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War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,082 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Bill Belichick is one of the titans of today’s game of football. Now, sports commentator and bestselling author Michael Holley follows three NFL teams—the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons—from training camp 2010 through the Super Bowl and into the April draft, opening a new window into Belichick’s influence on the game. This one-of-a-kind explo ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by It Books (first published October 4th 2011)
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Nov 27, 2011 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-books
Little disappointed with this one. The writer does a great job of covering the backgrounds for Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff, the Belichick lieutenants who left to build teams. But when you get past that and into their Patriot days, it's just a lot of fluff like "They were looking for the right player to play for the Patriots." Well that's fine except the reader never gets an idea of what kind of player that is, besides a humble one. Also, the writer eschews any sort of football acumen for qu ...more
Daniel Rodic
Feb 04, 2017 Daniel Rodic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New England Patriot Fans
War Room is a very timely read as it covers the careers of Bill Belichick, Head Coach of the New England Patriots, while also highlighting the paths of Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli, Belichick disciples turned competitors as GM and Assistant GM of the Atlanta Falcons.

These two teams, the Patriots and Falcons, are set to face-off tomorrow in Super Bowl LI on Feb 5, 2017.

The early parts of the book focus heavily on Belichick, while the end of the book spends equal time on him, as well as Dimi
Scott Bocchio
The quote on the back says "The story moves along like a two-minute drill", which at times can be true, is mostly an exaggeration by the reviewer. I decided to pick up War Room after reading and thoroughly enjoying Patriot Reign also by Michael Holley. Although War Room provided insight to the behind the scenes of the NFL much like Patriot Reign did, it lacked the excitement and interest of its predecessor. I bought War Room on the intention that it served as a sequel to Patriot Reign, as I am a ...more
Apr 08, 2013 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
so, listen. i came into this book thinking that it would be about bill belichick and the new england patriots/cleveland browns. NOT TRUE!

this book is more about he relationship that scott pioli and thomas dimitroff have with each other and the way that they - respectively - run the kansas city chiefs and atlanta falcons.

which would be okay, but i am coming into this late and scott pioli doesnt run the chiefs anymore and i dont really care about the falcons. i wanted to read a book about the patr
Dave Rothacker
Mar 11, 2014 Dave Rothacker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a sports enthusiast who is into the technicalities and strategies surrounding the NFL draft, you'll like this book. While I am into sports, I am not into that part. But I loved this book nonetheless.

I appreciate Bill Belichick's ability to build a team around the current team's existing culture. Not only was this effective, it was influential to the book's other two main characters, Scott Pioli and Tom Dimitroff.

There are many lessons in this book that transcend sports. Most apply to
Anthony Taylor
Jan 24, 2012 Anthony Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen a great deal of mixed reviews for this book, mainly because readers seem frustrated that it followers the exploits of Patriots Executives as they move on to pastures new. I personally think this adds a great deal to the story the author is trying to tell and that is the blue print of Belichick football from many different perspectives. I think the book succeeds on all levels and adds a great to the understanding of the role that many back office people play in the success of the team. ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, x-2016-read
The book is mainly about Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff's relationship (two of Belichick's major assistants from the early days of winning super bowls). As a Patriots fan, I didn't mind because I enjoy football and the nuances of building a team. If you're looking for a puff piece about the Patriots, this is not the book for you, but it's still enjoyable for any NFL fan who wants to go beyond just Sunday football in the Fall.
Apr 26, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book does provide some awesome inside info and conversations. The Randy Moss and Bill Belichick parts in particular come to mind as invaluable. When Holley focuses on the Pats side of things - and the NFL draft - the book is great. When talking about Dimitroff, Pioli, and whatever random NFL guy the book is "meh". Better for fans of football in general than specifically New England fans.
Bob Hoskins
Mar 27, 2015 Bob Hoskins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If your looking for an in depth how they do what they do. it's not the book for you. If your interested in the men who are in that draft room. It paints a good picture of the three men's relationships and how they changed how players are evaluated
Thomas Pringle
Oct 19, 2014 Thomas Pringle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought this was a fantastic insight into a NFL draft room and the organisation as a whole. Recommend this for any NFL fan and any business person looking for another way of seeing/running operations.
Gopal Anantha
Feb 08, 2016 Gopal Anantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book detailing the genius of Bill Belichick and the way he went about building the Patriots dynasty.
Full disclosure -- I'm a diehard Patriots fan. So obviously this book was right up my alley and I was going to be inclined to get more out of it than the average football fan. I also like Michael Holley quite a lot and enjoy his radio work on WEEI on my nightly commute home. I really appreciated the insight into the draft decision making process, such as getting the rationale behind the Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson draft picks in 2006, and I enjoyed getting to know all the behind-the-scenes ...more
David Brooke
I'm a Patriots fan and I like the little story lines that come up during the season. This book though, unfortunately is more of a summary of things that happened. It delves slightly into Bill Belichick's ability to draft...but history shows he's failed the last 4 years. The book has zero quotes from Belichick, most of them coming from Mangini, McDaniels and Tedy Bruschi. That's okay, but the book doesn't read as a master tome in football strategy from Belichick but more as a summary of events mi ...more
Feb 16, 2017 Salena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This faith-based book is one of the best I have ever read!
Jan 10, 2013 Tommyt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I am a Buffalo Bills fan. I read this book because Peter King recommended it in his column and I'm a football junkie. I really enjoyed the parts of the book when they were talking about Bill Belichick's practice of taking people with a passion for football (Scott Pioli, Thomas Dimitroff and Eric Mangini) and turning them into football evaluating machines.

