An unprecedented look at the innerworkings of a pro football team and the rise, fall, and rise of a champion
When Bill Belichick arrived in New England, the Patriots were a laughingstock, an organization with a losing record, spiraling morale, salary cap problems, and a bloated payroll filled with a who's who of underperforming players. Belichick was supposed to change all that. But there were many questions: Could he turn it around? Could he win without Bill Parcells? He is smart, certainly, some would say a genius, but could he inspire and motivate a team to win it all? After his mediocre run as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and the strange end to his relationship with Parcells and the New York Jets, what kind of head coach could he be?
Four years later, he has two Lombardi trophies in his hands, and the Patriots organization has become the gold standard in professional football. How did they do it? With unprecedented access granted by Belichick and his staff, author Michael Holley takes us deep inside the heart of a champion. A fly on the wall for two years, Holley captures Belichick at his most candid in team, coaches, and production meetings. What emerges is a portrait of a complicated man who is cerebral, yes, but also tough, demanding, stubborn, funny, profane, and a master strategist.
With his brain trust -- Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, and Ernie Adams -- Belichick has imposed a winning system and painstakingly selected players who thrive in that system. Holley provides, for the first time, insights into how Belichick and his coaching Cabinet prepare for opponents, evaluate talent, run the draft, and how they design their offensive and defensive schemes. Readers will also learn the real stories behind the controversial Drew Bledsoe trade and the cutting of Lawyer Milloy, and how Belichick fought to keep the team together.
Frank, uncompromising, and stunning, Patriot Reign is required reading for football fans who want to understand what makes a champion tick.