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Friday, June 17, 2011
Bill Belichick's d-line evaluation

By Mike Reiss

Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine writes a piece today on how Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg evaluates quarterback Michael Vick's effectiveness (Insider content), and he includes a Patriots nugget to dissect.

It's how Bill Belichick evaluates the effectiveness of defensive linemen.

"Smart coaches find ways to look at blue-collar data differently. For example, when New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick judges defensive tackles, he looks at tackles, assists, overthrows forced and pressure on quarterbacks -- all stuff you can find online," Wickersham writes. "Then, he and his staff divide the defensive tackle's production on a per-play basis to figure out how many tackles a player averages each snap. The data isn't special, but the method of using it is."

This highlights a point that Belichick has made in the past about quarterbacks sacks being an overrated stat, because it doesn't account for overthrows forced and pressure on the quarterback.

Combine that with how much a lineman is on the field, and it starts to create a picture of how Belichick judges the effectiveness of players like Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Mike Wright and Co.