By David F. Cohen
You would think that for $1.7 million a year, the Eagles would employ Howie Boy Roseman as an analytics guru, since he obviously has no experience as a player, coach or scout.
Let ESPN.com’s recent survey of pro sports teams’ use of analytics explain:
Led by coach Chip Kelly and “sports science coordinator” Shaun Huls (photo above), who earned his stripes training Navy SEALs, the Eagles have developed a health regimen that incorporates hydration tracking, individualized smoothies, sleep monitors, daily massage therapy and Catapult’s player-output technology. Under Kelly, who consolidated control of the football side of the organization in January, the Eagles will consider any technology, data or strategy on the market.
The Eagles have used analytics over the years as much as any other NFL team, dating back to Dick Vermeil and more recently Andy Reid (now in Kansas City), Joe Banner (now in Atlanta) and recently-deposed GM Howie Roseman, whose influence is now limited to contracts and salary cap management. The Eagles employ a small team of analysts and consultants, even after the departure of Mike Frazier, who joined Reid with the Chiefs.
While Kelly was expected to innovate on and off the field in Philly, he hasn’t asked the Eagles to convert fourth downs as frequently as he did at Oregon. Then again, the Ducks’ potent offense was facing college defenses.
As one informed member of the NFL analytics community put it, “You can arrive at the same answer through math or through experience. I think he arrived at those answers at Oregon through experience. He has an open mind, but he lets the situation dictate what he does.”