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Best Inside the NFL Book in Print,
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This review is from: War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team (Hardcover)
Michael Holley's WAR ROOM is an expansion of his 2004 best-seller, PATRIOT REIGN. Focusing upon Bill Belichick, Tom Dimitroff, and Scott Pioli, Holley presents the thinking of the Patriots, Falcolns, and Chiefs front offices leading up to and through the 2011 draft. The access Holley obtains is unbelievable. Belichick, Dimitroff and Pioli tell him everything, and the result is the best book ever written on how NFL front offices work.
Belichick is the master, the man who gave both Dimitroff and Pioli their starts in the early 90s in Cleveland. As closed as he is with the media post-game, Belichick is as open with Holley. Holley concludes that Belichick takes a GODFATHER like approach, its not personal its business, but without the dead heart of Michael Corleone. The secret to Belichick's drafting approach is stolen from Jimmie Johnson. Put on a list the 25 players you want on your team regardless of what their potential draft position might be. Stick to that list, and then be patient.
Pioli is the perpetual PH D type, poor, driven and hungry. He never forgots where he has come from and is always thankful for what he has been given. The book goes in depth into his move from the Patriots to the Chiefs and his transformation of the Chiefs operation. Everyone loves Pioli in the NFL, and Holley's detailed look shows why.
Dimitroff is an intense, counter-cultural health nut who is also as an intense, no nonsense NFL GM. Holley develops the relationship that Dimitroff has with owner Arthur Blank and the successful turn around for the Falcons that has resulted.
Perhaps the most interesting, and undoubtedly hidden gem of the book, is the complete background of the Falcons/Browns trade that sent a boatload of picks to the Browns and Julio Jones to the Falcons. Belichick tells Dimitroff openly he's trading too much, but Dimitroff believes there is a window in the NFL for winning and this is a special player that the Falcons need to get there. Dimitroff rolls the dice and seemingly to many talking heads mortgaged the future of his team by paying a king's ransom to Cleveland. But, Dimitroff believes otherwise, that Jones is the type of special talent that the Falcons will never see at the end of the first round.
An incredible read. Highly recommended.