Will The Steelers Start Playing Some Moneyball In The Near Future?

The use of analytics in football is nowhere close to that of baseball, but more and more NFL teams are starting to pay attention to it now as technology has advanced over the years. New Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked to give his thoughts on the use of analytics in a Tuesday morning interview on 104.5 The Zone and the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator explained that while he respects analytics, he really doesn’t pay much attention to them.

“This is the way to look at it from a perspective of play calling,” started Whisenhunt,” as quoted by Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. “I can’t tell you thousands and thousands of plays that you’ve gone in there and you’ve prepared to see a defense and you can run all the analytics that you want but there is no guarantee on third-and-1 in a critical situation in the game that they are going to play the defense they’ve shown 99 out of 100 times. It just doesn’t happen.

“There is always the human element in there, I think. Listen, you’re right, I’m an engineer. I understand the trends, I understand the probabilities, I understand all that. But if you get so wrapped up in analytics sometimes, you lose a feel for the game. And to me, there is an emotional side of the game and there is also a feel for the game. When you see a guy like [Frank] Wycheck make a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone with the guy draped all over him, how do you put an analytic on that? ”

Steelers team president Art Rooney II was asked to give his thoughts on the use of analytics in an interview with David Todd of ESPN 970 shortly after the 2013 season ended.

“It’s definitely something that we are doing and plan to and pay attention to, and I think it’s going to be something that every team has the capacity now to dig deeper,” said Rooney. “I think to some extent we have been doing it for a long time, because anybody that’s been around a coaching staff knows how much time they study different down and distance situations.

“So now, I think with computer research and all the information that can get stored, there is an ability now to call up more information, more quickly, which I think that every team going to want to take advantage of and I think we’re no exception. We’ve got to be able to provide our coaches and our scouts that kind of information, so its definitely something that we’re looking at and are going to continue to try to make sure we have that ability.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has stated in the past that many of his in-game decisions are based on feel as well as the ebb and flow of the game, and it appears as though Whisenhunt generally does the same. On the flip side, Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey admitted last season that they use a tech platform, created by Virginia-based Decision Lens Inc., to help them with draft preparation and the decision-making process.

“In the 21st century today, you should always do your due diligence with an organization to explore whatever resources can make you more competitive within your industry,” Dorsey said, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

We are starting to see more and more teams add analytic departments. The Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills announced such additions just last year, and several others have had them in place for a while now.

As far as the Steelers adding an analytics department, Rooney makes it sound like it’s in the plans. Even if it is used as a quick reference and opinion as opposed to it being the law, it certainly can’t hurt. It’s time for them to start playing some Moneyball as well.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Dutchess Hershberger

    SANTE MONCRIEF WR 6-2 225 3RD ROUND 2ND BEST WR IN DRAFT
    ARTHUR LYCNH TE 6-5 250 4TH ROUND HEATH MILLER CLONE
    MONEYBALL AT ITS BEST WHEN YOU GET TWO BEAST FOR NEXT TO NOTHING

  • PA2AK

    LOUD NOISES!

  • SteelersDepot

    I warned you about all caps several times. Final warning. And yes, WE KNOW YOU LIKE Donte Moncrief. Give it a rest.

  • Chris Ranieri

    Lynch won’t fall to the 4th

  • SteelersDepot

    What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here today, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Moncrief isn’t even a top 5 receiver i’d say between 7-9th at best

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    The Steelers need top buy that software package that tells you when to call timeouts.

  • RMSteeler

    The first casualty from analytics was Dick Lebeau’s defense two seasons ago. Other teams started using 11 year old kids who occasionally watch NFL football to make predicitons using Madden.

  • William Weaver

    Cool hand Dave!! Lol

  • dkoy85

    Have you seen this chick on facebook? Shes pretty hot! Really stupid, but hot. I forget what site (maybe post gazette) I was on but she posted the same shit under her facebook account. A little stalking and I quickly learned beauty does not mean brains. She must be a screamer ;-)

  • Brian Miller

    I don’t care what the Steelers do for helping predict draft picks and good, long term players…they can use chicken bones and lavender with a couple of Blair Witch wooden crosses for all I care, as long as we get more drafts like this past year, and less like the 2008 draft…ugh!

