The Baltimore Ravens are borrowing some of Billy Beane's "Moneyball" concept, hiring Sandy Weil as director of football analytics.
Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, revolutionized baseball scouting and evaluation by placing an emphasis on things like on-base percentage and batting average with runners in scoring position.
According to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, Weil's duties will include similar ideas for football.
Charged with examining some of the league’s prevailing schools of thought, Weil’s studies could cover everything from the value of going for a first down on fourth-and-short, to determining the traits that are key indicators of success for an NFL prospect.
“We’re always looking for confirmation on things we think we know and insights that could provide an edge for us in personnel and coaching,” Newsome stated. “This is where Sandy will help us.
“Like developing your team, it’s a work in progress. As Sandy learns more about what we do, and we learn more about what he can do with all this information, his role and impact will increase. I’m excited to see where this leads and how it develops.”
Many football teams have done the same sorts of things behind the scenes for a number of years. Lions coach Jim Schwartz used percentages and tendencies of his own defense and opposing offensive when scouting opponents as defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. Schwartz had his quality control people run all sorts of statistical data to have at his fingertips when he was formulating his weekly game plans.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com