Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. It's not particularly close. He might be the best NFL coach ever. I don't know. I've been alive since 1987, though, and he's certainly the best coach I've seen. So let's just say he's the best coach in modern NFL history.
He's also a famous curmudgeon, particularly when it comes to certain subjects in press conferences. Basically, anything that isn't matchup-related or in some way about football strategy, Belichick doesn't really care to talk about. One thing that gets him especially fired up is his general disdain for advanced statistics websites (though not necessarily advanced statistics themselves, as we'll get to in a moment). This week was no different. Belichick fielded a question about these websites and pretty much went off on them.
Lots to digest in Bill Belichick morning presser. Belichick was asked about advance metric websites. "What the hell is that?" he responded.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 18, 2016
"You can take those advance websites and metric them with whoever you want. I've never looked at 1. Wouldn't care to look at 1" - Belichick— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 18, 2016
OK. That seems like maybe it's a little bit out of context. Can we get some context? Let's look at the full quote.
Here's Belichick's full take on advanced stats. Best part: "You can take those advanced websites and metric them in whatever you want." pic.twitter.com/4rVp91qi9d— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) November 18, 2016
That's a little small, so we'll transcribe it for you. Emphasis added.
What the hell is that? I mean, you can take those advanced websites and metric them in whatever you want. I don't know. I have no idea. I've never looked at one. I wouldn't even care to look at one. I don't even care what they say.
As far as the quarterback goes, read the coverage, throw the ball to the open receiver, take the best matchup. That's what it is in a nutshell. The quicker we're open, the clearer the picture, the sooner the ball's going to come out. If we don't have anybody open, who's the quarterback going to throw it to? So it's timing, decision-making, execution by the entire offensive team. That's what the passing game is. Receivers have got to get open and catch the ball. The quarterback's got to read the coverage, make the right decision, make an accurate throw.
All the metrics they use and all that, I have no idea. You need to ask that to a smarter coach than me.
Got all that? OK. Here's Belichick on advanced stats websites last December. Emphasis added.
With all due respect to those websites, I don't really know how some of that information is determined or evaluated. 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, then 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 a big discrepancy, then 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 we've established that Bill Belichick actually has looked at advanced metrics websites, but just doesn't like them. (Or has had someone look at those websites for him and didn't like the information he was given, based on how it matches up with the advanced metrics the Patriots themselves use.)
Either way, it seems that Belichick is more not a fan of getting information when he doesn't know he process behind it, than he is not a fan of advanced statistics in general.