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War Room: Bill Belichick And The Patriot Legacy
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War Room: Bill Belichick And The Patriot Legacy

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  789 ratings  ·  47 reviews

Football games aren't won on Sundays in the fall. They're won on draft day in the spring--in the war room.

"New York Times" bestselling author Michael Holley takes readers behind the scenes of three contending National Football League teams and into the brilliant minds of Bill Belichick and his two former front office protEgEs, Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.

Though t

Paperback, 544 pages
Published October 28th 2011 by Harper (first published October 4th 2011)
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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
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
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
Dave Rothacker
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
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
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
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.
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
Bob Hoskins
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
Superfluous Man
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
Anthony Taylor
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
Thomas Pringle
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.
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
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.
Randy Chandler
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.
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.
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.
Michael Mesarch
I thought this was a fascinating look behind the curtain of how NFL teams are built.
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.
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.
Bart Grover
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.
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.
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!!
A lot of filler. Way too many words signifying nothing housing the occasional bit of inside information that even those who follow the subject matter (and the only ones who would be reading this book) don't yet know. If you're into this stuff, read it, but you won't be wowed.
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.
excellent insight into how to prepare for success in any job. value, preparation, dedication, and execution of that vision is critical to the patriots success. teamwork and self b and mr b from Omaha both seek value....interesting.
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.
Enjoyed reading this...probably a 3.5. Comes off a bit too credulous at the genius of the (recently fired) Pioli, and writing was prone to some groan-worthy cliches. The writer had awesome access but the interviews still felt a bit canned.
A little repetitive regarding the personalities of Pioli and Dimitroff. I was more interested in the system, not Dimitroff's vegan diet. All of the personal stories come from Pioli and Dimitroff, don't expect any great insight into Belichick.
I tend to agree with several others review on this book. It was a good look at the common thread between the "Belichick tree", but as far as a look behind the scenes, not much there. Good people story, not much on the technical side.
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