Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, like millions of others, read Moneyball after it was released in 2003. The book followed Billy Bean and the Oakland Athletics' approach to advanced statistics.
However, unlike most, Diaz tried to extrapolate what was in the book to the football field , writes colleague Bruce Feldman.
"You can't read that and not try and find some ways that can relate back to our game," he said.
Feldman also writes about Diaz's unusual trek through coaching, and how it affected his view of numbers now. The son of a Miami mayor, Diaz began his career at ESPN before eventually catching on with Florida State's video production team.
Diaz concedes that having "an outsider's perspective" probably has contributed to his fascination with the numbers, although he is quick to downplay any of the "guru" hyperbole that comes along with being hailed as one of the hot young assistants.
"I don't know that we do anything that other people don't do," he said. "I don't know that we run many blitzes that other people don't run. I don't think we run many fronts or coverages that people don't run. I think we just found a way to be multiple and try to be unpredictable. Maybe we do what everybody else does, but maybe we do it at different times and out of different looks to dress it up. There's definitely no guru stuff going on."
It's a good read. Check it out. You'll need ESPN Insider to see it all , but here's a sneak peek at the three statistics Diaz cited in his interview with Feldman.
He included three links to sites with data that intrigued him last year: