Are Chicago Bears Seeking Speed Upgrade on Offense? Aug 20, 2014 28 Grantland recently did a study to find the fastest teams in the NFL. Where do the Chicago Bears rank and what are they doing about it? Chicago ranks just ahead of dead last New England Patriots on speed scale Nothing changes the complexion of a game more than speed in pro football. Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders coveted that single statistic more than anything because it allowed his teams to constantly stay on the attack. It’s also the one factor of an athlete that can get them into the league by itself. So Grantland decided to see what the fastest teams are. This was done by adding the collective 40-yard dash times of the skill position players. The results were somewhat surprising. Coming in first were the Tennessee Titans with a speed rating of 45.33. Right behind them were Washington, the New York Jets, Buffalo and Cleveland. All were non-playoff teams in 2013. So where were the Bears? They sat at the caboose, ranking 31st overall with a 46.74 rating, just ahead of the New England Patriots who were dead last at 47.30. Does this mean Chicago is handcuffed every Sunday? Santonio Holmes and Chris Williams bring missing dimension Ironically, some of the slowest teams on the list featured some of the best offenses. Denver was 28th, New Orleans was 30th and Green Bay was 25th. That is a testament to proving speed doesn’t win games, talent does. However, that hasn’t stopped those teams from continuing to seek out ways to take the top off defenses. Denver went after Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, who posted 4.4/40 speed in Pittsburgh. New Orleans drafted Brandin Cooks, who is already being billed as Rookie of the Year material thanks to his 4.33 combine. Green Bay kept adding to their deep receiving corps with 7th round pick Jeff Janis, who wowed scouts during the pre-draft with a 4.42 time. So are the Chicago Bears content to live their lives as a slow offensive football team? Based on recent events, the answer would be an emphatic no. It started when they signed Chris Williams last December. The former New Mexico State receiver had spent his early years bouncing around the NFL before finding a home as a dominant return man in the CFL. His calling card? Teams were quick to notice the 4.39 speed, which he didn’t waste time flashing in Chicago with plays like this. It hasn’t stopped there though. The Bears added to their growing inventory of speedsters when they signed veteran receiver Santonio Holmes. Coming out of college, he was clocked at a 4.38/40. Being 30-years old, it’s reasonable to think that has tapered off slightly but Holmes is still plenty fast, especially now that his surgically-repaired foot is healthy. The scary thing to remember is Chicago has the second best offense in the league despite being one of the slowest. One can only imagine how things will change with more ways to attack defenses.