrible. 

Honestly, I was thinking of Maudlin, Stewart, Hansen, and Donahue, the last of which is apparently a better athlete than I remember.

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1 hour ago, #27TheDominator said:

Why do the revs on that piece of sh*t skyrocket when you shift up? 

Because it's not a Porsche.

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23 minutes ago, TeddEY said:

Honestly, I was thinking of Maudlin, Stewart, Hansen, and Donahue, the last of which is apparently a better athlete than I remember.

Hansen was a fair athlete.  Nothing shocking, but he had a very good cone time which is what you generally want in a slot.  Stewart was a decent athlete.  Sub- 4.5 at the combine and over 10' broad jump.  He just didn't seem like a WR.  I think he was supposed to be a YAC/RB type, like Jalin Marshall.  Mauldin was pitiful.  I thought Donahue was a good athlete, but I just looked it up.  Apparently he was a slug at the combine.  Maybe he had a better pro day?  More likely, I am not remembering correctly.  I know that he had extremely short arms and that staff was supposed to be obsessed with length.  He was supposed to have "explosive traits."  His cone time kind of sucked.  He was another small school guy that didn't make it, but he was supposed to be motor. 

I never understood the philosophy  You have to look at guys and see why they are successful and why they are not and then decide how that projects with what you are trying to do.  When you look at superior athletes, you know what they should be able to do.  With a guy like Stewart, he was fine as an athlete, but never successful enough that it should put him over the top of other guys.  The next three WR selected included Golladay and Godwin, but neither was necessarily a better athlete than Stewart and the next WR selected was Carlos Henderson who ran a 4.46 and I think is playing in Canada now. 

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2 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

Is your Porch high revving, or is it all in at 4,000 rpm, like @SAR I 's BMW? 

Sport Chrono Package Baby!

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27 minutes ago, BROOKLYN JET said:

Because it's not a Porsche.

I think only the M4 has a dual clutch system like the PDK on the Porsche.  It's almost as good.  I suspect Sar isn't driving an M class.  The torque converter system he has should be nice and smooth for getting out of the way. 

FYI I was embarrassed the other day by a Tesla 3.  It went by me like a rocket.  The silent assassin.  It was even worse when they turned around and waved at me and the car didn't move out of it's lane. 

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6 minutes ago, Biggs said:

I think only the M4 has a dual clutch system like the PDK on the Porsche.  It's almost as good.  I suspect Sar isn't driving an M class.  The torque converter system he has should be nice and smooth for getting out of the way. 

FYI I was embarrassed the other day by a Tesla 3.  It went by me like a rocket.  The silent assassin.  It was even worse when they turned around and waved at me and the car didn't move out of it's lane. 

the electric acceleration ins non pareil

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