While some former 49ers coaches have resisted analytics, Jim Tomsula on Friday said he’s open to the concept.
“So much of (coaching football) to me is gut and feel and those things,” Tomsula said. “(But) the absolutes in math on where you can save 20 seconds here or 30 seconds there, obviously we pay attention to. It’s conversations. It’s meetings. It’s going through scenarios. What they do a great job of is all the different scenarios every week.”
The analytics department was developed by team president Paraag Marathe, who will soon have a new role in the organization. Brian Hampton, whose title is director of football administration and analytics, has been working with the coaches this season.
Tomsula said he and tight ends coach Tony Sparano meet with Hampton and his team, though usually in the offseason. Hampton also has been handling much of the team’s day-to-day contract negotiations, according to agents who have worked with the 49ers in the past year. Marathe still oversees that aspect of the team and will continue to do so.
Tomsula’s controversial decision in Seattle on Nov. 22 to punt twice late in the game, he said, was influenced by analytics. The 49ers were down 16 points at the time and backed up in their own territory. The statistics, he said, favored punting instead of going for it on fourth down and possibly allowing the opponent to go up by three scores.
When asked about Marathe’s new role, Tomsula said: “No, I don’t have any knowledge, don’t have any comment, don’t have anything. You didn’t even tell me if it was rumor or fact. It’s an article or something? No, I don’t have any clue.”
He called a report that he butted heads with Marathe over analytics “absolutely false. Untrue.”
Injury update – Tomsula said running back Carlos Hyde (foot) and tight end Garrett Celek (ankle) would not travel to Chicago but center Daniel Kilgore will make the trip.
The 49ers still must move Kilgore from the physically-unable-to-perform list to the active roster, and Tomsula hinted that could happen Saturday.
“Your Saturday afternoon will get screwed up,” he told reporters.
Dial fined – Defensive tackle Quinton Dial was fined $17,363 for roughing the passer against the Cardinals. Dial was penalized on a fourth-quarter sack of Carson Palmer, turning an eight-yard loss for the Cardinals into a 15-yard gain. Arizona scored its game-winning touchdown on the drive. Dial has said he will appeal.