La’Mical Perine is faster than his 40-time, so says New York Jets head coach Adam Gase about his rookie running back who didn’t come into the NFL with a reputation as a burner.
In late February at the NFL Combine, Perine ran a 4.62 time in the 40, a surprisingly slow number for a running back who had some breakout runs in college. But the time hurt his draft stock and Perine fell to the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
So when Perine reportedly dusted off a couple of big runs on Wednesday during the Jets scrimmage, it was a bit of a surprise.
A surprise that is to everyone but Gase and the coaching staff, who said that the 4.62 time doesn’t add up to his speed on the football field.
“What you saw in college didn’t match-up to that 40 time, ‘cus there’s some runs there,” Gase said on Wednesday in his virtual press conference.
“He had some really big games against really good opponents and players on the other team. Today was the first time that we got to see it in a situation like that, he pulled away from those guys. When he gets into a game situation, his speed looks completely different than his 40 times.”
Last year as a senior at Florida, Perine had 676 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, a down year from 2018 when he had 826 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. In addition, in 2019, he also had 40 receptions for 276 yards and five receiving touchdowns.
In a backfield that features two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell as well as future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Frank Gore, carries as a rookie might be hard for Perine. And while he will get some opportunities to run the ball, his rookie year is likely to be more developmental rather than impactful.
Perine was selected in the fourth round by the Jets at No. 120 overall.