Coach Marrone gave a press conference to the media during the rookie minicamp over the weekend, and I found a few statements by him to be particularly interesting. What are your thoughts?
The only thing I worry about is winning games. When people talk about production and this guy is productive and this guy is this and this guy is that. We’re not productive enough to win more than we lose. I’m not trying to be mean here; I’m just trying to be honest. For me when people talk about production and this guys is this and this person is that and this guy can do this and this guy can do that. That doesn’t mean much to me. What means to me is when we can get 11 guys on that field and be executing on a high level on offense, a high level on defense and a high level on special teams and win. We’re bringing guys in here to win. Whether they catch two balls, 10 balls, I don’t really care. At the end of the day, all I care about is if we win. There are a lot of things that go in to it. We’ll get in to, ‘Hey, so and so only caught two balls today, he wasn’t productive.’ Well they had a corner and guy covering him and this guy’s caught six balls when he never would have gotten those things before. You don’t know how those things are going to work out. But I’m not in to the individual stuff and everything like that. I talked to the team about it, everything I’m in to is winning. I don’t want to curse (us), but we’re going to win.
It was a rambling, roundabout speech, but the impression that Marrone wanted to give us is that he doesn't care about "production" and "individual stuff," only if the team wins. Now granted, what he could have meant was that the accumulation of counting stats doesn't matter as much as a win. But the wording seemed to sound to me like he isn't interested in analyzing matchups or using stats as a measure of performance.
I grant Marrone that, at the end of the day, football is a season of small sample sizes with only 16 outcomes, and the concept of improving strategy and player management with analytics is still a fledgling field. But it sounds like Marrone is much more interested in implementing his plan than listening to the nerd with the calculator from the basement at OBD telling him about how his offensive line is weak at run blocking after adjusting for schedule parameters.
Is this just me being paranoid? Or will the analytics department be spinning its tires for the next few years, much like baseball analytics departments did early on?