As the son of a high school football coach, Broncos General Manager George Paton grew up with a traditional understanding and love for the game. But as he begins his time with the Broncos, Paton brings an expanded knowledge of the game, and as he explained on Tuesday, that includes an appreciation for what can be learned from analytics.
After explaining his vision of being aggressive without taking extraordinary risks, Paton shed light on his thinking regarding analytics and how he may incorporate that into his evaluation process.
"I just think it's a philosophy to acquire players, whether it's the draft, whether it's free agency," Paton said. "It's just not one player, it's how you build the whole team. Once you have that built, it's easier to kind of make decisions. It just gives you more information. The more information the better in this league. It's hard to maintain an edge, and if you slow down, you're going to get passed up. We're going to have all the information, we're going to use all the data we can, and we're going to make the best possible decisions with that data."
That line of thinking was something Paton mentioned earlier in his press conference during his prepared opening remarks.
"We're going to be progressive, we're going to be innovative, we're going to be forward-thinking and we're going to use all the information at our disposal to make the best informed decisions," Paton said.
In looking at his overall scouting process, Paton said the analytic aspect is an important piece of the complete pie.
"Evaluation is number one and analytics is just another piece of the equation," Paton said. "Maybe it breaks a tie, maybe it makes you aware of a player you didn't grade as high, maybe it gives you a red flag. So, we're going to use it as just another piece. I think it's great for in-game management. It's something I think they've used here and it's something we'll use going forward as well."
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In a conversation with 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Paton spoke a bit more about his thoughts on Drew Lock. "I've watched a few games," Paton told him. "Like a lot of young players he was up and down. I kind of look at this as a rookie year for Drew. And a rookie year where he had no offseason and a rookie year where he had a new offensive coordinator. So I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I do think he has a lot of upside but you're always looking to upgrade every position and it'll be no different here."