Jon Gruden takes ‘old fashioned’ approach to analytics

INDIANAPOLIS — The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, in part, because of their reliance on analytics that supported an increased aggression on fourth down and other game management scenarios.

Jon Gruden made clear Wednesday he is no pioneer in the field.

He isn’t totally against it, either.

Gruden largely downplayed his willingness to use analytics during a 20-minute news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine. He met with reporters afterward for an additional 15-minute session during which he seemed a little more open to football data concept.

Technology has evolved mightily since Gruden, 54, first became the Raiders’ head coach in 1998. For that matter, things have changed dramatically since he last coached the Tampa Buccaneers in 2008. Statistics today can track a player’s movement, be it the speed at which he moves or the distance he may travel over the course of a practice or game.

“Are you talking about the analytics, the GPS, all the modern technology?” Gruden asked a reporter in response to an analytics question. “Man, I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998. Really as broadcaster, I went around and observed every team. I asked a lot of questions. I took a look at the facilities, how they’re doing business. There’s a stack of analytical data that people don’t even know how to read it. It’s one thing to have the data. It’s another thing to know how to read the damn thing.

“So I’m not going to rely on GPSes and all the modern technology. I will certainly have some people that are professional that can help me from that regard. But I still think doing things the old fashioned way is a good way, and we’re going to try to lean the needle that way a little bit.”

To the side, Gruden was asked a follow-up question on his stance, particularly that he seemed not be an analytics fan.

“I like analytics,” Gruden said. “I know a lot of guys, veteran coaches, who have hired analytical staffs and bought a lot of really cool equipment. I also know a lot of coaches that have this information and data and don’t know what to do with the data. Look, I like it. I was always looking for new technology. But then I realized, I don’t want ‘new’ technology. I want ‘better’ technology.

“We don’t need new players. We’re looking for guys who can help us get better, and I think that’s the key. If you’re going to have the analytics, what are you doing with the data? What are you doing?”

Gruden said that he believes he was maybe the world’s first quality control coach in 1990 when with the San Francisco 49ers. He was unfamiliar with the title when assigned. The job required him to calculate various opponent tendencies, which would be presented on computer printouts.

He cited third-down or red-zone blitz tendencies as examples.

“There’s a 27 percent chance they’re bringing all-out heat in the red zone,” Gruden said. “Big deal. You’ve still got to use your gut. You’ve got to look at the other sideline, and you’ve got to say, ‘You know, he’s blitzin’ here. I got a feeling he’s blitzin’.’ You’ve got to make some gut reactions. I know guys in Major League Baseball. I’ve spent time with Lou Piniella. He’s my neighbor in Tampa. I’ve spent time with Tony LaRussa. There’s guys who are getting computer printouts and moving their left fielder over 8 feet. There are guys who are putting their lineups together because they hit right-handed pitching better than they hit left-handed pitching.

“And I believe there is some useful value. Like I said, we’ll get the data, and I got a couple guys who are going to help me trim the stack, and if there is something that can really help us, we’ll use it.”

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Gruden Gives "Final Exams"
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders improvement throughout training and how Gruden has been pushing the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Deciding On Opening Day Kicker
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney go over he Raiders choosing an opening day kicker and Doug Martin's potential.
Vegas Nation: Mandatory Mini Camp
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Micheal Gehlken and Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney go over day one of the Raiders mini camp.
Vegas Nation: Derrick Johnson standing out at OTAs
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders OTAs and how the team is adjusting to new coaching style of head coach Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Week Two Of OTA's
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the start of week two of the Raiders OTA's.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 2
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Las Vegas Stadium construction site drone footage
The Raiders set up a drone at the Las Vegas Stadium construction site on May 20, 2018.
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones as of May 16, 2018.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 1
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Participate In First Day Of Practice
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders first day of practice.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Minicamp
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders minicamp and questions surrounding the Raiders picking defensive lineman Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden Talk About Mini Camp
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden go over the Raiders Mini camp.
Reggie McKenzie On Final Day Of NFL Draft
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talks about the Raiders final draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Final Draft Picks
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano go over the last day of the draft pick for the Raiders.
Gruden On Day Two Of Nfl Draft Picks
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discusses the teams second day draft picks.
Raiders trade again, draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker
Raiders trade again and draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker. The team moved back again Friday, this time exchanging the No. 41 overall pick for the No. 57 selection. It then selected former Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall. The Raiders parted with No. 75, trading up 10 spots to select former North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
Gruden On Bryant Joining Raiders, Bryant On What He Has Left To Prove
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about what Bryant will bring to the Raiders and Bryant talks about what he has left to prove.
Gruden, Miller On First Round Pick
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and first round pick Kolton Miller talk about the NFL draft first round pick for the Raiders.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium can help economic boom, expert says
Study after study has concluded that stadiums aren’t effective economic development drivers. But a leading urban growth researcher says Orlando and Las Vegas are exceptions because of the strength of their regions’ tourism economies. The Raiders are building a 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion indoor stadium at Interstate 15 and Russell Road using $750 million of public money authorized by the Nevada Legislature. Las Vegas has a leg up on many cities, because it has an airport at which business people can catch a nonstop flight to virtually any domestic destination. Panelist Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the presence of out-of-town media for playoff games featuring the Vegas Golden Knights has given the city media mentions that money can’t buy. Another issue receiving the panel’s attention is the need for mass transit with all the teams, venues and anticipated visitation they will generate. Panelists also discussed the prospect of attracting big events like the Super Bowl, the NFL draft and NCAA tournaments.
Reggie Mckenzie On Raiders First Draft Pick
Raiders general manager Reggie Mckenzie on Raiders first draft pick.
Vegas Nation: First Round NFL Draft Pick
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal writer Gilbert Manzano and Raiders beat writer Michael Gelhken go over the first round of the NFL draft picks and the Raiders choices.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft preview
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken breakdown the Raiders offseason moves as well as what they could be looking at in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Wide Receiver
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the wide receiver position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Raiders secondary
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the Raiders secondary for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Running Back position
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the running back position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Join Vegas Nation for NFL Draft updates
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken will provide updates about everything surrounding this year's NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft: Defensive Line
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss the defensive line and what can happen in the 2018 NFL Draft.
David Humm's life celebrated at South Point
Raiders owner Mark Davis, former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne were among those who paid tribute to David Humm during a ceremony at South Point Arena in Las Vegas on April 6, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Vegas Nation Stadium Show
Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the progress on the Vegas Stadium and how it will affect some of the players and staff.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like