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TN REQUIRED READING: By the Numbers

But Diaz has another trait, one that separates him from many in his profession: he's a stat-hound, and somebody who stays on top of the latest advanced statistical metrics. According to Diaz, the trend started when he became a graduate assistant at Florida State. Diaz attended school at the Tallahaase powerhouse, but didn't play football. And after graduating, he went to work in television, becoming a production assistant on "NFL Countdown." But Diaz had a desire find a place on another side of the game — as a coach — and he joined the FSU staff in 1998. The Seminoles were at the height of their power, playing for two national championships, winning one, and going 23-2 during Diaz's two years there. And Diaz was at the bottom of the food chain, trying to find some way to make an impact. "When I got to FSU, the defensive coaches that I was fortunate enough to learn under, they were on top of the game," Diaz said. "But there were some things in terms of breaking down our opponents that we weren't doing all the way yet. "That was sort of how I could provide my niche," Diaz said. "I could ask 'hey, what about this' and offer things that way. Because they certainly didn't need any suggestions on how to coach defense because they were awesome at it." At that point, many of the more advanced metrics that are used today, weren't in existence. And — just as today — many people judged defenses by the number of yards allowed, a stat called "total defense." But the problem with total defense is that it doesn't tell the total story, Diaz said.

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