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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football Scouting Methods
This book caused quite a stir back in 2004 or 2005 when it was mentioned in the media. The author is Steve Belichick the father of Bill Belichick the head coach of the New England Patriots. Steve was a noted scout and coach in his own right back several decades ago. This book was one of the first that I know of that attempted to codify some of the thinking and thought...
Published on April 28, 2007 by Coach Ted

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
I was extremely excited to jump into this book being this was the man who taught Bill Belichick about football. However, as you read the book you realize that a lot of the information is outdated and not applicable to today's game. He mentioned that few teams pass more than they run, and makes numerous reverences to games that took place in the 50's and 60's. Also, the...
Published on July 18, 2011 by T- didit


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football Scouting Methods, April 28, 2007
By 
Coach Ted (Los Angeles, Ca) - See all my reviews
This book caused quite a stir back in 2004 or 2005 when it was mentioned in the media. The author is Steve Belichick the father of Bill Belichick the head coach of the New England Patriots. Steve was a noted scout and coach in his own right back several decades ago. This book was one of the first that I know of that attempted to codify some of the thinking and thought processes that go into scouting football.

Originally teams were allowed a certain number of visits in order to scout the opposition. Steve Belichick was a master at this skill and always found small ways to give his teams an advantage. His skills were passed onto his son Bill who developed an even keener eye for scouting opponents tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.

Today teams of course exchange game film, input data into a computer database and study that content instead of exchanging visits. The basic things they watch for however are still the same although the exact formations and play types change every decade of course. None the less the original questions and points of study that are outlined in this book were influential in their hey day and still of relevance today in concept.

Since the media mentioned this book it has become a hard to find commodity and has become something of a collectors item. I have an old copy that I keep in my football library. The schemes and diagrams are somewhat outdated (e.g. defense examples include a wide tackle six, split six, stacked 6-2, 5-3, and an eagle 5-4 type of alignment. Offense examples include T formations and Winged T alignments) but the basic thought process is still relevant even today.

Reading this book will give you a good sense of the details that coaches zeroed in on back then and what Steve probably taught Bill as a young man many years ago.

EDIT NOTE Nov. 2008

Since I wrote this review I see the book has fortunately been re-published and is now available for a reasonable price. I see I also accidentally referred to Steve's son Bill as "Brian" in one location but correctly as Bill in two other locations. A senior moment to which some of you can probably relate...I corrected it above.

Here is the table of contents for those interested:

1. A case for specialization in scouting
2. Preparations for scouting
3. What is expected of the scout
4. Worksheet forms and terminology
5. How to recognize the defense
6. Scouting the defense
7. Defensive analysis
8. Scouting the offense
9. Offensive analysis
10. The final report
11. Self-scouting and post game analysis
12. Tip offs

Two other older books I am aware of on scouting are George Allen's work "How to Scout Football" published in 1953 when he was still with Whittier College and Robert MacKenzie's book "Football Scouting" from 1955.

Keep in mind the terminology and examples in all these books are dated now by four or five decades.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, July 18, 2011
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This review is from: Football Scouting Methods (Paperback)
I was extremely excited to jump into this book being this was the man who taught Bill Belichick about football. However, as you read the book you realize that a lot of the information is outdated and not applicable to today's game. He mentioned that few teams pass more than they run, and makes numerous reverences to games that took place in the 50's and 60's. Also, the terminology used has its differences as he will reference a nose as a defensive guard among others. Don't get me wrong there are still many valuable tips and important things to learn from this book; just know that there are quite a few pages that won't be useful in today's spread it out, high flying, pass first offenses.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football Scouting Methods - Review, May 31, 2009
This review is from: Football Scouting Methods (Paperback)
This is excellent. I was just in awe because, in addition to having somewhat of an ability to relate to Coach Steve Belichick because he was a coach at my alma mater (USNA), but because of how well his son, Bill, and his lifelong friend, Ernie, have utilized the basic methodology to create one of the greatest franchises of our time. It is interesting to know that Ozzie Newsome, GM of the Baltimore Ravens, is a disciple of many of Steve's methodologies. The two franchises, the Patriots and Ravens, interesting to note, have two of the best home records this decade. Only the Indianapolis Colts rival such a record over the past 10 years. And Bill Polian, the Colts president? Very, very good friends with Steve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT RESOURCE, May 11, 2009
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This review is from: Football Scouting Methods (Paperback)
This is a very good resource for an often overlooked part of coaching at the lower levels especially, scouting. Explains clearly what can be done to be more prepared for an opponent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Football Classic, December 2, 2013
Mark Twain famously defined a classic as "a book which people praise and don't read," and I think Steve Belichick's "Football Scouting Methods" fits that definition perfectly. It is one of the greatest books in the football lexicon on how to think about football - players, formations, plays, tendencies, etc. - that has become so ingrained in the world of professional and collegiate football than most coaches do not realize they are adhering to it. I think the reason people avoid reading it is that many of the plays and formations discussed in this book are outdated and the author's dry prose leaves much to be desired. But if you want to understand modern football thinking, including its history and development, then the older Belichick's magnum opus is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE quintessential book on football scouting, May 23, 2013
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This review is from: Football Scouting Methods (Paperback)
If you are, hope to be, or want to learn about football scouting, you are doing yourself & the job itself a complete disservice if you do not own a copy & have read (multiple times) this quintessential book on the subject of football scouting. I am straight up not overselling this book AT ALL & any scout that has read this book will almost surely tell you the same thing. Written decades before anyone (outside of maybe college football coaches/scouts) ever knew of or cared about anyone named Belichick, this book was known in scouting circles as THE book on the topic. Well written, concise, easy to follow & incredibly pragmatic in it's methods. Just like the Belichick men themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scouting as done by an expert, June 30, 2012
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Potentially one of the best scouting books ever written. Even though some aspects of it are out of date (when's the last time you referred to the flanker and the split end?) it covers football from A to Z. Really enjoyed it and refer to it a few times each season.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Deeper Look at Football Gameplanning, February 12, 2011
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This review is from: Football Scouting Methods (Paperback)
The book provides a coach or the serious football fan insight on how teams can easily fall into patterns with their strategy, and what teams can do to become less predictable. The need for additional information to gain an advantage over competitors pertains to sports just as much as it does in business or other pursuits that are competitive in nature.
Hedge funds rely on expert networks, insurers rely on analytics providers, and the most successful football teams are deeply invested in the scouting process to gain even the slightest information advantage to get a competitive edge.
The book was a little dry, but that should be expected because of the emphasis on precise details and the investment of time necessary to excel at this behind the scenes part of football.
A coach or a serious football fan should feel they received a good return on investment if they gain exposure to even one concept they were not previously familiar with, and this book provides ample opportunity for even the most dedicated students of football to pull something of value from the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Scouting to the Next Level, December 2, 2014
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Great for any coach who wants to learn the more technical side of scouting football teams. It is not hard to read, but you need to spend the time to study this book.

If you really want to take away information and become a better scout, this is the book for you. But as I said you need to study it. Take notes, underline, and reread passages as you need to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, February 26, 2014
By 
Katherine Porter (WEST CHESTER, PA, US) - See all my reviews
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Bought this for my girlfriend for christmas, she liked it but it wasn't the end all football book I was looking for
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Football Scouting Methods
Football Scouting Methods by Steve Belichick (Paperback - December 1, 2008)
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