IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Quantifying NFL Coaching: A Proof of New Growth Theory


  • Braig Kevin P.


New Growth Theory is the science of research, knowledge, and designs. The foundation of New Growth Theory is that technological change, improvement in the instructions for mixing resources, lies at the heart of growth and improvement. Designs are the instructions that turn resources into useful things. The combination of professional baseball history and professional football history teaches us that growth in the National Football League (NFL) springs from better designs such as the Green Bay Packers' power sweep and the San Francisco 49ers' rhythm passing. This paper demonstrates that although football design architectures differ, the outcome of all useful designs is identical: The creation of the same non-rival 2-to-1 edge that the pitcher and catcher (the battery) continuously enjoy over a hitter in baseball. This paper's main conclusions are that, at maximum efficiency, NFL coaching research accounts for more than 25% of the team's efficiency and superior human capital engaged in production (playing) accounts for less than 15% of efficiency. In other words, research and play design contributes more to an NFL team's efficiency than play-making contributes. An NFL growth rate is equal to the productivity of a coaching staffs research and represents a directional vector. If an NFL teams growth rate is greater than 100%, it is likely the team is getting better continuously. Such an improving NFL team will generate increasing returns and enjoy an absolute competitive edge over competitors whose research productivity is less than or equal to 100%. Super Bowl results demonstrate that an NFL team that can sustain such growth and avoid turnovers is virtually unbeatable.

Suggested Citation

  • Braig Kevin P., 2008. "Quantifying NFL Coaching: A Proof of New Growth Theory," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-66, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:4:y:2008:i:3:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:4:y:2008:i:3:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.