Over the past few years, you might have noticed small changes in how football is being played. Nowadays, more and more teams are making decisions on the field that wouldn’t have been made 10-20 years ago. For example, the 2017-18 Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles team led the league in two-point conversion attempts and also ranked close to the top in fourth-down attempts. This wasn’t just by coincidence; the rise of analytics has influenced many coaches and teams to change their style of play. This could range from clock management to deciding whether to kick a field goal or not.
As analytics become more prevalent with each season, a turning point for the Chicago Bears franchise has arrived. With significant changes in the front office and coaching staff, it seems like the Bears have finally caved and are going to heavily incorporate analytics this upcoming season. With the entrance of new GM Ryan Poles also came new methods and approaches on how to win.
– Director of Analytics: Krithi Chandrakasan
– Scouts: Reese Hicks, Tom Bradway, Ryan Cavanaugh
– Director of Sports Nutrition: Blair Hitchcock
– Sports Science: A.J. Lamb
– Football Systems Developer: Ryan Hubley
– Head Coach Chief of Staff: Sean Magee
The most notable name of this group is Krithi Chandrakasan, a former data scientist for the Kansas City Chiefs, who also worked with Poles previously. These new additions to the team don’t even include major personnel coaches, like the offensive or defensive coordinators (Luke Getsy and Alan Williams, respectively). It is clear that the Bears are putting both their money and effort towards boosting their analytics aspect of football and it is a very welcome change for Bears fans that are used to mediocrity. While the Bears organization has seemingly been “behind the curve” for many years now, the new hire of Poles and his advanced tactics paint a bright future ahead.