SBD/August 20, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Safety In Numbers: NFL Teams Begin To Embrace Analytics Movement

A "handful of technological forces have converged on the NFL this year to create some behind-the-scenes statistical revolutions," according to Kevin Clark of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The league this offseason signed a deal with Zebra Technologies to "put radio-frequency tracking devices in the shoulder pads of players." Teams such as the Lions and Eagles already have "implemented similar technology," from Zebra or Virginia-based Catapult Technologies for their "daily practices." This represents a "Moneyball moment" for the NFL. Chiefs GM John Dorsey said, "Football is apprehensive to change. But this will allow you to blend the old and the new together." Clark writes the NFL "likely will never have the analytics revolution that has occurred in other sports since there are so few games," but that "won't stop talent evaluation, especially at the college level, from getting more evolved." Rams GM Les Snead said that the "big leaps will be in specific measurements." Clark: "Coaches are salivating over the possibility that every player could soon have a camera in their helmet" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/20).
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