clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Are The Houston Texans Embracing Analytics As Much As They Should?

ESPN recently examined how each franchise in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL uses analytics. While two of Houston's professional sports teams sit atop the list in use of statistical analysis, the Texans do not. Texans fans discuss what they think about the topic at BRB.

Not a numbers guy?
Not a numbers guy?
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Houston is home to franchises in all three major professional sports (sorry, hockey and soccer; I believe you are well behind football, basketball, and baseball in the national consciousness, though I'll readily admit some may passionately disagree with that assessment). The Houston Rockets' use of statistical analysis since Daryl Morey came to town has been the subject of many an article and the occasional hit piece. The Houston Astros, at least under Jeff Luhnow, have also widely trumpeted the implementation of analytics as they rebuild the organization. The Texans, though? Not a whole lot of public discourse about how much they do or don't use analytics in assembling and operating their team, absent the occasional reference from Bill O'Brien when he's asked about it directly in a press conference.

ESPN recently conducted a study of how organizations in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL are putting analytics to use. The complete rankings and analysis accompanying same can be found here. The Texans are categorized as "skeptics" (though not "nonbelievers") in the article, and ESPN details the current situation at Reliant Park as follows:

The Texans have taken steps toward analytic fluency and have indicated interest in stats, but their commitment is minimal.

General manager Rick Smith is known to have investigated companies that offer GPS health tracking, and he has said the Texans use advanced stats in the draft process. Personnel executive Brian Gaine arrived in 2014 from a Miami Dolphins franchise that is relatively advanced by comparison. But the Texans don't use an outside company to compile any data, and their internal structure is underdeveloped.

Coach Bill O'Brien, a Brown graduate, has made clear that numbers and data play only a small role at best in his decision-making. "[Y]ou've got to be careful there, but we definitely in all three phases use, I guess the word would be 'analytics,' to figure out what the tendencies are, what our calls may be in those situations. But at the end of the day, it's football and you just have to put your player in the best position to go make plays."

Your reaction to that assessment? Think the Texans should be utilizing more statistical analysis in their operations, especially as it pertains to data compilation? Or does the use of analytics in sports too often miss the forest for the trees?