I’ve recently seen some fans use statistics to evaluate a play calling in a way that seems inappropriate to me. Here are three different ways I’ve seen statistics used to evaluate play calling:
1. Counting the number of times a playcaller ran or passed the ball on at certain downs and distances (e.g., on 3rd and 4, the play caller called a run play 68% of the time, etc.).
2. Examine the sequence of runs and passes to evaluate predictability. For example, one person criticized a play caller for utilizing the run-run-pass sequence way too often.
3. Identifying conversion 3rd down conversion rates for both passing and running at different distances–e.g., 45% success running and 55% success passing from 3rd and 4–and using this to make play calling decisions.
Do you guys think this is sound and appropriate way to evaluate a play caller–e.g., determining if they’re too predictable? What are sound and unsound ways of using these type of statistics to evaluate play calling?