Bill Belichick on analytics websites: A lot of that stuff is ‘not real accurate’

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

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During his weekly radio appearance with WEEI’s Dale & Holley on Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick offered this assessment of NFL analytics websites: He’s not entirely familiar with them, but not too impressed with what he’s seen.

Belichick admitted that the Patriots have "looked at" some sites in the past, but he didn’t name any publications. Though we presume he’s referring to ProFootballFocus and Football Outsiders, both of which have gained mainstream traction for their discrete grading on every player on every play (each with their own evaluative special sauce).

The coach’s comments came in response to Jerry Thornton’s note that one website has given very high marks for the Patriots secondary, which underwent a lot of turnover from last year to this year including the loss of Darrelle Revis.

"With all due respect to those websites, I don’t really know how some of that information is determined or evaluated," Belichick said. "I know that in the past, we’ve looked at those websites, not any one in particular, but just in general we’ve looked at those websites and said, ‘OK, here’s their top rated guy. Where are we?’ just to kind of gauge where we feel like the value of the websites are. If they’re rating them the same as we are, maybe that’s something we need to keep a close eye on so we can start to track a lot of guys. If there’s some big discrepancy, is there really any value to that? I’d say a lot of that stuff is, in my opinion, not real accurate, so take it with a grain of salt."

So maybe they don’t meet Belichick’s approval, but those websites have nevertheless brought a tremendous amount of valuable nuance that didn’t exist a decade-plus ago. Perhaps in the future the coach can deliver his own rankings of analytics websites, called the Belichick Index, where scores range from B- to "whatever."