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The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower Hardcover – October 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312368380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312368388
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Given the almost perverse ratio of fans and media attention on the one hand (massive) to the minuscule number of NFL games (a mere 16 per team in regular season, compared to 162 in baseball), the level of attention paid to each play, press conference or trade is astounding. So when Bill Belichick took over as coach of the famously inconsistent New England Patriots in 2000 and quickly turned them into what Boston Globe sportswriter Price terms the unlikeliest dynasty in the history of the NFL, the coach's low-key recipe for success was bound to be anatomized within an inch of its life. Fortunately, Price's account of the team's elegantly simple transformation from league laughingstock (his stories of their 1970s foibles are legion and hilarious, to nonfans at least) to Tom Brady powerhouse is a breeze to read; neither pumped full of steroidal sports hyperbole or weighed down by bloated play-by-play. From the soap opera that was the Bill Parcells era to the high drama of Drew Bledsoe's injury, when he unwittingly handed the quarterback crown to an untested Brady, this is a highly diverting read perfectly timed for the start of a new season for a team that, in Price's mind, has become the gold standard for the rest of the National Football League. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Penned by a New Englander who's covered Boston sports for the past 10 years, this volume may run parochial for many readers. Still, it's hard to argue with the recent success of the Patriots, who have won three Super Bowls since 2002 and, but for a play-off loss to Indianapolis in January, would have been in it again this year. Price traces the Patriots' history, from its AFL days in the 1960s through the team's many losing seasons, as well as its changes of ownership and personnel, arriving in the '90s with the hiring of Bill Parcells as coach and the team purchase by Robert Kraft. The pieces truly fell into place with the hiring of coach Bill Belichick and the emergence of quarterback Tom Brady. It was Belichick's reliance on his linebacker corps, on some smart and versatile JAGs ("just average guys") to step in where needed, and on his young quarterback—not to mention very sophisticated defensive schemes—that made it all work. Football fans who can't seem to get enough of the game will enjoy this profile. Moores, Alan

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Customer Reviews

Recommended very highly to all sports fans.
Joseph C. Sweeney
I've never before seen a book published by a "real" publisher be so full of typos and distracting grammatical errors.
John Tchernev
Almost half the book is wasted on rehashing old feuds and sorry history.
J. Curtis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jase3gt on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I read the first chapter of this book, I thought that the book was going to be a watered down version of "Patriot Reign" by Michael Holly.
But the second chapter goes all the way back to the infamous beginnings of the New England Football team. It mentions the Boston Braves who later became the Washington Redskins. It talks about the deplorable conditions that the teams had to deal with in the early days when they didn't have a stadium and then when they got Schaefer Stadium. It describes all the interesting characters that were on the team throughout the years.
The rest of the book goes on to cover the modern day Pats and their rise to the team they are now. Whether or not you like that Pats or Bill Belichick, it talks about his career and how he's changed the way he's coached and even the things he's changed within the NFL, such as the way they choose defensive players and such, especially under the salary cap.
It does bog down a little bit but it's still interesting and was a pretty quick read. I did like this book a lot more than Patriot Reign.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Money Honey on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Blueprint offers a complete breakdown of the New England Patriots' history and the foundation for the team's current dominance. The book is well written and is a good foundation for new fans, but doesn't offer much additional insights into the franchise beyond the well known facts. The writer's style is a bit dry. For a more entertaining and deeper look into the New England Organization, Michael Holley's "Patriot Reign" was far more insightful and a much more entertaining read. For a newer fan this book is great; for a die hard, lifetime fan, there isn't much here you didn't already know. On a personal note, a big pet peeve of mine is insufficient editing, and I found numorous spelling errors, and repeatitive thoughts through out the book, which is a bit distracting.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Curtis on January 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, this book contains very little new material for the informed Pats, or NFL, fan. Most of this information has been written before. Too many pages spent on past Pats history, which has been chronicled elsewhere. Almost half the book is wasted on rehashing old feuds and sorry history.

In the introduction, the author says his model for this book was Moneyball, but he falls way short of that goal. Badly edited, lots of annoying errors and too many repetitive quotes used throughout the book.

Based on the title it is reasonable to expect more detail on the inner workings of the Pats -- and the who, what, when, where and HOW -- of their successful blueprint, but it just isn't there.

Suggest reading Halberstam's book for a better look at the inner workings of the Pats, if not an actual blueprint of how they conduct their business.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Walsh VINE VOICE on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sped through Price's account just before Christmas and it was light and enjoyable, but I would caution that: 1) it is a little light on new material or insight for Pats fans who follow the team daily in the papers; and 2) it is not - as advertised in the introduction - really much like Moneyball.

If you watch the games, listen to WEEI, read PFW, etc., this book is going to be a little like a walk down memory lane. Price spends a lot of time on recounting particular series in some of the Patriots key games during their dynastic run. While there is some history here - being in my 20's I really enjoyed the stuff on the Sullivans, Kiam and Orthwein and the first chapter serves as a great primer on Pats history - Price really focuses most on the Bledsoe/Parcells and Brady/Belichick eras.

Some of the most rewarding moments come when Price does dig a little deeper and talk about particular players or elements of the team. The few pages on Steve Neal take most Pats fans through untrodden ground that goes a little deeper than "oh, and he was a college wrestler." But, the Neal moment is one of the few that feels like a Moneyball moment. Still better, for a behind-the-scenes peek for fans, I would compare the book very unfavorably to Seth Mnookin's "Feeding the Monster." Price clearly lacked Mnookin's access, and it shows.

There isn't a lot of Price's promised "how they did it" subtitle; and, like Moneyball, where Michael Lewis focuses on the successful quirks of the A's system (they draft guys in the first round that no one else had on their board, and the guys become real good major leaguers -- BTW, the great failure in Lewis' logic is that the A's waste 1st rounders on guys they could have had in the 10th or 15th -- the antithesis of "getting value.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Iprior on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Did you know that Roy Berry coached the Pats to Super Bowl XX? Did you know that the Giants had a Super Bowl hangover in 1988? Did you know that Deion Branch started his first game as a rookie against the Eagles in 2003?

I didn't know any of those things before reading this book. That's because they are all incorrect. This book is interesting in that it certainly brings back some nostalgia, but after reading 200 pages, I had to put it down because it was so factually deficient. I just couldn't trust the writer anymore. Which is sad, because the guy covers the team for a living.

In any event, don't bother. Go read a wikipedia article on the Pats instead. Its more reliable and accurate.
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