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The other day, I stumbled upon the Ravens’ JUGS machines – plugged in, ready to roll.
In the name of research, I couldn’t pass this up.
I jacked it up to 25 mph … no problem. Up to 30 mph … a little harder. Eventually, I found out 35 mph was the max I could hang onto from about 15 yards away. I’m man enough to admit I was too chicken to stare down the barrel beyond that.
That got me thinking though.
Could I catch Joe Flacco’s fastball?
So I did a bunch of asking around about Joe’s velocity and here’s what I got:
The only time a quarterback’s arm strength is officially documented is at the combine, so before they’re even rookies. Flacco said that when they are tested, they only take a three-step drop. So it’s not even as hard as it could be with a full five- or seven-step drop.
Flacco didn’t remember what his speed was (surprise, surprise … he doesn’t care about frivolous stuff like this), but Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz dug up the records for me.
Flacco was clocked at 58 mph. That’s the speed it left his hand at. By the time it was caught on an out pattern, it was at 53 mph.
Quarterbacks Coach Jim Caldwell tested all of his quarterbacks at Indianapolis, and the average was 51 mph. Yes, that’s including Peyton Manning. Caldwell believes that the rest of the league is about the same.
So that means there’s proof that Flacco throws faster than your average NFL gunslinger.
But what about the receivers? How fast a spiral can they catch?
Tandon Doss said his top speed is 60 mph from 10 yards away. The other day, new wide receiver Jacoby Jones had the JUGSat 35 mph and was catching it from just a couple feet away.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb witnessed it from across the practice field, asked what speed he had it set on and yelled out, “You’re crazy!”