Baltimore Ravens Hire an Official Team Nerd

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But what is the statistical advantage of Joe Flacco’s mustache?

The Ravens coaching staff is pulling out all the stops this year. First, it was an innovative pro-sleep policy. And now, they’ve added an official “math whiz” to their ranks.

If you read (or watched) Moneyball, you understand the hold that statistics have on a particular kind of sports fan. In an ideal world, at least, they can reduce a messy, confusing game to an elegant formula; they can help coaches tell the promising underdog from the washed-up has-been; they can guarantee better performance through the magic of math. Or something like that.

In any case, Sandy Weil will be the team’s first Director of Football Analytics, a fancy-sounding way of saying that he’s now the team’s official nerd. He’ll look at game trends, player performance, and scouting possibilities with a mathematician’s eye. He previously played a similar role with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

While baseball teams have long been converted to the worship at the statistics altar, the Ravens are among the first NFL teams to adopt this method — along a few other powerhouse teams (the Patriots, the Eagles, and the Packers).

“We’re always looking for confirmation on things we think we know and insights that could provide an edge for us in personnel and coaching,” said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. “This is where Sandy will help us.”

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