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Patriots take pride in their use of analytics to help scouting

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New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft once again spoke on a panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, sharing insight on the role analytics plays for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Kraft was part of the “Creating a Sports Legacy” panel alongside Philadelphia 76ers/New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and sports agent/president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee Casey Wasserman, and with such brainpower on stage last week, I learned a lot.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“When we came into the league [in 1994], there were a couple of national scouting services that every team subscribed to, because it was hard to get tape or film on everybody. So everybody was getting the same reports on the same players. You had your own scouts that would go out and look at things, but it made no sense to us, how the most competitive part of this business, you’re sharing,” Kraft said on the panel, which was moderated by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

“So we started working on early iterations of a proprietary database. Flash-forward to today, off any mobile device, you can access information about any player on our roster, or anybody we’re scouting, analyzed in our system’s dynamics, and then tracked once they become a pro even if they’re not with us.5

“What that lets us start to do is see how good our internal scouting metrics were early on. You start to track and see where scouts have strengths and weaknesses. So we know, ‘Maybe Scout X, he nails it on receivers. But on D-linemen, he doesn’t.’ Then you also start to learn things about the players as well …

“Even if the players aren’t with us, as we track them at other teams and how they’re performing relative to the way we thought they’d perform and what their metrics were, it lets you hone your own analytics.”

Kraft stressed the importance of technology in helping the Patriots, noting that the franchise is doing more with sleep, nutrition and fitness, among other areas.

Later in the panel, Kraft was asked a question from the audience on how he prepares to lead a successful organization that has created an unrealistic expectation of success.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“If someone asked me what keeps me awake at night, as it relates to our sports businesses, that would be the question,” he answered. “If you’re going to have a problem, if we are as described, it’s a good problem to have. I think what makes it harder in the NFL … it’s building the team and that’s why the personnel tools I was talking about are so important to us.

“What keeps us awake at night is how we’re going to stay at least at a consistently above-average level — if not competing for championships — when the coach and the quarterback who are such important elements of the group that puts a football team together are no longer with us. You just want that culture so strong — and all the other players and coaches who are there, and all the supporting tools, to be as strong as possible, to have whatever competitive advantage we might have had built into it so you can build off that.”

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