Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL Info

Check Reviews and find answers for biographies of leaders, outstanding people and big historical figures. Before downloading your favorite book see our picks for the best biographies and memoirs of 2019. Read&Download Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL by Michael Lombardi,Bill Belichick Online


Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

4.36

959 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.6
0
0
0
0
0
client-img 4.12
414
379
119
4
0

Reviews for Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL:

5

Aug 24, 2018


★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

In making preseason predictions as an analyst for 2017 NFL season, Mike Lombardi made a major misstep. It may not have been the biggest mistake of his 35-year association with football but because of the advent of social media it became the most public. He had stated with complete conviction that Doug Pederson, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was not qualified to hold that position in the NFL. Pedersons team would go on to win that years Superbowl. As the Eagles paved that
★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

In making preseason predictions as an analyst for 2017 NFL season, Mike Lombardi made a major misstep. It may not have been the biggest mistake of his 35-year association with football but because of the advent of social media it became the most public. He had stated with complete conviction that Doug Pederson, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was not qualified to hold that position in the NFL. Pederson’s team would go on to win that year’s Superbowl. As the Eagles paved that road week by week with win after win, Lombardi refused to back off his statement. He had seen no proof that he was wrong. Incompetent coaches can win games if everything else around them is working. Lombardi had made similar comments the year before regarding New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo--who’d ended that season 11-5--and this year he was falling apart before the eyes of the world. Wins alone were not enough to prove that Lombardi was wrong about Pederson. Neither was a winning record. Winning a playoff games was another matter. Immediately after that accomplishment, Lombardi acknowledged that he was wrong, admitted he had underestimated Pederson’s ability to learn the job, and publicly apologized. And to further illustrate that there was no person animus on his part, Lombardi instantly picked the Eagles beat his beloved New England Patriots as soon as the Superbowl participants were determined. To this day, though, that original proclamation still follows Lombardi. Anytime he tweets a statement from a place of experience or authority, up pops a GIF of Pederson celebrating his Superbowl win (or some other form of trolling). Ultimately, there is a reason trolls are so easy to ignore. They don’t understand (or are simply unwilling to understand) that it’s okay if your opinion is wrong. You can’t learn or evolve unless you are willing to risk being wrong. Depending on the consequences involved of course, philosophically it is sometimes actually better to be wrong. It makes the “why” of it easier to find. What hides in the joy of success becomes more obvious to scrutiny born of failure. Gridiron Genius is a tribute to the men who taught Lombardi this lesson, among many others, and he makes that clear from the outset.

This is not an autobiography. Lombardi takes three pages early on to chronicle how his love of football came about and to trace his route to the NFL. Then it’s on to the business at hand. Lombardi had served under three men whose impact on the game is too great to be measured. He was there for most of it. He observed, studied, absorbed and, each time he moved on, imparted these lessons. Now it’s his turn to teach them, and perhaps in doing so extend the legacy of the two gentlemen who are no longer with us. That’s why the book is subtitled A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL. The Geniuses referenced in the title, the men whose knowledge and innovations are the substance of this book, are Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers head coach; Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders; and Bill Belichick, considered by many the greatest professional football coach who ever lived.

Lombardi gives Al Davis the shortest shrift of the three, but not for the reason many would suspect. In today’s world of shrinking long-term memories and the devaluing of history to the point where the last impression made has become the lasting impression, the image many recall of Davis comes from near the end of life, where his faculties were failing. It’s a misrepresentation of the man Lombardi respected. Davis’ lack of “screen time” is more a matter of chronology. Lombardi happened to work for Walsh first and much of Walsh’s brilliance was built upon knowledge he learned from Davis years earlier. By the time Lombardi had joined Davis’ Raiders, most of his philosophies had been filtered through the genius of Bill Walsh. There were still things to be learned from Davis, just not as much.

Belichick receives the bulk of the attention, as one might expect, though again not for the obvious reason. Yes, there is a certain mystique about the Patriot Way, and anyone who can accurately reveal the inner workings of the organization and the thought processes of Bill Belichick is going to receive notice. But that is merely the end result. Gridiron Genius is about process, about the means by which results are achieved. Lombardi has spent more time by Belichick’s side than that of any of his other mentors and colleagues and, while Belichick may have always been a coach, Lombardi’s duties and responsibilities have varied over the course of their association. They have been given a unique opportunity to see each and every side of each other.