The book then switched from how the Patriots do what they do (which wasn't really super insightful anyway) to how Pioli and Dimitr
Superfluous Man
Aug 12, 2012 Superfluous Man rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book rather uninspiring. Perhaps aspiring football coaches will find more meat here, but for those interested in an excellent book about football---rather than an excellent football book---the superb Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and A Dream by H.G. Bissinger is the place to begin as another American football season "kicks off." Mr. Bissinger's classic is less a sports book and more an ethnology of a certain corner of the American South, where as a general statement circenses ...more
Scott Vout
I am a huge Patriots fan and I thought this book would be right up my alley. I was right into it when I started it but it slowly lost me.

I cant put my finger on it exactly. I was very much interested in finding out the behind the scenes thinking of how the Patriots built these great teams.

I can only put it down to the style of the writer. It could not hold me. I found it dry. No enthusiasm in it.

Now if you are a Pats fan please give it a go. I am but one opinion.
But like myself I would suggest
Apr 13, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-nfl
It was okay. I thought it would be a book about how NFL teams drafted their players. Interesting insight to the Patriot mentality and how they operate.

If there was an updated version, I think it would be interesting to see the effects and results of Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff in their respective roles in their franchises.

In any case, if you like American Football, this is a decent read.
Randy Chandler
Jan 26, 2013 Randy Chandler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book about football as much as about the process of building winning teams by evaluating talent and objectively building organizations based upon the needs of the organization to create a competitive advantage. I am putting some of the principles used by the Patriots into my team's processes in order to be more focused on risk reduction and being far more disciplined on talent review and hiring.
Aug 14, 2012 Reverenddave rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, football
This book is terrible. The Patriot's publicist would offer a more balanced view of Belichick and co. Peter King isnt this fawning. Shoot, even if this were about the Bears I'd find the partiality nauseating. And other than the fact that Pioli doesnt like people in his draft room and Dimitroff does, I am hard pressed to say this book offers any real insights into the inner workings of NFL draft rooms.
Dec 03, 2011 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
pretty fun look into my fav football team's management structure. details on how/why they hired their coaches, assistants, scouts. great history of BB and the growth of Pioli & Dimitroff. also detailed my fav BB play: intentional safety so they could get the ball at better field position, get it back, & score a touchdown to win the game.

biggest drawback was the lack of an introduction. felt like a sandwich without condiments or a Super Bowl without pregame analysis.
Adam Clarehugh
May 06, 2014 Adam Clarehugh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Belichick and his circle aren't a media friendly lot so it is understandable that Michael Holley isn't going to write a hard hitting critique that paints them like monsters (and to do so wouldn't be accurate). The analysis he does serve up though would have been too weak for Pravada. Everyone is a real true red white and blue American hero and great guy. Nobody has a dark side. Everyone is great. After a couple of chapters it get really dull.
Oct 31, 2011 Dennis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
If you are an NFL fan and more specifically a fan of the NFL draft then I highly recommend this book. Michael Holley was given tremendous behind the scenes access for the Patriots, Falcons and Chiefs. How the drafts unfold is a small portion of this book. The preparation by each team's staff and the relationships discussed are very revealing.
Jan 10, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book that focuses on the relationships between Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Thomas Dimitroff, and how they converge in the 2011 NFL draft. I enjoyed this book because I like reading about the decision-making processes of coaches and GMs. The writing could have been better but the story-telling was excellent.
Bart Grover
May 24, 2013 Bart Grover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a Patriots fan but I enjoyed reading about what goes on in the backrooms of teams during the draft. Find it interesting in looking back that Pioli is now out of work and Demetrioff (sp?) has built a Super Bowl contender in roughly the same period with the same game plan. Even with the Belichek blue print, there are no guarantees to success.
Surprisingly, it was much more about Diitroff (Falcons) and Pioli (Chiefs) than Belichick. When they said legacy, they mean the one that branched off from him, not him own. Not nearly as much detail as I would have liked, but I guess that makes sense - no one wants to give away any secrets when they're still in business!!
Jonathan Snowden
Reading up for my own football opus. This doesn't quite cover the ground it promises. There are plenty of inside anecdotes about the Belicheck Patriots, but very little insight into why and how the team built its success. It's much better in those areas when following Belicheck proteges Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff to Kansas City and Atlanta respectively.
Jul 24, 2016 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great football book. Front office focused. Revovles around the Patriots during Bill Bellechek era. Basically as long as he is around coaching and scouting the franchise is in good hands. Many underlings run to KC or ATL or CHI but they ultimately suck or at least do not have success. Awesome book.
Jan 07, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it. I'm from New England and love the Patriots. It's not just about Bill Belichick, but the others that have worked for him in the past and how they put Bill's scouting system in place, not just in New England, but a version of it in Atlanta and Kansas City.
Feb 29, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly much of the book ended up being about Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff after they left New England and went to Kansas City and Atlanta respectively. Hopefully we'll get a *real* memoir of Bill Belichick's drafting strategies after he retires.
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