Data Crunchers Quietly Invade War Rooms

May 8th, 2014

spreadsheetsimageWe all knew this was coming. Heck, Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Joe the covert analytics team at One Buc Palace is a key cog in the Tampa Bay scouting machine.

Now we learn from ESPN that the Browns paid six figures recently to study QB data, in addition to the millions already invested in their scouting department.


According to Sal Paolantonio of ESPN, the Browns commissioned a study of the quarterback position that cost $100,000 and entailed a great deal of research into which qualities go into success at the most important position in football. The study began under former team President Joe Banner and was only recently completed, after Banner left.

The study, which used advanced analytics to examine every quarterback who has played in the last two decades, concluded that the best quarterback in this year’s draft is Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.

Has the world gone mad? Not that Joe is unhappy with Bridgewater winning this data Super Bowl for quarterbacks; Joe would love to see Bridgewater as a Buccaneer. Joe’s only saying that this kind of investing in spreadsheets — for a quarterback, of all positions– is nuts.

Heck, numerous teams across the NFL won’t invest $100,00o to have a QB coach or QB consultant who can actually teach high-level throwing mechanics to their quarterbacks (See Greg Schiano’s Bucs teams) — yet a team will pay to pore over reams of mostly meaningless data.


16 Responses to “Data Crunchers Quietly Invade War Rooms”

  1. buccinfan Says:

    Money ball

  2. BuccsfanNJ Says:

    Joe Glazer just reported Bucs have no interest in manziel… smoke screen or truth?

    Joe only has a few hours left to bask in his fantasy for JF

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “The study, which used advanced analytics to examine every quarterback who has played in the last two decades, concluded that the best quarterback in this year’s draft is Teddy Bridgewater…”

    I predicted they would take Bridgewater with their first pick in round one (in my mock). If this is right, its my first hit of the day 😉

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    But I agree, spending 100,000 for a study like that is dumb. But then, I guess they needed to do something with the way the Browns have messed up their picks.

    If they end up taking him and he turns out good, I suspect other teams will be doing such studies.

  5. BucFanForever Says:

    What I would so is spend $100,000 on crunching data to see what offensive coordinators and quarterback coach combo is going to mint the beat qb in the draft.

    I believe that success as a qb is half the Qb and half the team he goes to. Whether the Bucs take Carr, Manziel, Bridgewater, Garropolo, Bortles, Or Murray (in no particular order-Mettenberger left off for a good reason), it is likely that QB will have he best career of all of them.

    I believe the Bucs are the ideal landing spot for a QB out of the teams that need one.

    They have an OC that knows quarterbacks, they have a quality qb coach, and they have a strong veteran Qb to help the rookie transition into life as a professional.

    If it were up to me, I would draft Bortles and Murray and let all four ( McKown and Glennon) duke it out for the next couple years. One is going to pay out for the next decade.

  6. Joseph Mamma Says:

    If the data is worth one hundred grand, then maybe it ain’t so meaningless after all?

  7. Nick H Says:

    *Joes quietly lurk in the darkness, awaiting their chance to pounce on us naysayers*

    *Naysayers prepare for gloating upon drafting of any other player on the face of the earth*

    Brace yourselves. The draft is coming.

  8. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I’m not surprised that teams are going to these lengths. If you are going to commit millions of dollars on a rookie QB, $100k is a drop in the bucket. Any extra info you can get to help you choose the right guy is worth it. I doubt any team would make a QB decision solely based on an analytical study, but it’s another tool to use.

  9. Nick H Says:

    If you’re already paying people to make football decisions, why call it an extra $100,000? I’d rather trust those in-house over some outside excel sheet firm for that kind of info anyways, call it their salary.

  10. gatorbucs77 Says:

    If this hasn’t been going on for years I’d be very surprised. The owners and leadership of these organizations didn’t get to where they are by making decisions based on feelings or ‘gut instincts’.

    Old school scouts may think they know a player is good by looking at them, but they don’t. Analysis will tell a more accurate story. Are there anomalies or outliers who succeed or fail despite the data, of course. But they are just that anomalies.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joseph Mamma Says
    “If the data is worth one hundred grand, then maybe it ain’t so meaningless after all?”

    Keep in mind, the individual that made that decision is no longer with the team.

  12. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Hard to argue with the Athletics success. Sheeeeeet, can’t be worse than picking Freeman. That was a waste of far more than 100k.

  13. Ernest T. Bass Says:

    I would have hired the kid that got into all Ivy Leagues schools!! Just give him a pizza and let him look at highlights of the qb’s!!

  14. Uk_Buc Says:

    Not sure which Ivy League university Joe got his statistics degree from, but it’s rather presumptuous to say the data is meaningless.

    I would suggest that data taken across a large enough sample, and interpreted by an independent agency with no bias or agenda, is most likely very meaningful indeed.

  15. Larry Says:

    OK so the Browns spend $100,000 for such a study and it gets revealed BEFORE the draft? Um I don’t think even the Browns are that dumb. I think it’s just more smokescreen.

  16. Orca Says:

    I see nothing wrong with the analytics, but it doesn’t replace actual scouting. It may help how a team stacks its board, but the film has to be there first.