Advanced Stats VS. Eye Ball Test

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by rev kev, May 1, 2014.

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  1. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    Brian Burke is of course former GM of Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and is currently the President of Calgary Flames has said on more than one occasion...


    “Statistics are like a lamp post to a drunk,”
    .

    “Useful for support, but not for illumination.”

    Actually, he said it twice. Once in 2012 and again at the 2013 version of the event:


    I personally don't think it matters what the sport -> a person also has to visually look at the competition the players you are scouting are facing. I want to see how much effort the other team has put into stopping "said" player being scouted


    I also heard Burke say on local sports radio, if there were an Advanced Stat Resource that worked he would buy it so he could use it exclusively against other GMs


    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/puck-...-brian-burke-hates-fancy-stats-130255951.html
     
  2. MiamiDolphin618

    MiamiDolphin618 A True Fan

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    I think advanced stats are the future of evaluation...and probably already play a huge role...its just not public knowledge. Baseball is slowly accepting these things in the media, things like WAR, WRC+, etc etc.

    Some stats are just archaic. For example, as a pass rusher, your efficiency at getting pressures, hits, and sacks is critical. Yet what do people look at? Sacks. Pass rushers can dictate games without sacks...thats just one example.
     
  3. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    It seems like that analogy should be clever but I can't make any sense of it.
     
  4. GasPed

    GasPed Well-Known Member

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    It's typical Brian Burke stuff. He makes funny, crass statements that are entertaining and quotable, but his performance in his job (GM) is pretty underwhelming...
     
  5. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    His trading is pretty good -> he won more than he lost his draft history is heavily scrutinized

    He puts very little into advanced stats is the point of the quote -> he prefers the eyeball test
     
  6. GasPed

    GasPed Well-Known Member

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    Don't you think though, rev, that hockey is a bit different than say baseball or football that way? I.e. Because of the relatively free-flowing, unstructured nature of hockey, where individual player roles/assignments are not clearly defined, it's very difficult to assign useful performance metrics and evaluate players against them? For instance, in football I can evaluate an OT's pass pro ability by measuring things like total pressures allowed, etc. because the OT's role in pass pro is very clear and the associated metric is as well. However, in hockey, the role of say a d-man as an individual is very fluid and situation dependent, almost on a second-by-second basis. As a result it's very difficult to find a good metric for his performance. Even hockey's so-called "advanced stats" (e.g. Corsi) are very dependent on team and situational play rather than the individual. I guess what I'm saying is that I largely agree with Burke when it comes to hockey, but less so when it comes to football or baseball...
     
  7. GasPed

    GasPed Well-Known Member

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    I agree about his trade history, although the Kessel trade takes the shine off a lot of his successes. Also, his drafting (at least with my Canucks) was pretty bad. He picked 5 good players (like the sisters, Kesler, etc>) and 100 total busts. But maybe his new protege (Treliving) will be better?
     
  8. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Interesting topic. Many fans believe they know best because they watch games, and go with what their eyeballs tell them. This is for most, not all, watching a game with food, drink, friends, and emotion. Yet, their eyeballs tell them everything.

    When Philbin is asked about how certain players have played in post game, he always says he has to watch the tape but, fans know better and have no need to do this.

    Let's take PFF for an example. Many believe they know nothing and are a waste at what they do. However, they take 10 hours to "eyeball" our team to grade each player on each play. No matter, fans watched the game, and, in some warped sense of reality, believe they know better. Amazing.
     
  9. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    The stats are interesting but it sucks when people say we should sign this player because he's great at pass protecting but they are basing that opinion 100% off of pff stats. If you are posting an opinion solely based off stats you should say so.
     
  10. MiamiDolphin618

    MiamiDolphin618 A True Fan

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    I tend to disagree with this. PFF is certainly not the be all end all..but they base their "stats" off of film review. As Southbeach pointed out...they spend hours reviewing each individual player and grade each play. Just as the teams do. We watch the games...and yes we can garner information from that...but its impossible to watch every player on every snap. Either way its based on game film. Some people might trust their own eyes more..and more credit to them. But I certainly dont have time to isolate every player on each snap.
     
