Chicago bears embraced analytics and why it matters

Despite all the talk about Ryan Pace embracing a more modern approach as GM during his time with the Chicago Bears, that wasn’t entirely true. Analytics was one area he seemed to largely neglect. During his entire career with the organization from 2015 to 2021, the Bears only hired one analytical person. Part of that may have been surrounding himself with more old school folks like John Fox and Vic Fangio. It’s fair to wonder what would have been different if he had been more open.

This is not a problem with his successor. GM Ryan Pauls made his intentions clear from the jump as he revamped his entire Bears Analytics division. What was previously a one-person show now includes five or more people. This is a huge expansion. The team announced a slew of new hires on Tuesday, titled Krithi Chandrakasan, their new direction in Analytics. Prior to joining the Beers family, he was a data scientist for the Kansas City Chiefs.

What many fans struggle to understand is the whole point of the analytics. Liam Fox of Forbes did an excellent column on it last year. Here are some ways that can help with a team’s winning ability.

“Analytics also makes game planning more efficient, because data can quickly show coaches how a hostile attack or defense uses different plays and formations (such as team leanings) and how well different plays against those formations work…

… Another key area in which the data informs are the in-game situations, which includes clock management (i.e. when to use timeouts versus when the clock is running), when the play is valuable enough to use the challenge and when to accept penalties.”

Chicago Bears should be much better prepared this year.

This was one of the glaring issues with this team during both the Fox and Matt Nagy eras. The team was prone to constant errors. Opponents will ask them to know this a lot, and coaches never seem to know when it’s best to use timeouts or turn the clock. Nothing leads to a loss in the NFL more than failing to deal with the little things. This is why the Chicago Bears have always seemed to lose at the end of close games in the past three years.

It’s not just about coaches and their work. The Poles themselves benefited from the analyzes as well. He used sports scores and other data collected during the pre-draft process to help compile the Bears 2022 class. Early evidence from pre-camp training suggests he did well with several players. Analytics will not eliminate errors. Human error is inevitable. The purpose of their use is to limit as many as possible. Fewer errors mean a greater margin of error on Sundays.

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