Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Jun 2012

Coaches Film on NFL Game Rewind: The Holy Grail Has Arrived

Yes, the time has finally come. We've been asking for it for eight years, and in 2012 the league will finally be making the all-22 film available to the public with the NFL Game Rewind Season Plus package. We're obviously very excited. We have all kinds of new ideas for things we can do with game charting now that we'll have this access. Unfortunately, we have to be honest -- we're going to run up against time constraints with the group of volunteers, and our monetary resources do not match some of the other groups that do charting. But we'll do our best to turn this new access into the best analysis we can possibly do for our readers.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 15 Jun 2012

52 comments, Last at 24 Jun 2012, 12:09am by seahounds

Comments

1
by PatsFan :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 1:51pm

(deleted)

2
by jklps :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 2:04pm

All those years of filling our surveys for All 22 and an iPad app finally pay off....

4
by Matt Bowyer :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 3:03pm

This is the best news ever on a slow Friday.

5
by Willy (not verified) :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 3:55pm

How can we volunteer?

8
by andrew :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 5:47pm

They will ask at some point before the preseason for volunteers.

I did it for two years, this is making me think I might try it again. It is a very educational process, you learn a lot...

52
by seahounds :: Sun, 06/24/2012 - 12:09am

I would be interested in volunteering for this project as well.

6
by falcochicquera :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 5:12pm

Seconding the "How do we volunteer" comment?

7
by Lance :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 5:16pm

In the mid 90's, I lived in Maple Shade, New Jersey-- a short drive from NFL Films at the time-- and I used to go in about once a month and ask how I could get "All-22" film. I was always laughed at. I'm thrilled that there is a way to see it. Anyone who really loves football knows that the crappy TV version we get doesn't tell the whole story. Being able to finally have more access is a thrilling prospect for hard core fans everywhere.

9
by John (not verified) :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 6:28pm

The rending of garments on Twitter over this is quite sad. "Now everyone will claim they're an expert because they have access to all-22."

22
by Dean :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 8:48am

It might be sad, but it's not necessarily wrong. There are a lot of idiots out there, and very few genuinely ignorant. Access to the all-22 might enlighten the ignorant, but it isn't going to turn the idiotic blowhard into a knowledgable fan.

25
by John (not verified) :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 9:45am

Sure, but the same could have been said when games started being broadcast on TV. The reactions sound like a priesthood lamenting that the mass will no longer be in Latin and now anyone can understand it.

26
by Podge (not verified) :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 10:17am

Becaause no one claims that they are an expert now?

10
by Theo :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 6:30pm

Somehow I KNEW this would get an extra point.

11
by Jerry :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 6:35pm

The one thing I'd love to see from this is DVOA in plays each player participates in, which may be a key step to individual player evaluation.

12
by tuluse :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 6:52pm

Yeah DVOA +/- would be awesome.

It would be really nice for wide receivers, which I feel that DVOA does a very poor job evaluating right now.

16
by akn :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 9:06pm

Not sure how useful +/- numbers actually are. They are quite useless in basketball, though very useful in hockey.

21
by Jerry :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 3:10am

For straight-up substitutions, seeing how a team does with A at left guard as opposed to B is a huge step in the right direction, especially with DVOA adjusting for some context. Even for less-straightforward substitutions, knowing that the team improves (or worsens) when a given player is on the field is information we didn't have beyond what our lying eyes tell us.

23
by Dean :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 8:49am

I would say their use in hockey is limited, at best.

43
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 06/18/2012 - 11:54am

And that's being kind. I don't think the hockey metrics community has done a very impressive job, but at least they thoroughly understand the many, many problems with +/-.

39
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 3:52pm

Not as useful in hockey as you think. Even Corsi and Fenwick are not terribly useful unless you account for quality of teammates, quality of opposition, and zone starts, and the qualcomp and qualteam measures are flawed because they are themselves based on Corsi or Fenwick. Basically what I'm saying is that even the statistically advanced versions of +/- in hockey mean little without context. You'll learn more about how good a player is defensively by looking at average PK time per game, and more about how good he is overall by looking at total icetime or ES+PK icetime. (For the record, I'm not a huge fan of WOWY either.)

18
by MJK :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 11:09pm

Actually, there's all kinds of stuff you can do simply by knowing who was on the field on a given play, aside from DVOA. Take defensive backs. If a DB is on the field for a "successful" (from the defense's standpoint) play, even if he wasn't the one that defended the pass, you can give him credit because he obviously did something right (i.e. he did not let his man get open in time). Now we finally have a way of seeing how good Nnamdi Asomugah and Revis and other good players with low passes defensed numbers really are.

20
by Jerry :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 3:03am

I agree with you, especially about the value of DBs who aren't thrown at, but I take Aaron's "limited resources" note seriously.

13
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 8:10pm

It's not the Grail, it's a very naughty boy!

31
by Mr Shush :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 4:31pm

He chose . . . unwisely.

33
by tally :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 6:45pm

I thought it was a Monty Python reference, not Indiana Jones, but alas, no.

Just a grail-shaped beacon.

35
by Mr Shush :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 8:42pm

Are you saying I got the wrong Jones?

Well, I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Eunt domus.

41
by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 6:57pm

Not sure how I managed to mix up my Python films but I did and so I must be punished.

14
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 8:10pm

It's not the Grail, it's a very naughty boy!

15
by JonFrum :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 8:22pm

So now fans will actually be able to watch a guard block on every down, and see what the hell the defensive backfield is doing. And wide open receivers while a QB is panicking. For decades, television has been showing an abbreviated form of the game - follow the ball. What a huge improvement.

