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New Panthers owner David Tepper encouraging coaches to embrace analytics

Michael David Smith

New Panthers owner David Tepper has told his coaching staff he wants a forward-thinking approach to the game, which includes a focus on analytics.

Tepper noted that the Panthers called more passes on first down in Week One than they typically did in past years, and he said analytics had shown that’s a wise approach.

“Those first-down passes,” Tepper told Panthers.com. “I’m real focused on analytics, and we hadn’t really done that before. I loved the mix of plays. The first down passing was a new look for this team.”

Some of the most successful owners in the NFL, including New England’s Robert Kraft and Philadelphia’s Jeffrey Lurie, have said they attribute much of their teams’ success to a focus on analytics. Tepper said he expects his football people to follow that lead.

“You have to incorporate modern ideas,” Tepper said. “I just want to make sure analytics are applied. I don’t want human biases to alter what we think is correct or not correct. There is an openness to it here, which is good. I want a tough mentality, I like grittiness, but this is a new age.”

The Panthers are off to a 1-0 start in the new age that Tepper is bringing in. Tepper knows one game is far too small a sample size to draw any big conclusions, but he’s pleased with what he’s seeing so far.