The Broncos New Play Caller is… a Computer? – Alexa Fontanella

After two failed playoff runs in a row, the Denver Broncos are turning to the knowledge of a computer for the upcoming 2015-16 NFL season. They will be testing an analytics system to help with in-game decision making by sending quick statistical probabilities of almost any in-game situation from Director of Analytics, Mitch Tanney, to new Head Coach, Gary Kubiak. Tanney’s analytics can aid Kubiak and take some pressure off the head coach when it comes down to crunch time.

If this system proves to be successful with coaches receiving proven statistics from a machine, how will the role of head coaches change throughout sports? Teams will no longer have to rely on a coaches decision, but rather the statistics on what the next play will be. Their will be less of a need for a qualified coach and more of a need for an analytics department within an organization. Teams are willing to do whatever it takes to get over the hump and win a championship. It remains to be seen just how much Kubiak will actually rely on Tanney and the computer, but it will definitely take some of the heat off of him if they lose on a play-call decided by analytics and not what the head coach thought should be done. The game is changing rapidly due to technology, but is it changing for the better? Only time will tell.


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