The importance and reliance of analytics — always a point of contention, and at times derision, when it comes to the Giants — is undergoing a further transformation with the new regime in charge of charting the direction of the franchise.
Cade Knox, a football data and innovation intern for the Giants the past 18 months, is moving to a game management role, providing consultation regarding football and NFL rules for new head coach Brian Daboll. That Knox is now a member of the coaching staff is a new wrinkle for the role analytics fills with the Giants.
Jon Berger, the longtime computer coordinator and more recently the senior director of football information, aided Giants head coaches for years before the team decided to go in a different direction after the 2020 season. Knox, though, is now considered part of the coaching staff and he will report to Daboll. Previously, Knox reported to Ty Siam, the Giants’ director of football data and innovation.
The Giants’ analytics department fell behind the times but made big strides the past few years under the direction of Dave Gettleman, the former general manager. This is another step in increasing the use of data to help the franchise out of its losing rut.
As an intern, Knox was responsible for a number of data initiatives — including football research, football operations projects and general data management. On game days, Knox in his new role will be situated upstairs in the coaching box and have direct communication with Daboll and other members of the coaching staff.
“I think we use ‘data innovation’ here instead of ‘analytics’ since it is a hot button,’’ new general manager Joe Schoen said. “But I believe in it. Any tool that can help us win games or give us a competitive advantage, we’re going to continue to push the envelope and find out what those are.’’
Knox is a native of Phoenix and played wide receiver at Harvard, where he earned a degree in psychology. He was a volunteer quarterbacks coach for the Ezekiel Ansah Foundation, a non-profit established by the NFL player to help children in Ghana thrive in education and sports through football camps. He also was a volunteer coach at the NFL’s Play 60 Character Camp.