The New York Giants need to be a smarter team. That’s clear from the choices that Dave Gettleman made over his first couple of offseasons, which were widely criticized for a number of reasons – looking for big offensive and defensive linemen hasn’t panned out for the Giants as a strategy, and overpaying veteran players who end up not performing has also been a problem during the Gettleman era.
A lot of people have the belief that these problems can be lessened if the Giants focused more on analytics and technology, but that didn’t seem likely with Gettleman at the helm. The belief is that he’s a through and through old school coach who isn’t going to give up his ways anytime soon.
It remains to be seen whether that’s really the case or not, but since his close brush with ending up jobless, Gettleman has made promises to change and make greater use of analytics in the team’s decision making. He brought it up during his first press conference of the offseason, and repeated his intentions to Sports Illustrated more recently.
“Weâ€™ve got to re-organize here in terms of making use of technology and analytics, and weâ€™re in the process of that. Weâ€™ve got a plan in place. Iâ€™ve got to do a better job of that. Like I said, weâ€™re support staff for the coaches. Iâ€™ve gotta be better there for them. Obviously, you can always tighten up your evaluation stuff and your scouting, and weâ€™re always doing that,” Gettleman said.
“I completely tore that apart when I got here. You can always be better at your job. I ask myself every day, â€˜Have I given the coaches enough players to win with,” he continued. “And as you move forward, you continue to evaluate that stuff, and evaluate yourself.”
It’s hard to argue that Pat Shurmur was a good coach, but it’s also hard to make an argument that Gettleman gave him a good roster to win with last season.
One of the ways Gettleman intends to fix that is by putting more trust in the analytics staff who are already on the team – namely, Tyseer Siam, a little known name who is listed as being a data analyst within the football operations part of the front office.
“Weâ€™re gonna look to [Siam] to lead us into a world where we have a robust analytics/technology program,” Gettleman said.
But not everyone is going to just take Gettleman at his word, based on his poor track record through two offseasons. Many believe that he should have been fired, and will have to be convinced through actions rather than words. This upcoming draft and perhaps more importantly, free agency period, will be two crucial points for Gettleman to prove that the front office will make smarter decisions going into his third year.
In any case, the clock is ticking to make improvements after Gettleman barely survived Black Monday with his job. Analytics may just be one area where that can be done.