Happy Friday, Coaches! We hope you enjoy your (bye) weekend.

1. Does running the football successfully help the play-action pass? (Cowboys Wire)

While Mike McCarthy preached the importance of embracing analytics in his new role as Cowboys head coach — something he was criticized for not doing in Green Bay — he didn’t seem to have a great grasp on some of the new commonly accepted beliefs.

For one, we’ve included stories in FNF Coaches Talk over and over again proving that “establishing the run” is not necessary for effective play-action passing. If you use play action, you’re more likely to gain more yards on the exact same play call if you don’t include a fake handoff to a running back. That’s proven.

Mike McCarthy doesn’t seem to know that.

While the intuition here makes sense, sometimes, our intuition can lead us astray.
In the past, others have demonstrated that there is an overall lack of evidence supporting this conclusion. To this point, the general finding has been that play-action passing works regardless of how well one runs the football.

The author of this post is writing from a Dallas perspective, and even he concedes that McCarthy doesn’t seem to get the analytics regarding play-action passing.

Obviously, if a team only ran play-action and never attempted to run the ball, defenses would begin to adjust. But the reality is that we’re nowhere near this threshold, and thus it would serve teams well to increase their play-action usage overall. If this were to happen, it’s likely we’d actually see more efficient ground attacks as teams adjusted to the new status quo. Until then, however, it’s the quarterback and the passing game that will continue to reign supreme.

What do you think is the best way for your team to take control of the game on offense?

2. Andy Reid appreciates the Super Bowl now as an older coach (John Clark, NBC Sports)

We’re all getting older, and so, by definition, we can all relate to this sentiment.

A Philadelphia reporter asked Andy Reid how he would compare the feelings surrounding his two Super Bowl visits as a coach, which have been separated by 15 years.

How is your appreciation for your team’s accomplishments different as you get older?

3. Catapult partners with Atavus to improve defensive performance and maximize player safety (Catapult Sports)

Catapult has announced a product partnership with Atavus, the leading football tackling analytics company. The patented Atavus Tackling System empowers coaches and teams to use performance analytics as a way to improve tackling while also reducing the risk of injury for athletes.

The partnership will combine Catapult’s expertise in video solutions through XOS with Atavus’ advanced tackling system to improve player and team performance.

Catapult Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Bairos, sees the partnership as being transformative for football teams.

“Our deep relationship with football coaches provides a unique platform for analytics companies like Atavus,” Bairos said. “The integration and display of Atavus Tacklytics into XOS Thunder will bring new insights to our football clients.”

Using data analysis and video review, Atavus evaluates over 80 data points on every tackle to deliver actionable insights through customized reports and detailed tackle plans. Football programs at all levels utilize the Tacklytics product, including Texas Tech University, Baylor University, and the University of Oklahoma. Atavus also has a long-term partnership with the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) to provide tackling certification and analysis to youth and high school football teams.

What companies do you rely on to keep your players safe?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk

About the author

Dan Guttenplan