According to their new head coach Frank Reich, the Carolina Panthers are adding former Indianapolis Colts senior football strategy analyst/game management George Li to his football operations staff to help with analytics (via the Athletic’s Joe Pearson):
Reich says he’s hired George Li as his game management coach. Li was with Reich in Indy.— Joe Person (@josephperson) February 21, 2023
Since joining their football operations staff in June of 2018, Li had spent the past five seasons in Indianapolis under former head coach Frank Reich. Prior to joining the Colts, Li spent seven seasons with the Raiders organization. He’s also previously served as a lead researcher for NFL Network and a researcher at ESPN.
Li recently assisted with the Colts ‘creative’ head coaching interview process, placing each finalist through in game-management drills to decipher their overall decision-making. Of course, the Colts ultimately landed on new head coach Shane Steichen.
Obviously, this is the latest staff member that as the newly named head coach of the Panthers, Reich is bringing along with him back to Carolina—as Li joins former Colts assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier and director of team development Brian Decker already.
While the Colts were largely one of the better teams in fourth down play-calling during Reich’s complete tenure, which analytics and Li presumably played a key factor in, that number slipped in 2022—largely because of personnel and predictability issues. It’ll be interesting to see if the pair rebounds in Carolina. My calculated guess is yes.
That being said, Steichen figures to have an analytics replacement of his own in mind.