  11. QFFL

    QFFL Active Member

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    So it comes to subjective criteria and objective standards, for the eyeball test, the scouts have to really good, with the huge number of players to evaluate, it is very hard to compare players scouted by different persons.

    Another thing missed here is the intangibles, most of the top ranked players are physical freaks, but do they have the heart and work ethnic to play the game?
     
  12. NY8123

    NY8123 Sophisticated Redneck Administrator Finheaven VIP

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    If you are too Objective or Subjective it isn't good. Just like any NFL team, scouting is the best when there is balance. Balance makes a good offense, balance makes a good defense and balance makes a good scouting department, you use every tool at your disposal to make an assessment.

    The quote is kinda goofy however, a light pole is not good for illumination? I don't put my light on the ground because they don't illuminate well in the grass. I also don't put them on a mile high pole, too far away. You have to use the right size pole or it makes the light highly ineffective as well.
     
  13. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    Yeah and why are drunks immune to the effects of illumination from street lamps? Drunks can still see right?
     
  14. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Going by many a stadium experience, drunks can see better than anyone. LOL
     
  15. whizafriz

    whizafriz A True Fan

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    I've never been a fan of looking at stats extensively -- at most I'll look at QB statistics or RB/WR numbers.

    For example, I was reading that Tannehill / Russell Wilson debate thread, and felt like comparing them based on each facing the winless Tampa Bay Buccs last year (where both teams didn't fare that well). *Keep in mind, I hadn't actually watched the Seattle game with my eyeballs*
    I wanted to make the case that Wilson wasn't really anything special over Tannehill since their QBR's and TD/INT's are very close, with Tannehill's actually slightly better with one less INT. However, of the 2, who won that game? Wilson in the 4th with a couple of scoring drives. In Tannehill's 4th, he got his only INT and also got a 3 and out. Not trying to spark a sentiment that Wilson's way better or anything like that, but things like momentum and timing are more important for me in evaluating a team and/or player, since it also largely dictates eeking out / rallying to wins.
     
  16. ChambersWI

    ChambersWI Owner of the Palace of Wisdom Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Advanced stats are useful tools but they are not the end all, same as combine results aren't. It's like what Greg Cossell said when asked about how impressed he was with Clowney's pro day, "Clowney is a very athletic guy, why are we surprised that he did athletic things without pads on?". The film also doesn't tell you about a player's psyche.

    But you've got to take so many things into account. What kind of system did the player play in, what kind of players did he play with, what kind of players did he play against? Those are questions that do not show up in advanced stats, and in a lot of cases are overlooked on film.

    All levels go together. You need the eyeball test, advanced stats, and the various combine drills to help evaluate. But in a lot of cases, if the combine or advanced stats don't match up with the eyeball test, I'd probably go with the eyeball test
     
  17. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Stats are much easier to keep in sports where an individual's stats are measurable, like batting in baseball or shooting in basketball. There are so many variables in a single down of football and most of those variables are not quantified within the stats. The stats cannot tell you what is happening on the field, but they can reinforce what you are seeing on tape.
     
  18. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    I'm likely beating a dead horse here. What I get from PFF, on an OL for example ,are how many snaps he played on pass and run blocking, how many sacks, hits, and hurries he gave up, an eyeball grade for run and pass blocking, and a rank of where that stands vs all others at his position based on the same standards being used.

    That pretty much covers everything a fan has access to. Not perfect but, I do not know of anything or anyone better in overall player assessments. We all watch our team very closely, and not so with other teams to compare. We see the good and bad but, not all the player's plays in what they do every play. sometimes, this can be misleading in that a guy can be below average but, still better than most others at his position. It does not make him better, just puts things in an overall perspective compared to the rest of the NFL. JMO
     
  19. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Let me ask you this: if you were a GM tasked with signing a RG, would you open up PFF and sign a RG based off of those rankings? or would you want to watch an end zone view tape of all of his snaps?
     
  20. roy_miami

    roy_miami 2020 cant get here soon enough Donator

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    When the Jets extended Sanchez I wonder if that decision was based solely off the eyeball test, because if they based it just off stats it wouldn't have happened.
     
