Both these guys sure could have used one.
A cottage industry has formed around second-guessing NFL head coaches. Thanks to pioneers of the field like Bill Barnwell and Brian Burke, we’re all aware of how poorly some coaches manage football games according to metrics like WPA. Yet fourth-and-short across midfield is still generally a punt situation, coaches routinely give up at the end of the second half with timeouts in their pockets, and third-and-long has become a give-up down for draws and screens.
The question we set forth to answer in this episode is: When will this change? When will we have head coaches with a better process?
We should note that this is being given the “explicit” tag in iTunes. There is cursing. Don’t listen if you have delicate ears or are in a workplace environment.
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Below are the show notes:
Mailbag: (00:50– 29:30) — How close to parsimony are we in football statistics? (i.e.: the smallest number of inputs to get the most predictive results) This is served with a heaping helping of “yards run by linebackers” “advanced statistics” snark.
Main topic: (29:30-end) Can we trust coaches to become better at game theory?
– Do we trust NFL coaches to actually improve at game theory? (Ron Rivera, sure, but who else?)
— If not, should this become a major point of contention when teams are looking to hire a new coach?
— Will there ever come a day when teams hire a coordinator specifically to take control of these things, publicly?
— Would hiring a game theory coordinator make players lose respect for their head coach?
— Would hiring a game theory coordinator sit well with most NFL head coaches? (Tom Coughlin would probably challenge him to a duel.)
— Given how the playing field is mostly even as far as mistakes, is game theory actually a “red barn” issue?
Musical credits: With The Quickness, …And in Her Self-Loathing and Despair, She Found Wrath
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