Skip to main content

NFL GM Makes His Opinion On 'Analytics' Very Clear

A view of the Tennessee Titans field from behind the goal post.

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 9: A general view of the stadium from behind the field goal post before the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans on November 9, 2003 at The Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Dolphins 31-7. (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Over the last several years, we've seen the use of analytics rise across all sports, including in the NFL.

Some teams use data more than others. Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson made it plain in a recent episode of "The GM Journey" that his organization has a place for the numbers, but still relies heavily on film study. 

"We incorporate some analytical data into the decisions that we make, but I'd say 90% of the decisions we make is we put the film on and we watch the guy play football," Robinson said. "At the end of the day, that's what it is all about. …You're hiring a guy to play football, not look at a bunch of numbers and all that."

Robinson went on to say that he's not a "1960s GM" with an aversion to analytics, but that there has to be a balance between the numbers and Xs and Os. 

"Whatever the numbers say and the metrics say, at the end of the day, the film and the evaluation of how he does his job is probably the most important thing," Robinson said.

Interestingly, in ESPN's league-wide analytics survey last year, the Titans received the most votes for being the least analytically-inclined franchise.

However, in Robinson's six years as Tennessee's GM, the team has never had a losing season and has made the playoffs four times, so there is something to be said about the way they are doing things in Nashville.