  21. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Obviously, a GM with a full time staff will want to take their own look. Unfortunately, fans do not have that option or, access to what they see. However, you do have agents negotiating multimillion dollar contracts for NFL players, who do use PFF in their negotiations. There are a number of testimonials confirming this.
     
  22. Awsi Dooger

    Awsi Dooger A True Fan

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  23. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    I think he is stressing the eyes -> I agree with your point about the fluididty of the skaters
     
  24. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    So you use PFF out of the convenience it provides, rather than their diligence. I don't really care what agents use, they would cite Armando if it could get them leverage, but they way some people tout the PFF grades in this forum as an absolute is beyond me.
     
  25. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    He put Treviliving in place so that he can make the picks and Treliving can do the day to day grind - LOL
     
  26. where's th'fish

    where's th'fish Scout Team Donator

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    You need both, you can't only use advanced statistics, especially in football. Stats are just numbers, and the numbers -and this is the key step everyone who doesn't understand advanced stats omits- need to be interpreted before they give any meaningful information.

    On the other hand, advanced stats can help by providing objective evidence to balance out prejudice and preconceptions. For example, take one of those miserably bad OCs out there. Even the worst of those know more football than you do, so there's no way you could talk them conceptually out of their lousy gameplans, but if they paid attention to advanced statistics, they could see that they're not working.

    In other words, everyone always think they're right, so if you stick to your eyeballs, there's no more headway to make. Each to his own stubbornness. Stats can help locate our blind spots and polish them. It's win-win.

    It's wrong to feel threatened by stats. They're a tool, not HAL 9000. They're not here to take the place of the human brain in football, but to help it.
     
  27. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    Jets made a mistake with Gholsten off what one or two series against Jake Long??? I guess even the eyes can deceive
     
  28. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    The formula that guys uses incorporates a few redundant variables speed 10, speed 40, and average speed are all highly correlated and cannot be used in the same model. He could stand to read the chapter on multicollinearity in his statistics 101 textbook. Too many people are wowed by numbers and statistical models without even a simple F test to verify the hypothesis. His is bunk just by looking at it.
     
  29. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    Yes I see I believe (no pun) but Burke is also saying he can't find the metric or he would buy it - to gain the competitive advantage

    in PFF talk they watch a player and grade from there (is Burke not saying) the advanced stat is to be created before the eyeball test does it not? do i make sense?
     
  30. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Both. In no way can I take over 10 hours a week to look at our players. For the year, that's 4 full 40 hour weeks. PFF grades are not absolute but, I know of no other source which can come close in a combo of eyeball and stats.

    IMO, it makes no sense to rip them when the vast majority doing so have never seen what they offer. What I post here is only a very small portion of what they provide.
     
  31. Asicswrg85

    Asicswrg85 A True Fan

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    People who think advanced statistics are pointless are simply those who dont understand them all. Anyone who actually understands the field of statistics will never discount their importance in ANYTHING; sports or not.
     
  32. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Right, but when we see guys say we should sign Joe Tackle because he had a positive 10 grade in PFF without actually watching the guy....makes me shake my head.
     
  33. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Its not that they are unimportant, its that there are no models out there they can get it right a high percentage of the time for football.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2014
  34. Wildbill3

    Wildbill3 Misery Loves Company Administrator Finheaven VIP

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    If there was any magic factor for knowing everything about football, i'm sure some people would've figured it out and built teams that would win 4 or 5 championships in a row. there is a lot to be said for the eyeball test, and for using AdVanced stats, but to ignore one or put a higher emphasis on the other, is surely missing the forrest for the trees.
     
  35. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Why? No one here has watched the guy, and it's great info. Even if anyone did, how much did they see which be better than PFF's assessment?

    Let's try something here. Pick a player, any player, from last year's team. Post what you thought of that player, and I will take the time to post everything PFF has supplied, and we will compare. That sounds fair.
     
  36. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Hell, all teams do both with full time staffs, who do this for a living, and are lucky to hit 50% in the draft.
     