  • Josh Knepshield

    Lets pretend you’re not a creep. Lol

  • Josh Knepshield

    What? You didn’t like that 6-5 WR that couldn’t catch or the 1 season of actual production we got from Mendy? Hopefully they do better, but it would be tough to do worse. I agree.

  • Iron Cadet

    Sante? You must be a huge bandwagon fan of his if you don’t know his name and think that he is the second best receiver in the draft. All you do is comment his name in all caps And I really hope he goes to the ravens now

  • kamil

    Moncrief is a beat solid reciever and will be a steal for whoever gets him. For everybody on here worrying about ranks and isten to kiper and mcshay, cant think foryourself and clearly dont watch college football..stop hatin he’d fit good in steelernation

  • JT

    It’s fitting that those two were in the same draft class. All the talent on the world, but nothing between the ears.

  • Jason White

    If you like Moncrief so much why don’t you write that name down on a little piece of paper, fold it neatly and stick it in your fartbox. Then on draft day you can poof it out and pray for his name to be called.

  • shawn

    Pot-Kettle Dave …. u got a lot of nerve trying to kick people off for disagreeing with you !!!

  • shawn

    of course he will!

  • shawn

    overreactive dave ,,,, more like it !

  • William Weaver

    I thought it was funny, but cool hand luke is one of my favorite movies. I guess you didn’t see the humor.

  • steelster

    Moncrief is a poor mans version of mike Wallace. I watched his highlights he only runs vertical routes, rarely runs over the middle. He has questionable hands. I look for a receiver that can extend his arms and catch a ball that is at his head or above his head. He is good after the catch but will he be at the nfl level. He wasn’t even the most targeting receiver on his own team, a freshman was. So, he was the second best on his own team, no thanks. Check the youtube video’s on cody Hoffman from byu. He runs good crossing routes and has great hands and is good in the red zone. Watch his touchdown catch against Georgia Tech, it’s amazing. He should be available in the forth round.

  • shawn

    cool hand luke is one hell of a movie …. Dave is no Paul Newman !

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Damn dkoy sounds like you did your homework..!!!
    Ya’ perv…hehe

  • cp72

    ??????

  • cp72

    There are other websites you can go to if you’re really that offended.

  • dkoy85

    It’s like the Eric Church song- Creepin’…

  • dkoy85

    EXACTLY! That’s why I’ve been saying that unless he has elite speed I just don’t see him transitioning well into the NFL.

  • dkoy85

    I’ve been asking this question to Mrs. Caps- What about Moncrief makes him a beast? Don’t get me wrong, he always seems to be open but seems to be a “one trick pony.” He has a quick burst out of his stops which seems to be why he’s always open but other than slants, curls, and go routes he doesn’t do anything else. At 6’3″ he should be able to do a lot more, or at least show he can but up against an NFL corner they’re not going to jump every time he stops. Doesn’t look to have elite speed like Wallace has to be able to flat out beat the corner.

    Hasn’t gone over 1,000 yards and only has 20 touchdowns over 3 seasons including 6 last year. I can’t find his red zone TD’s but I’m assuming they are low- again for somebody with his size and thickness it should be better. Against LSU (sorry, not sure of the corner talent) statistically he had a solid game and could have been better had he not been overthrown twice but he had two big drops- one which was in and out of his hands and intercepted, the other was a back shoulder that hit where it needed to but still dropped- both passes should have been caught. This is what I see and I am FAR from a talent scout but with lack of top end speed and not being able to make the tough catches I just don’t see him being a “value” pick. If the Steelers pick him I hope I eat my words!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    wasn’t this thread about analytics? Just wondering

  • Callentown

    Seeya

  • Callentown

    Go away please.

  • Callentown

    Excellent

  • Josh Knepshield

    I don’t think Limas Sweed had anything between his fingers and his wrist. Whatever was there, they sure weren’t hands. Lol

  • shawn

    amen

  • shawn

    I have been saying for a while we need to get more into analytics … baseball is so far ahead of us .. not to say its the be and end all but just another useful tool in the toolbox … the gut feeling with games and players will never go away but trends and numbers are very useful !

  • Brian Miller

    I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited when we drafted him and Mendy for sure…but it didn’t take long for the excite to wear off.