Don’t bring up advanced stats to Dirk Koetter.

The Bucs offensive coordinator didn’t pull any punches responding to a question Wednesday regarding analytics and the increased presence of number crunchers in sports.

Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter hopes the Bucs can correct some simple errors this week against the Panthers – Photo: Cliff Welch/PR“I trust my eyes. I watch the tape. Trust me, I watch a lot of tape and I trust what my eyes tell me,” Koetter said. “So I don’t need a freaking piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on there to tell me something my eyes can see.

“Not to get pissed off, but that whole thing about looking at a piece of paper and having that tell you how to call a football game is a freaking joke in my opinion. That’s why I watch tape. Half the stuff on that paper, you can sort those stats out any way you want to, but I’m going to trust my eyes. It’s worked okay for me so far.”

Head coach Lovie Smith was asked about advanced stats later in the afternoon and spoke a little more kindly about the information while also backing up his coordinator’s perspective.

“Of course we all use portions of it, but we do trust our eyes,” Smith said. “Analytics can only take you so far. We get all the research, all the data, but then when it comes down to it as a play caller you do have to trust what’s happening at that moment. You can only get so much from standard answers to questions or whatever. But everything available we try to use to come to a conclusion when we make decisions you have to make.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Eric Horchy

Subscribe
Notify of
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
THECHEFO
THECHEFO
5 years ago

Not sure I like that response … if for nothing else, self scouting.

arizonajoe
arizonajoe
5 years ago

Analytics is what good teams use. Especially Baseball and Basketball. There is a reason that good teams adopt it, it helps to make them good teams.

pinkstob
pinkstob
5 years ago

Oh boy. As a big fan of analytics and data I will say that you can’t rely on them exclusively to “call a football game” or do anything else with significant consequences. However, ignoring them is lunacy due to the low cost and quick speed of acquiring such information which means your competition is certainly using it which gives them an advantage if they are using it properly. The future of football…and everything really (medicine, law, economics, engineering, politics, farming, etc.) is the hybrid of analytics and human cognitive and processing capabilities.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Oh and Koetter, you have to take into account you’ve been fired from the Jaguars and Falcons when you say “It’s worked okay for me so far”. Hopefully it works out here but in order to do that you have to look for every opportunity to improve upon your previous mistakes.

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

The Bucs have made a commitment to analytics – recognize that it is a wave of the future. That is why they hired Tyler Oberly as Director of analytics.

Dirk Koetter says the first thing that comes to his mind. Good guy but somewhat unconventional. If you listen to his pressers, you would see that.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/moneyball-effect-bucs-add-director-of-analytics-to-staff/2169488

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Just because a resource is available doesn’t mean the people that should be using it are using it. I see it all the time. I know that Koetter says the first thing that comes to his mind but that doesn’t mean it’s not true and we should ignore it.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Hey Pink,
I’m in agreement with your assessment of Koetter. My last sentence was not addressing you pinkstob, but you, the general audience.
BTW, I’m not completely sold on Koetter’s play calling and have said so before. My jury is still out. You’re right about about his record in Jax and Atl.

http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/11/22/atlanta-falcons-must-cut-ties-with-offensive-coordinator-dirk-koetter/

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Sorry I misunderstood what you were going for then. Yeah, I read this the last time you posted it. Good link Mac, I wasn’t aware the Falcons media/fans ever felt that way about him before you provided it.

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

I don’t like his answer either. We need both; I don’t see how you make a decision at a critical time based on your emotions or gut feel. When in doubt go with the Stats and hope the execution is there. I hope he is looking at video from different positions of the plays; that in a way is part of Stats.

buddah
buddah
5 years ago

As a professor specializing in research methodology who has taught quantitative analysis and research design my favorite quote is “data don’t speak.” They have to be spoken for. Of course you need data, but data have to be interpreted BY HUMAN BEINGS. It’s not whether or not to use data, it’s how you use them.

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Very impressive Buddah. I have a saying at work. “You can do things technically correct, but functionally wrong.” What’s right is what best can achieve the desired result. None of us Mr. Wizards here have ever called a play in the heat of battle on a NFL game. But each of us do deal with situations in our fields of endeavor. I don’t have a stat sheet to tell me how to handle tough situations. I just know from experience what is more likely to work. The analytics are a tool, nothing more. We can’t replace Koetter with a kid… Read more »

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

Of course analytics is a tool. But man has used tools since the Stone Age. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, noted American Statistician said “In God we trust, all others bring data”. He also said “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”. Jurassic Period! Adapt or die!

scubog
scubog
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

I have his book macabee. As I recall from when I read it years ago, he was a believer in the system in which we place workers (players) as being key.

Buc-Up
Buc-Up
5 years ago

I hope their analytics take into account the exact situations when the plays were run. Say a team is getting blown out for most of the game, then the other team goes Prevent Defense. One team’s offense can look better on paper and the other team’s defense will look worse than what they really are 8n normal conditions.