  37. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Ive subscribed to PFF before.....been there done that. No idea where they get some of their grades from. Sometimes they get close, other times they are way off.

    But what PFF supplies isnt the "advanced stats" we are talking about. Giving a guy a -1,0,1, or 2 grade for each snap isn't what people are talking about with advanced statistical modeling.
     
  38. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    True but, their signature stats are in that category.
     
  39. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    Exactly -> Burke is talking about the Metric itself
     
  40. Asicswrg85

    Asicswrg85 A True Fan

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    Never did I say that one was more important, my post was for those who think statistics have zero value

    Sent from my Galaxy using Tapatalk

    ---------- Post added at 03:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:00 PM ----------

    The field of statistics is extremely new especially in regards to sports. The advancements in the laat few years alone are tremendous

    Sent from my Galaxy using Tapatalk
     
  41. Sarnics13

    Sarnics13 FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Yes but their stats are only based on outcome for a specific individual. In baseball that is so much easier to do because so little of what you do is dependent on another person. It is very much an individual effort. By contrast football is almost completely devoid of individual achievement. You can have a great batting average in baseball and very accurately can depict how good of a hitter you are. Nobody else has a stake in your success. In football you couldn't hand the ball to a RB and expect any positive results if he is there is only 1 Olineman, for example. A WR can do everything right, but if the ball is batted at the line, or underthrown by 10 yards he is penalized with a "miss" even though it had absolutely nothing to do with him.

    I know there most likely far more sophisticated parameters but the point is that in football, looking at stats only is a inadequate to determine to a degree of certainty if a player is good or not. Overall he just has too many other people to rely on to complete the task he is being judged on.
     
  42. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Then why is it that the players with the best stats, and ranked at the top with eyeball tests, are almost always the best players at their positions. I can go up and down the list, and there are few exceptions.
     
  43. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Z, if you believe that they are way off, all ya gotta do is pick a player you disagreed with and post your opinions. Then we compare. What can be more fair?
     
  44. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    I think you are confusing stats, like TD passes, with the advanced statistical modeling used to make predictions.

    Nobody is saying that we should stop counting TD passes, but when you incorporate the one variable of TD passes into a statistical model used to make a prediction, that's what the OP is talking about. What you are talking about is measuring productivity, what these new analytics in sports are trying to do is make a prediction.
     
  45. So Be

    So Be A True Fan

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    Not at all. On a QB, I'm looking at all throws behind the line, 0-9 yds, 10-19 yds, over 20 yds. and left, right, and middle on all, along with who caught what and where. I'm looking at a QB being blitzed, and under pressure, performance in play action, and how he did depending on the time he had to throw, etc. Not TD passes.
     
  46. Zounds

    Zounds A True Fan Donator

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    Like I said, those are measurements, not statistical models to which the OP is referring to. Each one of the categories you mentioned would be an independent variable within a statistical model.
     
  47. rev kev

    rev kev THE DEFLATOR

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    Zounds - Yes you have it - but this is Brian Burke take and it likely applies to other team sports
     
  48. Sarnics13

    Sarnics13 FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    I also pay attention to stats, and I in no way think they are useless. I just have yet to see the equation that can truly determine the greatest likelihood of success of a particular player without including the supporting cast and other variables. I agree that they tell a story, I just don't think numbers on the page tell the WHOLE story. How many players have we seen perform admirably with a team, only to get traded and turn in to a beast.....and vice versa? Did they drink some magic potion or did all the other variables needed just fit in with the new team.....

    Our Oline sucked big time last year, and several peoples stats suffered drastically because of it. You may think so, but I for one do not believe Lamar Miller (for one example) is nearly as inadequate as his numbers state. He was severely set back due to the poor play of others.
     
  49. SCLSU Mud Dogs

    SCLSU Mud Dogs foos-ball is the devil! Donator

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    Stats enhance arguments. But relying simply on stats that "PFF says..." annoys me. Lots of things stats don't measure.
     
  50. flynryan15

    flynryan15 A True Fan Donator

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    I thought stat threads were gone when gravity/shouright got kicked to the curb?
     

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