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pakowitz 04-14-2004 12:58 AM

Teams searching for speed at CB
By John Clayton

For the past month, Chris Gamble of Ohio State and Will Poole of Southern Cal have been behind the times. They keep running, but they can't seem to catch up to DeAngelo Hall of Virginia Tech and Dunta Robinson of South Carolina.

At stake is millions of dollars. Which is why Poole has scheduled two additional workouts -- Wednesday and Friday -- to improve horrible 40 times of 4.65 and 4.66 he ran on March 24. Gamble's plight hasn't been much better. He's tried twice and actually got worse, parlaying a 4.5 and 4.55 performance on March 12 to 4.61, 4.57 and 4.53 on April 5.

While their times haven't been good, their timing has been even worse. At the NFL annual meeting at the end of March, the league decided to make illegal contact on receivers after five yards a point of emphasis this season, meaning more flags. If a cornerback can't grab a jersey after five yards and if a cornerback can't disrupt a route with a bump after five yards, how is he going to cover all the bigger, taller receivers who are just as fast if not faster than him?

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