Ravens Hire a Director of Football Analytics, Moneyball?

| August 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

If you have ever heard Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in his end of the year press conference, you have probably heard some of the in-depth statistics he comes up with about the performance of his team.  It is clear he takes a deeper, more sophisticated look at the game than most people and it looks like he wants to get even deeper with his newest hire.

The Ravens have hired Sandy Weil as the Ravens Director of Analytics. ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley is comparing this hire as a “Moneyball” approach to football, referring to the statistical approach by Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta of the Oakland Athletics in the recent film and book Moneyball.  Interestingly enough, Weil also went to Yale like Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who portrayed DePodesta in the film, but Podesta is actually a Harvard grad.

Hiring people is Steve Bisciotti’s specialty as his staffing companies Aerotek and Maxim Healthcare made him one of Maryland’s few billionaires.  In an earlier article about the Ravens enormous value, we credited Steve Bisciotti’s wealth as a value to the team because he can afford to hire and pay the best office personnel.  This looks like another example as he adds an unprecedented member to his staff.

Press Release,  BaltimoreRavens.com:


The Baltimore Ravens have hired Sandy Weil as their director of football analytics, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome officially announced Monday morning.

Weil will work with the Ravens’ player personnel department and coaching staff to produce and study in-depth data pertaining to game trends, statistical analysis, NFL scouting and player production.

Charged with examining some of the league’s prevailing schools of thought, Weil’s studies could cover everything from the value of going for a first down on fourth-and-short, to determining the traits that are key indicators of success for an NFL prospect.

“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,” Newsome stated. “This is where Sandy will help us.”

“Like developing your team, it’s a work in progress. As Sandy learns more about what we do, and we learn more about what he can do with all this information, his role and impact will increase. I’m excited to see where this leads and how it develops.”

Prior to joining the Ravens, Weil worked as an NBA statistical consultant and data structure designer. He consulted with the San Antonio Spurs, analyzing the STATS SportVU Player Tracking data and advised STATS on ideas to make SportVU information more useable at the team level. Weil also presented several cutting-edge research papers at the M.I.T. Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, spanning a variety of sports-related topics.

Prior to his Baltimore arrival, Weil was a full-time senior energy analyst and product manager for Ascend Analytics in Boulder, Colo. At Ascend, he worked with clients and developers to support client needs with respect to the company’s simulation engine for valuing assets of utilities. Prior to that, he worked for the investment bank Bear Stearns on its derivatives trading desk.

Weil earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Yale University and a computational finance master’s from Carnegie Mellon. He and his wife, Anne, have three children: Charlie (9), Baillie (8) and Allie (7).

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