Bears embrace football sabermetrics with hire

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Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery has long been an advocate of statistical data analysis as an evaluation tool. He confirmed that with the hiring of Mitchell Tanney as the club’s director of analytics.

Emery alluded to the importance of statistical research after last season as a way to self-analyze and scout. Tanney comes to the Bears from STATS LLC, where he served as manager of football products and manager of sports analytics  for the past two years.  Tanney reportedly helped create and manage many of the company’s advanced football statistics for NFL and collegiate football analysis. He was the product manager of STATS’ ICE platform, a system that aligns a team’s analytical data to player records to scouting video. Tanney also analyzed 30-plus years of historical data to identify key statistical categories that influence game outcomes to create winning formulas for NFL franchises.

With the Bears, Tanney, a former small college and indoor football QB, will help advance the team’s analytical capabilities by developing additional techniques to identify, extract and analyze data to support decisions throughout the football operations department. His two primary research areas to enhance the Bears analytical capacities will be in player evaluation concepts and game situation principles.

From 2006-09, Tanney was both a quarterback (playing for the AFL, AF2, IFL and Swedish SuperSeries) and assistant coach for his alma mater Monmouth College.

As a quarterback at Monmouth, Tanney was a team captain, was named conference player of the year and was a Division III National Player of the Year runner-up. He graduated from Monmouth Summa Cum Laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Spanish. He received his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2011.


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