By Tim Graham
One of the more intriguing revelations from new Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon was the implementation of a Moneyball-style analytics department to help guide football operations.
Brandon said he would work closely on the concept with General Manager Buddy Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley and football administration senior vice president Jim Overdorf, who draws up player contracts.
"We are going to create and establish a very robust football analytics operation that we layer into our entire operation moving forward," Brandon said. "That's something that's very important to me and the future of the franchise."
Analytics are de rigueur in baseball, where numbers are more easily crunchable, and have gained popularity in football over the past few years.
Brandon is the former executive director of business development for the Florida Marlins. While there, Brandon said he learned a lot about the value of analytics from GM Dave Dombrowski, now president, CEO and GM of the Detroit Tigers.
"Dave was all about scouting," Brandon said. "He was also about layering in the analytics to what the game presented.
"We've seen it in the NBA. We've seen it more in baseball. It's starting to spruce its head a little bit in football, and I feel we're missing the target if we don't invest in that area of our operation, and we will."
Nix confessed to not know much about the usefulness of analytics.
"You know, obviously, I'm old-school in more ways than one," Nix said with a laugh. "It'll be something I'll have to get used to because I go a lot on feel and what I see."