Matt Patricia: “Analytics have been involved with football forever”

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The Eagles openly embraced analytics on their way to the Super Bowl last season, and their success has lent more credence to an analytics-oriented approach in the NFL. But one coach with a background in math says it’s nothing new.

Lions coach Matt Patricia, who earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before going into coaching, says analytics have long been part of football, even if that term is relatively new.

“It’s a buzzword, right? Analytics. Everybody wants to talk about it,” Patricia said, via the Detroit News. “But I think analytics have been involved with football forever. We call ’em tendencies. That’s all it was before and now it became ‘analytics.’ So I think that’s important. Every single coach does it, and there’s people in the organization who look at different things that maybe take a lot of time to analyze, while coaches are working on something else.”

One of Patricia’s first moves in Detroit was hiring David Corrao as his director of football research, a position Patricia has been tight-lipped about but that is believed to be about analyzing strategies and tendencies. There’s little doubt that Patricia will rely on analytics as coach of the Lions, even as he says that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

54 responses to “Matt Patricia: “Analytics have been involved with football forever”

  1. He’s right. I’ve been saying the same thing for years. I think some coaches are doing it without even realizing it. Some guy took what was already happening, gave it a fancy name and a complicated example and monetized it. Any coach that has ever watched tape of opponents and then developed a game plan for that team used what is now called analytics.

  2. As he stands with his shirt mocking the commissioner. There’s a class act, professionalism at it’s highest standard. Reminds us of Walsh, Landry, Gibbs, Vermeil….yup MP will go down as one of the all time greats. I mean who wouldn’t follow this guy??!

  3. Matt is right – and kudos on that degree btw. Analytics have been around forever, and teams are silly if they’re still looking at “prototypical form”, “x-factors”, etc without balancing it with some math. Where some teams have gone wrong, (i.e., the Browns) is that the put analytics over common football sense (think, you need a franchise QB). Something tells me Matt might just break the mold of the so-called “Belichick Tree” (which doesn’t exist (Weis, McDaniels, Crennell, etc) and do well up in Detroit. I for one am rooting for him.

  4. This guy is going to be a great coach in the NFL.. He is smart, his own man and he communicates with his players very, very well. Glad to see him apprenticing in a HC job with the Lions before he eventually comes back to NE and takes over for BB!

  5. I’m getting a Chip Kelly vibe from him. Like he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

  6. Hope Patricia succeeds in Detroit. Also did someone seriously just list Bill Walsh as and all time great with a ton of class? You have to love the delusion.

  7. I am serious: the NFL should NOT allow coaching and staff hiring decisions to occur while playoffs are taking place. How hard is it to make all teams wait for the conclusion of the superbowl?

    Hard to know if MP was adversely impacted in his preparation. But, it can’t help enhance preparation if you’re taking time away from your prep to go and meet with other teams.

    NE had obvious deficiencies on D, and to his credit Matt plugged holes with patchwork 3rd stringers and practice team players.
    But adding to all that the impositions and distractions of interviewing…. it surely did not help.

  8. The smart ones use statistics as another tool along with experience, leadership, and general knowledge as part of coaching and managing. The less smart ones rely too heavily or ignore it all together. Those who are terrible at math or completely clueless about statistics dismiss analytics all together and claim it has no place in football.

  9. “There’s little doubt that Patricia will rely on analytics as coach of the Lions, even as he says that’s nothing out of the ordinary.”

    Patricia admitted all coaches use analytics. They’re just called something else. His point is analytics aren’t new. Why is this so hard for you to understand that you had to take a jab at him anyway?

  10. I’m a biased Pats fan, but I think the Lions hit HRs with both Patricia and Quinn. Watch out NFCN.

  11. redlikethepig says:
    March 9, 2018 at 11:07 am
    I’m getting a Chip Kelly vibe from him. Like he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

    Given his degree, he might just BE smarter than everyone else. Just sayin’

  12. What he meant to say was “I have been involved with cheating in football for forever”

  13. Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?

  14. Patricia’s degree has significance in coaching because he learned a thought process to get things done. “Analytics” is simply an extension of a logical problem solving thought process.

  15. milehighcityboss says:

    March 9, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?
    ————————-
    You sure about that?

  16. When Paul Brown started breaking down film in the 1950’s, analytics in football were born. I agree it’s nothing new in football. Certainly the powerful tools available now can analyze so many more variables on and off the field, but that was the start.

  17. Analysis: apathy and ineptitude on the part of Detroit’s ownership will offset any combination of players and coaches, leading to continued failure.

    Patricia will be back with NE inside of four years.

  18. dynastypolice says:
    March 9, 2018 at 11:03 am
    As he stands with his shirt mocking the commissioner. There’s a class act, professionalism at it’s highest standard. Reminds us of Walsh, Landry, Gibbs, Vermeil….yup MP will go down as one of the all time greats. I mean who wouldn’t follow this guy??!

    —-

    His defense in the Superbowl 🙂

  19. “As he stands with his shirt mocking the commissioner. ”

    The commissioner deserved mocking and a whole lot more. When you deny science people with science degrees that actually understand what happened don’t appreciate the more than 50 documented lies Roger told during framegate to justify it

  20. Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?

    Probably because a quick google search says he has a Sociology Degree from the College of William & Mary.

