The Blindside Project: Measuring the Impact of Individual Offensive Linemen

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday March 2, 2011
      3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Location: Room 222, College of Management
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Rahul Basole
The Tennenbaum Institute

John Stasko
School of Interactive Computing


Summary Sentence: Ben Alamar of Menlo College will lecture on "The Blindside Project: Measuring the Impact of Individual Offensive Linemen" as part of the Sports Analytics Speaker Series.

Full Summary: Ben Alamar of Menlo College will lecture on "The Blindside Project: Measuring the Impact of Individual Offensive Linemen" as part of the Sports Analytics Speaker Series. For more information, click here.

During the 1991-92 season, the Redskins offensive line turned Mark Rypien into not only a Super Bowl-winning quarterback (QB), but into one of the most efficient QBs of all time. That year, Rypien amassed over 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions while being sacked only seven times the entire season. This anecdote suggests that the offensive line has a significant impact on an offense, but there is no performance metric that allows us to compare the linemen or understand their true value to a team. The central obstacle to creating this metric is the lack of data on the performance of individual offensive linemen. To address this, we have collected play-by-play data including number of defensive players rushing the QB, time in the pocket, success of each individual linemen, steps in the QB’s dropback, formation and other relevant data. The binary success data is then used in a Cox regression to first establish a baseline probability of success for each position on the line. Once the baseline was established, the regression was run separately for each lineman, allowing each player’s performance to be compared to the average after controlling for time in the pocket. The difference between a player’s performance and the baseline is an estimate of the value added/subtracted to the team’s passing game.

Speaker's Bio:
Professor Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sport, a professor of sports management at Menlo College and the director of basketball analytics and research for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. He has published academic research in football, basketball and baseball, has presented sports-related work at the annual conventions of the Society for American Baseball Research, the American Statistical Society and the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports. Additionally, he is coauthor of the annual Pro Football Prospectus. Professionally he has consulted for teams in the NBA and NFL and provided statistical analysis for author Michael Lewis for his recent book "The Blind Side." Professor Alamar is also an award-winning economist who has worked academically and professionally in intellectual property valuation, public finance and public health. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001.

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Ben Alamar, football, isye, sports analytics, Sports Analytics Speaker Series, tennenbaum institute
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 28, 2011 - 4:58am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:54pm