Title: A deeper understanding of quarterback pressure in football
Authors: Karl Pazdernik - Deep Football (United States) [presenting]
Jacques Kvam - Deep Football (United States)
Abstract: Quarterback pressure is a key component of any good defense in football. Yet, the very idea of pressure is not well quantified. Current metrics, such as hurries, knockdowns, and sacks, are useful, but they are binary outcomes and are incomplete in how they assign credit and fault. For example, a defender coming close to the quarterback is usually blamed on the offensive lineman, but could be because the quarterback held the ball too long or ineffectively used the space provided. Using a Voronoi tessellation applied to RFID tracking data, we measure the space of the pocket and calculate the pole of inaccessibility, i.e. the best location for the quarterback to minimize pressure. We then use these measures over time to attribute credit and fault to all contributing defensive and offensive players, respectively. The result is a more thorough assessment of rushing defenders, pass-blocking offensive players, and the quarterbacks ability to reduce pressure himself.