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01-03-2013, 10:24 AM
thehosers dot com
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Bills Off-Season 2013 Style (Wilson, Barnett, McGee released, T Jackson re-signed)

This is a great article from a couple months ago on Chip Kelly and his numbers-based methodologies.

This is how and why Chip Kelly will modernize the game in the same way that Billy Beane's triumphs showed baseball executives that getting on base is more important than batting average. Soon enough Kelly will take over an NFL team. (A national championship is possible this season, but those Bama boys are a different breed and that Saban fella is a pretty incredible coach in his own right.) Whenever Kelly does enter the league, he'll play the game aggressively, with "aggressively" meaning in a mathematically logical fashion. By the end of the season every coach will be going for it on fourth down, attempting fake punts, fake field goals, two-point conversions, and they'll likely do all of this oblivious to the fact that there's astounding mathematical evidence supporting the decisions they're making.
I just ranted on this topic on Twitter, I apologize for any of you who follow me.

It is so frustrating to watch coach after coach around the league make decisions that are just flat out dumb. It's a league right now where decisions are based in risk-aversion rather than what's actually best for the outcome of the game, though (obviously) most have no idea that's the case.

Case in point, the article says how their complex statistical model says that not only is it dumb to kick a field goal on 4th and short from the 20, it's ludicrous. Yet Chan Gailey tells us he punted twice from the 34 yard line on 4th and short in the final few games because he was "playing the percentages".

How is it taking so long for these numbers to start creeping into the game. The evidence is overwhelming, and it's right in front of their faced unless they are actively trying to avoid it.

I would love to see a coach in Buffalo that embraces this side of the game. It doesn't have to be revolutionary or extreme, but like this article says, Belicheck and Sean Payton seem to have a firm grasp on these numbers and use it in their decision making. I want a guy like that, that's at least willing to employ some of these philosophies.

I understand to a certain extent why a coach would be hesitent, because in the world of the NFL, if you fail with an unconventional method, you're going to be fired in a heartbeat, it makes it easy. That's why it will take sweeping changes, and an organization that really embraces this change rather than simply one coach.

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