A new app called scoutPRO could change the way the NFL and college football coaches prep for games and recruit talent.
ScoutPro, which is currently in beta, displays a team’s strengths and weaknesses in subtle ways coaches might miss when watching hours of video. It analyzes tendencies: Does the team usually passes on third down? Is the quarterback is best when he stands behind his linemen or when he’s on the run? It also determines a team’s most effective defensive plays with the tap of a few buttons.
The app doesn’t forget about the competition, either. It provides the same data for opposing teams, so coaches can analyze their strengths and match them with the competitors’ weaknesses.
“I’m betting our company on the fact that data’s going to become more important,” said Diane Bloodworth, founder of Competitive Sports Analysis, which developed the app. “My goal is really to change the way sports are competed by providing this data.”
While the technology hasn’t spread throughout the league yet, Bloodworth said one NFL team has signed on for a 2014 test-run, though she wouldn’t provide more details.
The potential benefits of scoutPRO don’t stop at game preparation. College and NFL teams can use the app to, as its name suggests, scout players.
Say a college team is interested in recruiting a runningback. The app has already determined the team is good at running to the right side where the best blockers on the team play. It knows this team is good at runs that go straight up the field, rather than ones that bounce way to the outside, nearly out-of-bounds. The app takes those strengths and matches them to a recruit who is good at those particular things: a powerful runner who is not afraid to get hit when running a little to the right.
“Our goal would be to better predict their fit and their performance,” said Bloodworth, who first thought of the technology in the 1980s while in graduate school. Now that her idea is coming to fruition, Bloodworth said she hopes the NFL is ripe for disruption.
Image: Flickr, Keith Allison