17
by AJ (not verified) :: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 10:10pm

i always wondered if teams ever do deep stat analysis like other major disciplines do, using game charting? it may feel like the nfl is an x's and o's type of thing, but honestly...its amazing what sort of things deep stat techniques can tell us...for example, how much its receivers/o line vs qb; is it pass rush or coverage and what combo is it?

I wonder if teams actually do this but i suspect they do not.

44
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 06/18/2012 - 11:59am

I'm pretty sure they do, actually, but they don't necessarily care about the things that we do. They're more focused on tendencies and matchups.

19
by TimK :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 2:36am

"NFL Game Rewind is only available in the United States."

Well, darn :(

And I've finally got a good enough internet connection for it as well.

24
by Pied :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 9:17am

We get the same thing, but it's called Game Pass and it's much more expensive.

On the plus side, we can watch the games live--though if you're in a time zone like mine that's not very realistic anyhow.

28
by Jimmy :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 11:48am

If you check the gamepass page on the NFL website one of the features they are advertising is the coaches film as part of the gamepass package. They won't sell it you yet but when they do you get coaches film.

45
by caw :: Mon, 06/18/2012 - 12:29pm

Only 20 plays per game, according to the fine print. :(

47
by petr (not verified) :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 5:26pm

the "20 plays per game" refers to the 2011/12 season as European Gamepass had coaches film only for around that number of plays per game. Hopefully in the upcoming season (2012/13) it should be the full game.

49
by caw :: Fri, 06/22/2012 - 4:54pm

I hope you are right, but:

"7.Coaches Film and Condensed Games
a.The play that I want to watch does not have Coaches Film. Why not?

A: Due to NFL restrictions, only 20 plays from a given game are allowed to incorporate Coaches Film.

Coaches Film is not available for Preseason games. "

http://gamepass.nfl.com/nflgp/help_en_US.htm#COACHESFILM_a

27
by PatsFan :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 11:45am

Must have had big demand -- the price went up from $59.99/yr to $69.99 in the first day!

29
by Jimmy :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 11:49am

Its almost as though people have been clamoring for this for ages!

30
by Jimbo :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 12:16pm

Really excited about this. Super cheap as well. I heard some grubbling about the quick price bump but short of sounding like an NFL.com shill c'mon ~70USD to have access to everything.

The only minor issue - and it's not that big of a deal - is that the A22 is not retroactive. Of course this was implicit in release page but it seems it will commence with 2012 games. So if you're looking to see the past SB in A22 fagettaboutit.

There is plenty that can be done with A22 as everyone on this site knows but my desire is simply to see the whole story. Doubt I'll do anything practical with it other than having the satisfaction of knowing.

34
by DavidL :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 8:32pm

Okay, this isn't directly related to the coaches' film announcement, but:

"Due to NFL broadcast restrictions, NFL Game Rewind service is unavailable during the telecast of Sunday Night and Monday Night Football games."

As if we needed more proof that the blackout rules are insane.

36
by tuluse :: Sat, 06/16/2012 - 8:55pm

There are plenty of bad things about the blackout rules, but 1) this doesn't have anything to do with blackouts and 2) the TV networks are paying a princely sum for exclusive rights to show games. They want you watching their commercials and not an internet stream.

48
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 11:12pm

I agree that this not about blackout rules, but

1) I am paying for that internet stream, so why shouldn't I be able to watch it anytime I want to? and

2) The NFL is essentially demanding that you watch a game that you may not be interested in, or maybe a total dud, like any primetime game that involved the Colts in 2011.

50
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 06/22/2012 - 5:15pm

I'm with you.

As a note last year I was able to start up an NFL Rewind game before the blackout window and it would play just fine during the game.

I still want to just be able to stream the games live, I'd honestly rather give my money directly to the NFL rather than a 3rd party cable/satellite provider with a bunch of other content I don't care about.

I know that I don't want to jump through the hoops I would have to get to the European Game Pass to work here in the US, just like I'm sure many over seas don't want to deal with the hoops to get Rewind to work over there. It's possible, though it's also a grey area legally too.

51
by tuluse :: Fri, 06/22/2012 - 5:27pm

I feel like your asking question about what I already explained.

The NFL makes more money from the TV networks than they do from you. They've entered into an agreement that gives the networks exclusive rights.

You get 10 million friends of yours to also agree to pay $70 a year for 10 years and maybe the NFL will listen to you.

37
by Theo :: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 6:44am

Are the gonna use the All22 on replays too?

38
by Your Pal (not verified) :: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 12:21pm

"and our monetary resources do not match some of the other groups that do charting."

Who are these other groups???

40
by Joseph :: Sun, 06/17/2012 - 5:02pm

I would guess there are 32 other groups commonly known as NFL teams, for starters. Major sports websites, such as ESPN, FoxSports, etc., might be tempted to do some new "insider" things and pay people to do the charting. Most people will be more likely to do something for $ that they won't do for free. I'd do charting for reasonable pay [read: more than I make annually now], although the divorce that would surely follow would eat into that $$.
Note: I'm not advocating that FO pay anybody. I don't have the TV capability nor time to chart games, although I would prob. enjoy it.

42
by Independent George :: Mon, 06/18/2012 - 10:45am

So who left the grail-shaped beacon on at NFL headquarters?

46
by JMM* (not verified) :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 1:55pm

I'm sure we all have had suggestions on how the all 22 should be released. My thought was to include it on the Sunday Ticket Direct TV package (something had to make that price worth it) and broadcast the all 22 on Tuesday night.