An Excerpt From Cougar Sports Weekly
I compare Mike Leach’s apparent philosophy about the importance of special teams to Moneyball:
Leach clearly isn’t viewing special teams as an afterthought. He devoted a significant amount of money to hire one of the nation’s top special teams coaches, Eric Russell, away from Tennessee. And a number of other assistant coaches — notably Jeff Choate, who was Boise State’s special teams coordinator before being hired to coach the linebackers here — have deep special teams ties.
The question, then, is why? What does Leach think he sees that so many other coaches seem to miss?
This is why I used the term “Moneyball” above. If you’re familiar with Moneyball by Michael Lewis — or the movie starring Brad Pitt, which I unfortunately have not seen — you know that it centers around the statistical revolution in baseball. However, many people end up missing the big point. Moneyball was never about on-base percentage as some magical metric; it was about looking for things that actually help you win games that the competition seems to be overlooking.
There’s a good chance that’s exactly what Leach is hoping to make WSU’s special teams into.