By now, most football fans know that Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson's electronic 40-yard dash time of 4.24 seconds remains the fastest in NFL Combine history.
But when asked recently whether Johnson is faster than Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles ― who ran a 4.38 in 2008 ― Titans safety and former Chief Bernard Pollard had a harder time making a choice than you might think.
“That’s hard, because if you go off of 40s, everybody knows that Chris (Johnson) had the faster 40,” said Pollard, who was Charles' teammate in 2008. “But if you’re talking about game speed, somebody who can just cut it up, I’ve seen them both put it on.”
In the end, one memory from the Chiefs' 2008 season ― a 34-10 loss to the Titans ― influenced Pollard's choice.
“I played against Chris when I was on Kansas City; he put up 170 if I remember correctly,” Pollard said. “It’s kind of a tossup, but I’m going to go with Chris.”
Pollard has a pretty good memory, it seems; Johnson indeed ran for 168 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
But Pollard said his choice is no slight to Charles, who currently leads the Chiefs in both rushing yards (289) and receiving yards (213).
“He is somebody that I really enjoy watching, just because I was there with him, I’ve seen him grow from his rookie year to now,” Pollard said. “It’s just one of those things where Jamaal is something special. He sees the ball a lot. I think there is going to be some wear and tear on him later, but right now, he’s playing outstanding.”
Pollard even called Charles one of the league's top five running backs, and is looking forward to the matchup at noon Sunday, when he faces his former team at LP Field.
“It’s going to be fun to play against him and see him and (Branden) Albert and (Dwayne) Bowe and all of them,” Pollard said.