Skip to comments.The Will to Make Tough, But Correct Decisions: Harbaugh and McCarthy [NFL]
Posted on 01/15/2013 7:24:24 AM PST by 1rudeboy
Related to the prior post on managerial decision making [4th Downs and Beyond: Coaches as Optimizers], Jim Harbaugh has finally won over almost all his critics for his decision to hand the starting QB job to Colin Kaepernick as Jim Trotter from SI.com discusses. For me, the most interesting part of this is Harbaugh’s willingness to flout conventional thinking and management his resources. Replacing your winning QB with an young and untested QB is the kind of thinking that will get media and former players screaming if it doesn’t work out, just like going (and failing) for 4th down on your own 30 yard line. Just ask Bill Belichick.
Whether the decision goes their way or not, Harbaugh and Belichick are coaching based on the evidence (practice and game observation in Kaepernick’s case and analytics in Belichick’s fourth down case). For most coaches, it is a combination of the evidence plus what others will say and think (or, put equivalently, what is conventional). Taking the conventional route may be wrong, but it doesn’t generate the howling of an analytical but unconventional move.
The 49er game is a case in point. Mike McCarthy chose to punt the ball back to the 49ers down by 14 and facing 4 and 5 at the Green Bay 49 yard line, yes, and the fact that the Packers had already given up 38 points. This analytically dubious decision has barely made a ripple in the media. (Advanced NFL Stats has a calculator that shows it to be favorable to go and it doesn’t even factor in the above average porous defense for the Pack). Instead, Pete Carroll’s decision to go for it on 4th and 1 in the second quarter of the Seahawks-Falcons game has attracted much more attention, although analytically correct as ANS discusses.
For your list.
I hope this fellow’s economic forecasts are much better written than this very poorly written article.
John Fox didn’t have the balls to go for the win with 31 seconds, 2 timeouts and a 3 time MVP QB. That is why he is a lifetime loser. The NFL is no place for surrender monkeys.
I agree 100%. Anyone who has even a passing interest in pro football was wondering what in the world were Fox and company thinking.
He was coaching scared, coaching not to lose. He did.
We in carolina are well versed in that style of coaching. We called it Foxball...up by 7 with three mins to go? Run up the middle, run up the middle, run up the middle, punt, lose. We were glad to see him gone
Mike McCarthy seems less of a problem than the Defensive play calling. When they are getting beat, they never adjust. Good defenses often give up a couple TDs, and then make some adjustments before or during halftime, and shut down the threat. The Pack D has no seeming ability to do that. It seems to happen - time and again.
I would like to see new blood on the coaching staff and one more pass rusher on defense. If Clay Matthews doesn’t get through, no one seems to. When he was out, that defense was downright terrible.
On offense, they have got to shore up the O-line. Rodgers has a depth of weapons, but rarely had time this year to let a play develop. He was running for his life, throwing it away or making a desperate throw way too often.
Why do the former NFL Super Bowl quarterbacks and coaches I've heard on ESPN disagree with you?
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