What a wild ride, it’s been an overwhelming response over the last few weeks! I have fielded a lot of questions about my use of the term efficiency, so I wanted to try and establish why to me this is one of the top most useful data points I use.
Efficiency helps me determine the effectiveness of a given parameter. It is calculated using Down, Distance, Field Position and Gain. Once you have put your D/D into the game I typically go back and enter whether a play was efficient or inefficient.
1st Down: Did the play gain 4 or more yards (exception 1st and GL scenarios)
2nd Down: Did the play halve the distance needed for a 1st down (or touchdown in GL situations)
3rd Down: The the play gain the yards needed for a 1st down.
4th Down: Same as 3rd down. If you knew you were going for it on 4th down then you can change your 3rd down grade to use the 2nd down philosophy.
1st and 10 -25YL, Gain of 4 (EFFICIENT)
2nd and 6 -29YL, Gain of 3 (EFFICIENT)
3rd and 3, -32YL, Gain of 10 (EFFICIENT)
1st and 10, -42YL, Gain of 0 (INEFFICIENT)
2nd and 10, -42YL, Gain of 4 (INEFFICIENT)
3rd and 6, -48YL, Gain of 4 (INEFFICIENT)
Once the entire game is tagged, now I can start to look at the opponent very quickly and see where their strengths lay. I would start:
Down/Distance Efficiencies – Where are they strong? How are they on 1st down, 2nd down and 3rd down (based on distance).
Formation Efficiencies – Split this by Run and Pass. It tells you which formations to start your game planning looking at.
Play Family Efficiencies – Now you can see what plays cause your opponent issues, or what plays they execute to a high standard.
Once plays and formations move above 54% I have found they are consistently good at this for it to be a problem.
When you see our typical scouting report information we will not include yards per attempt, instead it will carry an efficiency grade.
One important thing is that we ALWAYS grade efficiency from an offensive point of view. That way if you make a cutup/project of every conference game you can see what your leagues 1st and 10 efficiency is for example. When talking with your defensive staff, you are actually trying to describe your opponents offense so explaining what they do well and poorly is important. I think it has huge value in self scout. To see how your coverages hold up against passing attempts, completions may be high but the yards they need may lack. Often completion percentage can be misleading, a lot of screens and bubbles can create a high percentage but could all be inefficient plays.
Next week I am going to discuss 4th down data and how this can greatly help your defensive staff, in addition to a continued expansion of relevant data points for breaking down film.
I do hope this gets some ideas flowing, I would encourage you all to add an efficiency column to your video software and then take a look at your team and see how you stack up by formation, play call or personnel. This will give you an idea of how you are likely to be attacked by your opponents.
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Yours in football!