On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills’ staff directory was updated to list Dennis Lock as Director of Football Research and Strategy. Lock joins the Bills by way of the Miami Dolphins, where he spent the past four seasons as their Director of Analytics. Lock led the newly formed Analytics Department under then-GM Dennis Hickey, who joined the Bills as a senior college scout this year.
Much of what Lock researched involved the use of statistical data to explain past results and predict future outcomes on the football field. In Buffalo, he’ll be working in the Football Administration department along with Director of Analytics and Application Development Luis Guilamo. It’s not immediately clear which domains each man would be responsible for.
Under Russ Brandon, Doug Whaley, and Doug Marrone (then Rex Ryan), the Buffalo Bills formed an analytics department as the NFL took baby steps toward embracing statistical analysis. That department, led by Michael Lyons, was consulted as much for improving Facebook engagement as it was for researching football training methods, and was ultimately turned over as part of Buffalo’s front-office shuffle in the Brandon Beane era.
With a tag-team of Lock and Guilamo, the Bills have the resources to embrace data visualization and predictive models to improve their training methods, player scouting, and Sunday tactics. Here’s hoping they take advantage of that opportunity into the future.