Chargers hiring Big Data Bowl participant as team analyst

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Here’s some different news from the usual this time of year.

According to ESPN Sports Analystics writer, Seth Walder, the Chargers are hiring Alex Stern to be a team analyst. Stern took part in the NFL’s Big Data Bowl in 2020, which is described by event’s official site as a “annual sports analytics contest that challenges members o the analystics community — from college students to professionals — to contribute to the NFL’s evolution of the use of advanced analytics.”

The event is sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

According to the page, contestants use a combination of traditional football data and Next Gen Stats to analyze current trends and varying player performances while attempting to push the limits of the way football is both played and coached. At the end of the day, the event hopes to “engage and empower the football analytics community to drive innovation.”

This isn’t the first move made by the team this offseason that has signaled a major shift in how the club views analytics and their importance in creating a winning edge. While Brandon Staley was putting together his coaching staff earlier this year, he also hired Cody Cejda, a former analytics member of the Northwestern football team, to be an assistant and analytics sounding board on game days.

The move may not make waves with its’ headline, but small behind-the-scenes moves such as these could add up when this season gets underway.

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