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ESPN’s ‘Great Analytics Ranking’ Shits All Over The Redskins

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The Worldwide Leader unveiled a rather cool feature yesterday, The Great Analytics Rankings, sorting all 122 NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams by “the strength of each franchise’s analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.” I don’t know what biometric data is, but this is interesting nonetheless, at least as it pertains to our favorite teams.

We’ll start with the good. The Nats and O’s are both labeled as “believers,” meaning they rank somewhere in the top half among MLB teams. For the O’s, it’s thanks to “GM Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and pitching coordinator Rick Peterson, all of whom are respected for their analytical thinking,” though “they need a more coherent, holistic approach and a stronger investment to compete with division rivals Tampa Bay, Boston and New York.”

The Nats breakdown is more straightforward:

“GM Mike Rizzo is a former scout who respects analytics and listens to input from his staff. When it comes to what the numbers have to say, assistant GM Adam Cromie and director of baseball R&D Sam Mondry-Cohen make sure of that.”

The Caps also get a “believers” tag, ranking in the top half of the NHL. “First-year GM Brian MacLellan appears to favor an evolution toward using as much data as possible in his decision-making,” and he’s joined in the front office by hockey quants Vic Ferrari and Don Fishman.

The Wizards, on the other hand, are “skeptics,” ranking in the bottom third of the NBA. Most of it comes down to Randy Wittman and his tendency to prefer long two-pointers to the three-ball.

And then there are the Redskins. The Skins get slapped with the “nonbelievers” tag and rank 120th overall out of 122 teams. This says it all, unfortunately:

“The Redskins were named by source after source as the NFL team with the least interest in using analytics in football operations.”

The hope is that that changes with new GM Scot McCloughan, but, as ESPN so kindly points out, the Redskins have “no full-time employee devoted to analytics.”

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. DocJ

    February 24, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    Unrelated, but has anyone seen this awesome shirt available by The Deadmen? Great DC rock band! Check em out if you haven’t.

    I saw Frank Turner sporting this shirt on several occasions.

  2. Ketel on Rocks

    February 24, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    Hard to use analytics when your hiring/drafting philosophy uses the same nepotistic principals of a rapper’s entourage.

    Btw – LaCanfora says rumors that Adrian Peterson is being linked to the Skins now. An aging RB with a mega contract in a position that shows steep declines after the age of 30, while we currently have an adequate younger RB at a fraction of the cost?

    What could possibly go wrong???

    • AFineMessi

      February 25, 2015 at 12:04 PM

      LaCanfora will say anything to stir the pot regarding the skins.

  3. DemO'sHon

    February 26, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    Maybe the ‘Skins will hook up with my home teams cast off – Ray Rice?

  4. Derpley

    February 28, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Just came here to comment on that photo.

    Holy shit DanSny. Does this man ever take a photo that doesn’t make him look like a clown? Your only job as the billionaire owner of an NFL team is to leave the football business to the pros, sit in your luxury suite and look disgustingly rich at all times (Robert Kraft has mastered this art, btw). I’m sure there’s a photo of Dan Snyder looking mad cheap/trashy at a KFC in Herndon out there and when it comes out, I will die laughing.

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