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Blood, Sweat & Chalk: The Ultimate Football Playbook: How the Great Coaches Built Today's Game Hardcover – August 3, 2010
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them - all at once? Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. Until the one day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. Paperback | Kindle book
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Top Customer Reviews
All the play diagrams are terrible; rounded, cutesy chalk drawings that are inaccurate, the kind of stuff you see in print advertisements during football season - ten to twelve X's and O's per side, arrows and blocks in all kinds of crazy directions. If you are writing a serious book about innovative developments in football strategy, then it follows that you should have real playbook schematics,i.e., diagrams that are both precise and correctly drawn.
One of the signature plays of the West Coast Offense is "Flanker Drive". Traditionally run out of a two-back set (usually Near), the flanker (or Z) motions tight to the formation before running a "Drive", a crossing pattern at 4-6 yards. The tight end runs an In at 10-12 yards; the halfback runs a Corner at 12 yards; the split end (or X) runs a Streak. The book's diagram illustrates the play out of a singleback set (a rarity for Walsh). There are only 10 players shown because apparently there is no running back. The slot receiver (or Zebra in West Coast terminology) is designated as the flanker(!?); he goes in motion before running a corner pattern. The flanker, designated here as no. 80 (for Jerry Rice) runs the drive, the tight end runs the In, the split end runs the Streak. This play is not a secret, you can find it in any West Coast Offense playbook. For crying out loud, it's been in the Madden videogame for years! And more accurately drawn, I might add.
The chapter consists largely of material cribbed from other sources.Read more ›
Author Tim Layden, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated, has laid out a reasonably well organized set of chapters that goes into the innovations in football strategy that have made the game what it is today.
He starts out back in days of Pop Warner and the Single Wing formation. Back in the rough and tumble days when football was about big men smashing into each other and running the ball, Pop Warner came up with a formation that maximized deception and utilized the full talents of three running backs (with the quarterback essentially handling ball and either handing off or running). He then walks through all the variations of this basic attack in both college and professional football that defined the game for decades.
As we get into the modern era there is an excellent chapter on the late Don "Air" Coryell and his passing attack that really is the progenitor of many of the pass happy offenses in today's NFL. Of course Coryell's strategy was attacking deep with his platoon of great receivers and Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Fouts. Coryell's offense was the origin of some utterly failed and passé schemes like the run and shoot offense. But it's also the foundation for very successful offenses such as Sam Wyche's no huddle offense that took the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl, the K-Gun Offense with Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills riding their pass oriented offense to four consecutive trips to the big dance, and The Greatest Show on Turf highlighting the offense of Mike Martz and quarterback Kurt Warner, culminating in a Super Bowl win.Read more ›
The book does give some fair biographical information on some of the coaches who pioneered or re-discovered some of the formations and plays in football history. Some of the personal connections are explored, such as Bill Walsh's connection to Paul Brown. But the descriptions of the formation's and philosophies of the various offenses and defenses are cursory at best. Usually a single play is diagrammed from each formation.... the signature play I suppose. But I wanted to know more about the other plays run from each formation and how the opposing defense (or offense) is kept off-balance.
I also wanted to know more about the blocking assignments from the various formations. For example, I noticed from watching Florida's games the last few years that on almost every play the offensive lineman never fire out of their blocks and attempt to drive their defender backwards on running plays. Rather, they would get into a pass-blocking stance without forming a pocket. They would remain at the line of scrimmage and attempt to cut off the defender in front of them whichever way he wanted to go. It is almost a zone-blocking scheme without the movement. Then the QB makes the decision to run, pitch or throw depending on what the defenders do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a really good read. It's not heavy on the xs and os like I thought it would be, but it didn't really matter because it is written so well that you just get sucked into the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by plainsman
Special for chapters about innovators through football's past - since the introduction of numbers on jerseys.Published 11 months ago by Frederick Cullison
Its similar to all sports books. Boring, yet informative.Published 14 months ago by JUSTIN C DOZIER
This is a great book about coaching football. It reads like a family historical novel with football as its backdrop. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Aluitious
I really enjoyed the book for it's historical insight. I normally spend a lot of time reading motivational or scheme football books, so this one was a good change of pace.Published 19 months ago by Mack Skelton