Customer Reviews: Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches
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The book has some nice stories around several current coaches and a few ex-coaches. It has stories on Sean Payton, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Andy Reid, John Fox, Joe Gibbs, etc. It was an interesting book. Below I describe a few tidbits I learned more about in the book that made it worth reading:
-A look at Sean Payton around Bounty gate. It was interesting finding out the rise of Sean Payton and then the big fall with Bounty Gate. I wish there had been a bit more detail on what made Sean Payton a good coach, but that wasn't the purpose of the book. The book is more about the lives of coaches, not about the football.
-I didn't know much about Sean Taylor, the Redskin player that was murdered in 2007. In this book you get a very good glimpse of Taylor as a man who was becoming a better player and a better person being stripped of his life by thieves. One of the highlights of the book.
-I am a Peyton Manning fan, so I enjoyed reading about John Fox with Tim Tebow and his reaction on getting Peyton Manning to come to the Broncos.
-The two chapters on Parcells are pretty good. I hadn't realized how much Parcells jumped from team to team. Not a very stable coach, but somehow he was able to get a lot out of his players.
-The chapter on how Tony Dungy and Andy Reid helped Michael Vick was great. It was a connection I hadn't made before. Dungy lost a son and Reid had sons with drug problems (one of which killed himself last August). They knew about giving a person a second chance. It makes sense that they mentored Vick. It was a very good chapter, it might be a chapter that helps people forgive Vick for the crimes he committed.
-Bill Belichick turning down the Jets job and more info on Spygate. The chapter involving Robert Kraft and his three coaches (Parcells, Carroll, Belichick) was great. It talked about how Parcells was tough to deal with, how Carroll was great to deal with and how Belichick showed glimpses of the excellent coach he would be (but needed to be more media friendly). I enjoyed this chapter a lot, it seemed like one of the chapters where the author had more inside information.

The book is well-written and well-researched. I was hoping for more football information, but I guess for that kind of book, I can read Blood, Sweat & Chalk: The Ultimate Football Playbook: How the Great Coaches Built Today's Game or The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays which I plan to read on this holiday season. What the book delivers and delivers well is a look at how much a coach works and how they deal with crisis (such as Spygate, Bountygate, death of a player).

It's a book worth reading, but be conscious that there's not much discussion of actual football tactics.
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on December 2, 2012
I bought this book after reading Peter King's MMQB. He wrote a short passage from the chapter in the book concerning Redskin's coach Mike Shanahan. I was intrigued and bought the book. It is not bad but there is not much information that a die-hard football fan wouldn't already know. A lot of the information pertaining to Parcells and Kraft, Favre, Reeves and Elway have already been covered in great length by documentaries in the NFL network. There is some information in these chapters that I haven't seen before but otherwise it is pretty much re-hashing of known feuds and controversies. I loved the Jimmy Johnson chapter but felt it ended without looking too much into the feud between Jerry Jones and him.

There are some bits and pieces that only reporters are privy to, that is sprinkled in the book. But otherwise it is not an eye-opener by any means. And the author often repeats statements in chapters - i wonder if he wrote the chapters in a disjointed fashion and hence he had to re-state the same issues from other chapters.

My recommendation - if you are a die-hard football fan, pass on it and borrow it from a library. For people who are not so familiar with the NFL this will be a good primer into recent NFL history.
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on March 27, 2013
I found Coaching Confidential to be greatly entertaining and a fast, good read.

The author, Gary Myers, seems to be on close terms with a number of the big name NFL coaches and this allows him access to the stories of these great leaders.

Is it a rehash of other books and TV shows? Probably not a lot in this book is new to the knowledgeable fan but Myers writes in a way that is interesting enough to hold your attention.

I must admit that sometimes reading the stories was like sitting with the author at the local pub with him chopping and changing stories every so often. That is not a bad thing, it just takes a while to get used to.
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on October 25, 2013
This is a great book that takes the reader into the front offices and the minds of NFL execs and the coaches involved. How and why coaches are hired and fired...or not...are explored here. It is written in a very reporter like fashion and I would have liked a little more drama. BUT, for ANY NFL FAN, this is a MUST READ!
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on January 13, 2013
Coaching Confidential was a fun book, nothing that will change the course of world events, but a light read. I would say that, for the average fan, there really isn't too much ground-breaking information but, rather, confirmation of what one already suspected. My only negative was with the author's rather rambling writing style that made the book seem, at times, disjointed. All-in-all, it's a keeper!
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on December 13, 2012
There were a few stories that were interesting and different but if you want to learn about how the coaches interact on a deeper level then this is not the book for you. Many stories were repetitive.

