BBAO: Phil Emery serious about analytics

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery has referred a number of times to advanced statistical analysis services that he consulted with over the past season. This week, the Bears joined a growing group of NFL teams that have dedicated a full-time position for that growing industry by hiring Mitch Tanney as director of analytics.

Tanney played quarterback at Division III Monmouth and has spent the past two years at STATS LLC. Said Emery, via Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com: "We needed somebody with an expertise in filtering through subsets of data to make sense of them in terms of which pieces are important and which pieces can be put together to give a clearer picture of projecting performance, whether it's on the field in situational football or in scouting projecting players moving forward."

Here on the blog, we try to use the vast troves of data available from ESPN Stats & Information to flesh out our discussions and either support or dissuade certain conclusions. According to the Bears' website, Tanney's role will go much deeper. He will develop "techniques to identify, extract and analyze data to support decisions made by the personnel department and coaches. He will primarily research player evaluation and game situations in an effort to project future outcomes."

Continuing around the NFC North: