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War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team Paperback – September 4, 2012
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Crisply written, the story moves along like a two-minute drill. It also sparkles with interesting anecdotes and tidbits….WAR ROOM is a lively, fast-paced insider’s account that will please ardent and casual fans alike.” (Boston Globe)
“WAR ROOM is going to take you into the inner world of pro football. I recommend it highly.” (Peter King, Sports Illustrated)
“The ultimate book for pro football geeks.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fans will want to read how Belichick transformed the once-lackluster Patriots into the mostsuccessful franchise of the past decade, which Holley explains in an engaging chronological narrative.” (Booklist)
From the Back Cover
In War Room, New York Times bestselling author Michael Holley gives readers an unprecedented look behind the scenes at three contending National Football League teams—from the draft room to the locker room to the sidelines—and grants access to the brilliant minds of Bill Belichick and his former protégés, Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.
In 1991, while he was with the Cleveland Browns football organization, Belichick was struck by the Big Idea: how to build the perfect team, one draft pick and one trade at a time. This strategy obsessed him, leading him on a remarkable personal and professional journey filled with miraculous finishes, heartbreaking losses, shattered relationships . . . and ultimately three Super Bowl championships. In Massachusetts, Belichick reunited with two former office employees from the Ohio days—Pioli, a low-paid scouting assistant, and Dimitroff, a groundskeeper and part-time scout—and together they refined and burnished Belichick's method for constructing a winning team. The end result was one of the greatest franchises in modern NFL history: the New England Patriots. Packed with never-before-told anecdotes and insights from team officials, players, coaches, and scouts, War Room is a fascinating, often astonishing story of grit and genius, and the art of building a championship team.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a combination of reporting on the lives and relationships between these men, a summary of the Patriots' long run (which is familiar to anyone who follows the team or read a number of other books, including Holley's), and analysis of the team building process. I bought this hoping for a lot of the latter, and there were some interesting anecdotes, but was slightly disappointed by the lack of depth of analysis.
Holley does describe how Bill Belichick establishes a system where potential draft picks are always viewed in context of who they can replace on the current team, and how he uses his job security to often trade this year's draft picks to desperate teams for significantly higher picks in subsequent years. But he omits any discussion of the salary cap, which is a key constraint in building teams in the modern NFL, and the relative talent to value ratio of high draft picks (high draft picks are often carry such expensive contracts that they cripple their team financially). He doesn't talk much about free agency: how did they decide who to sign, who to extend, who to trade, and who to let go - and for how much money? He also mischaracterizes the Patriots' trade for Wes Welker as the Patriots having "cajoled, sweet-talked, and seduced" the Dolphins to part with him.Read more ›
Holley has updated his first book by focusing on Belichick's growing network of front office assistants. The author manages to get busy sports executives to tell tales out of school. Scott Pioli, now with the Chiefs, and Thomas Dimitroff, now in Atlanta, provide quite a bit of detail on how the Kraft-Belichick system works.
Very readable. What is amazing is that they planned it after the first super bowl and they know how to make it work. The war room of course is the NFL draft each team prepares for. The Patriots use free agents and draft picks to good result. The team is constantly being rebuilt. Planning starts in the front office and moves to the coaches, players and the field.
Unless Kraft, Belichick and Brady all retire to take up falconry, this may go on for awhile.
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.Read more ›
I am soooooo glad that it was not about gossip and tearing people down in the sports world for this has been a rough year regarding my perception of sports. I was always interested and intrigued about decision making in sports, especially on the managerial and coach level and this book does not disappoint and somewhat renewed my faith of sport watching.
There are people who make the decisions impacting others that are NOT monsters. They feel, are challenge, and deal with disappointment like I do. Meaning there are good people with hearts in football.
My last point is that a creepy feeling came over me of the way the players are looked at; like meat/machines/robots BUT that's the way of the world. It is indeed a game for winners and tough choices have to be made on all levels. I am sure football players know that when they choose to pursue this profession.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice read with lots of insight into the world of Belicheck and the Patriots. It also blew my mind how much of the early 2000's scouting department are running today's NFL.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
War room taught me the basic way of prayer. For the first time I understand the basics for prayer.Published 4 months ago by Willie Harris
I am a life long Bears fan, but I can't help but tip my cap to what Bill and his circle have done in New England. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joshua
Very good book about what it takes to build an NFL team. One note however. If you're looking for a book exclusively about the New England Patriots you may be a little disappointed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Warburton
I didn't think I would like a book about Bill Belicheck, his NFL disciples, and the system for building winning NFL organizations that they developed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dennis Keithly
ALMOST as good as the book before this Patriots reign! Still a good book for anyone who loves the ins and outs of football.Published 5 months ago by Seth Wallace