Best, worst at preserving timeouts
The Elias Sports Bureau has a formula for measuring how coaches have fared
There are no formal statistics regarding a head coach's clock management. But the Elias Sports Bureau came up with a creative way to measure a coach's ability to save timeouts for the end of close games.
With the playoffs upon us, clock management will prove critical. What's the secret to clock management, and why does a Harvard MBA believe he has the answers? Greg Garber
The list below indicates the percentage of times in their career that 2009 NFL coaches retained at least two of their timeouts (times retained timeouts, or TRT) in close games.
As Kevin Hines of the Elias Sports Bureau explains it, an instance of a "close game" is defined as being a one-possession game with 5:00 remaining in the fourth quarter. After the start of the 1994 season -- when the NFL adopted the 2-point conversion rule -- a one-possession game would be defined as a difference of 8 or fewer points between the teams.
Before 1994 -- when current coaches Bill Belichick and Wade Phillips were coaching other teams, thus making that time frame relevant to this analysis -- a one-possession game would be a difference of 7 or fewer points. The percentage is the ratio of times the coaches retained two or more timeouts in close games to the number of such games.
Career Clock Management Percentages
How well has the 2009 crop of head coaches managed timeouts in close games over the course of their careers? This chart provided by the Elias Sports Bureau provides some answers.
|Pct.||Times Retained Timeouts||Close Games||Coach||2009 Team|
|.86154||56||65||Jack Del Rio||Jaguars|
Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
2009 NFL PLAYOFFS: ROAD TO MIAMI