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Chip Kelly Fills in Missing Plot Points of Moneyball

Mar 22, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT

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Is Chip Kelly bringing “Moneyball” to the NFL? Don’t laugh.
As the world continues to define what the Eagles’ head coach will do at the pro
level before he’s even held so much as a single practice, there have been some
suggesting Kelly will rely heavily on analytics – think Football Outsiders – to
dictate his decision making.

But there’s a problem with that line of thinking. Chip Kelly
says the Moneyball story has a serious plot hole. Via Tim McManus of Birds
24/7:

“It’s a different game. There are
analytics that you study because you can get information. We’re going to study
the statistics of our game but to equate it to Moneyball, no. Even Moneyball
itself if you really understand it, that’s not what they did. They had three
unbelievable rookie pitchers that nobody ever talks about. All they talked
about is how those guys are going to take hits or make people walk and do those
other things and it made for a great movie, but if you don’t have three great
pitchers in baseball it doesn’t matter, you ain’t getting anywhere. Watch the
movie, read the book they don’t talk about those pitchers at all, but those
pitchers were really, really good. It’s a good story but we’re not modeling
ourselves after Moneyball, I’ll tell you that.

In other words, advanced statistics are fine, and they can assist
franchises in making more well-informed decisions from the front office down to
the coaches on the sidelines. However, even though the Eagles went out and signed
a bunch of “mid-level” value free agents, they still need to develop a few aces
of their own so to speak.