Edited: I appreciate to what extent the author had access to these fascinating coaches but the stories from coaches like Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy, etc. were less in depth than their own books making it seem like I was just reading a shorter summary of their own autobiographies or biographies. I guess I wanted more unique 'confidential' access. My recommendations - go read Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, and the War Room describing Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff of the Atlanta Falcons.
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on March 30, 2014
Really insightful book on several different NFL coaches. I really liked the section where Myers talks about Sean Payton's suspension. It was a good book, but not quite what I expected. It focused a lot on different tragedies in coaches' lives, such as Andy Reid/Tony Dungy family troubles, or Sean Payton being suspended. But it was an enjoyable read.
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on March 12, 2014
I was excited about this book, but came away extremely disappointed. The material in this book isn't very interesting and I found that I was pushing myself through the boring material. He was all over the place with his stories jumping from one storyline or timeline to next and back again. Half this book felt to me like it was just filler material, wanted to give it 1 star but gave it 2 because the story of Parcells and his coaching and relationship with Robert Kraft was at least entertaining
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VINE VOICEon March 29, 2015
Coaching Confidential provides an inside look at some of the more prominent coaches in the NFL of the past few decades. While there is nothing groundbreaking or particularly new in the book, I still found it to be interesting reading. And there were at least a few background stories that were new to me which I enjoyed learning about.

Much of the book, but not all, seems to be a little Bill Parcel’s centric as there are chapters on Sean Peyton and Bountygate, a Parcells disciple. There are also chapters on Robert Kraft and his relationships with Bill Belichick and Parcells (along with Pete Carroll). Then there is a chapter about Parcells and his motivational techniques. That is not necessarily bad, but he looms large in this book.

What really got the book off to a good start for me is the story around Sean Peyton getting suspended for Bountygate. While all football coaches at the professional level, almost by definition, must have a huge ego, Peyton is depicted as somewhat obnoxiously conceited. On the other hand, it also details how he put together a Super Bowl winning team from the detritus of a woeful Saints organization already bad but devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Another chapter goes into detail about Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, and Bill Belichick and their relationship with each other and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. As most know Parcells left the Patriots after clashing with Kraft over control of personnel and a few years later Belichick jilted Parcells and the New York Jets to become head coach of the New England Patriots replacing Carroll. Being a Patriots fan I already knew much of the detail behind this. The videotaping incident also got its fair share of attention in this chapter, and is probably the first real source describing how Kraft felt about it.

This is followed by yet another chapter on Parcells and his motivational tactics…aka…mind games that he used to motivate players. Some of the anecdotes were quite funny.

There are two chapters devoted to very dysfunctional relationships that eventually blew apart. The first is the Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson saga in Dallas. The other is the Dan Reeves, Mike Shanahan, John Elway troika in Denver. A love triangle it was not. Elway hated Reeves and Reeves didn’t love Elway too much either, or so it appears, and Shanahan was the guy in the middle who eventually took over for after Reeves was fired. Elway basically had Reeves run out of town but it remains unclear Shanahan’s role in the situation. Reeves thinks Shanahan stabbed him in the back, metaphorically. Of course Shanahan eventually got two Super Bowls in Denver.

There are also chapters on Joe Gibbs return to the Redskins under Dan Snyder (nothing new here), Tony Dungy’s “lost” Super Bowl after getting run out of Tampa Bay followed by his eventual Super Bowl win with the Indianapolis Colts (likewise, nothing new here), Brian Billick of the Baltimore Ravens getting fired unexpectedly (nothing new here), and Dick Vermeil and his burnout with the Eagles and subsequent return many years later to coach the Kansas City Chiefs, then the St. Louis Rams, and his retirement from the Rams after their Super Bowl win (again, nothing new here).
And we get a glimpse in the last chapter of the world of REX…as in Rex Ryan. Rex Ryan stories are always fun to read because he is such a goofball.

Overall, this book is a quick and enjoyable read if you are an NFL fan. The only drawback is much of these details had already been reported before but there is enough new information here to make it worth the read.
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on January 7, 2013
Any NFL fan will love this book. The stories told by Myers are great. Fantastic inside look at the coaches and their relationships with each other, their owners, etc. Once you start reading you won't put the book down.
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