  21. Analytics guys watch tons and tons of film and identify strategies on a per-team basis. This is why smarter coaches use different game plans against different teams. It’s amazing to me that there are still coaches out there who just stick with the same plan for everybody and go with their gut. This is one of the big reasons why the Steelers can’t go all the way. Also the reason why Jon Gruden, with his freakout about data and analytics, with flame out in a big hurry.

  22. “Bro, you should have used them to run a competent defense.”

    Actually he did. They were the #5 scoring defense during the season.

    By the time they hit the playoffs the D was decimated by injury and still go them to the Super Bowl, where they were undercut by Belichick’s head scratching decision to bench Butler immediately before the game. Butler being on the field may have meant the Pats D would have made 2 or 3 plays they didn’t. No guarantee because woulda shoulda coulda, but beating up Patricia because he was down to playing scrubs in the Super Bowl is a very shallow take on him.

  23. Perhaps they don’t mention Tomlin, because he has a BA in sociology form William and Mary. Is a good school, and I think he is an OK coach, but he is not an engineer

  24. Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?
    ———————————————————————————————–
    Because “Tomlin graduated with a Sociology degree in 1995” ?

  25. thermanmerman99 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 11:30 am
    What he meant to say was “I have been involved with cheating in football for forever”

    What you meant to say was you’ve been trolling NE forever. But since you brought it up, doesn’t adding a NE staffer to any team make them cheaters? Infected, right? By now, every team in the league has been infected by ex-Pats so there you go.

  26. Looking at statistics and using probability to determine what the next play should be have always been there. If the coach doesn’t know how to use them (most of the coaches don’t as they are not that smart) what’s the point.

    Patricia can get his guys and have all the stats available on that Surface tablet, but if his guys get hurt, he’s back to the stone age, which is why Phillys run was so improbable.

  27. milehighcityboss says:
    March 9, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?
    ———————

    Because he isn’t one, unless his hobby is model trains.

  28. garby95 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    His defense in the Superbowl
    ————————-
    a) It was an offensive game, and Brady threw over a hundred more yards than Foles. But you don’t hear salty naysayers of Philly’s D. And but for an allowed illegal formation on the Philly Special, and the bobbled TD pass that strictly didn’t meet the catch rule, the Pats would have won. And that’s not even counting the refs allowing Hogan and Gronk to be mugged by the Philly D on the final Hail Mary.
    b) His Defense won the SB against Seahwaks.
    c) The Pats reached the latest SB despite being one of the most banged up teams of 2017 – especially on D with 3 starting defense linemen and a couple of others on IR, plus Ninkovich a late preseason retirement, closely followed by the loss of captain Hightower. MattyP rebuilt it by November but soon afterwards the season’s attrition was taking it’s toll.

  29. dynastypolice says:
    As he stands with his shirt mocking the commissioner. There’s a class act, professionalism at it’s highest standard. Reminds us of Walsh, Landry, Gibbs, Vermeil….yup MP will go down as one of the all time greats. I mean who wouldn’t follow this guy??!

    — Is that you Caldwell?

  30. I hope he has noted the Eagles’ tendencies to score at will, and uses them to his advantage in the future.

  31. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?
    ============================
    People don’t like to talk about people like tomlin. Arrogant, pompous, above the fray type. And he is the biggest cheater of all-time, stepping on the field, then trying to make an excuse for it. Yes, this is probably the answer to your question. He might be book smart, but not a “smidgen” of common sense in that thing above his neck.

  32. Now that you’re a HC in a suit and tie, take that stupid pencil out of ear. You look like a shop teacher.

  33. @
    streetyson says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    garby95 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    His defense in the Superbowl
    ————————-
    a) It was an offensive game, and Brady threw over a hundred more yards than Foles. But you don’t hear salty naysayers of Philly’s D. And but for an allowed illegal formation on the Philly Special, and the bobbled TD pass that strictly didn’t meet the catch rule, the Pats would have won. And that’s not even counting the refs allowing Hogan and Gronk to be mugged by the Philly D on the final Hail Mary.
    b) His Defense won the SB against Seahwaks.
    c) The Pats reached the latest SB despite being one of the most banged up teams of 2017 – especially on D with 3 starting defense linemen and a couple of others on IR, plus Ninkovich a late preseason retirement, closely followed by the loss of captain Hightower. MattyP rebuilt it by November but soon afterwards the season’s attrition was taking it’s toll.
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    Sour grapes, dude? Own it, cheaters.

  34. blacksheep62 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm
    Its funny how when the reporters mention Matt Patricia, they always mention how he is amazing because he has an engineering degree. But they never mention that about Mike Tomlin who was also an engineer. Why is that?

    Probably because a quick google search says he has a Sociology Degree from the College of William & Mary.
    ————————–

    Yeah, but it really makes you think.

  35. nhpats says:
    March 9, 2018 at 10:59 am
    Analytics? Not with Mike Tomlin. He just grunts “ok…let’s go…Steelers on three”..

    96 11 Rate This

    True. And with his 116-60 record, imagine if he ever evolves from that. Scary thought hey New England

  36. dimi1919 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    yeah cuz he did so well guiding that worst d in football
    ================================
    That D was decimated by injuries and lack of the available draft picks and yet held up all the way to the SB. How did your team’s D perform?

  37. My analytics say he has some major holes to fill all over the Lions. No running game – no power running back or run blocking. Defense can’t stop the run to save their lives. LB core is weak.

    It won’t matter how well he can predict tendencies if he doesn’t get better players.

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