If Belichick becomes the hook that draws people to this book, those readers will not be disappointed, but the inclusion of Walsh and Davis are important. They are currently in danger of being forgotten by the bulk of football fandom. Walsh was much more than the creator of the West Coast Offense. Davis was much more than the eccentric owner of the Oakland Raiders. In much the same light, what Gridiron Genius covers is much more than just X’s and O’s. The principles Lombardi sets forth borrow--to varying degrees--tenets from business, psychology, sociology, and philosophy.

(And by the way, though you don’t need to be an expert on football to enjoy this book, you do need some rudimentary knowledge of the game. Lombardi does not stop to define the basics. For example, if you didn’t know what I meant by X’s and O’s, this book is not for you. Hint: it has nothing to do with Tic-Tac-Toe or Hugs & Kisses.)

Lombardi did not write this book with the strict intention of remaining student-turned-instructor. He makes his own contributions, usually in the form of reprinting research he had been assigned to undertake by one of his mentors, or in clarifications necessitated by the responsibilities of his job or the changing rules of the league. But he also recounts a time when contractual stipulations left him a man without a team. He touches on how interviews and meetings with other organizations happen and how they seldom amount to anything of substance. The rest of his presentations represent conclusions drawn from a lifetime of study. But Lombardi is careful to distinguish his thoughts from those of his subjects. He is also careful to make sure that the book is mostly positive in nature. The only time he calls out individuals is to provide contrast, to further illuminate just how far ahead of everybody else his teachers were. At least until we arrive at Chapter 8. It’s there Gridiron Genius losses its 5-Star rating.

The chapter is called “While I Have You” and it’s where Lombardi expounds on pet peeves and “common strategy mistakes.” Essentially he attempts to shatter widespread fallacies by imparting NFL realities. When these fallacies are held by those currently entrenched in the game, however, you can’t do this without citing specific examples. These examples have names attached. By itself there is a nothing wrong holding a person accountable for their missteps, be they realworld or philosophic, but within the context of this book it opens a door that the reader fully expects Lombardi to enter. He fails to do so. It’s why I began this review with the Doug Pederson situation. If it’s okay to be wrong, if it’s okay to fail, once you start directly pointing out the failure of others, then there’s an implied obligation to address your own. It begs the question, Why did “The Greatest Coach of All-Time” fail when he and Lombardi were in Cleveland? And armed with a bookload of knowledge gained from the sport’s most brilliant minds, why did Lombardi fail when he later returned to Cleveland as a General Manager? I suspect I know the answer. Not to the failures but rather as to why they were not discussed. It’s what happens when the realities of football collide with the realities of publishing. There needs to be material for the next book. And make no mistake, there will be a next book. And I’ll gladly be there when it comes out.


Additional Note: This ARC was won in a Random House giveaway with no expectation or obligation on my part. My review is based solely on the merits of the book. ...more
3

Oct 26, 2018

I have mixed feelings about Michale Lombardis Gridiron Genius. Given the Lombardis intelligent insiders perspective that informs his great podcasts (and TV appearances before he went to The Ringer) I went in with an expectation Id easily give it five-stars. There is a lot of great stuff in the book. But Im not sure his premise about the supremacy of culture, process, system is on target.

Much of the wisdom Lombardi offers is sourced from the words and deeds of Bill Belichick, with whom he worked I have mixed feelings about Michale Lombardi’s “Gridiron Genius.” Given the Lombardi’s intelligent insider’s perspective that informs his great podcasts (and TV appearances before he went to “The Ringer”) I went in with an expectation I’d easily give it five-stars. There is a lot of great stuff in the book. But I’m not sure his premise about the supremacy of culture, process, system is on target.

Much of the wisdom Lombardi offers is sourced from the words and deeds of Bill Belichick, with whom he worked longest and most closely. And Belichick’s collection of championships does give some credence to that. But nothing can change the reality that his win-loss record as a head coach was only 36-44 in Cleveland (where he had five years, a long rookie coach leaning period by NFL standards) and 5-11 his first year in New England (Brady entered when he replaced the injured Drew Bledsoe in the first game of Belichick’s second season in NE) for a total of 41-55 or a percentage of 0.427.

Bill Wash, Lombardi’s other major source, had a fantastic career as head coach in San Francisco, but he had Joe Montana as his QB for all of that tenure.

It would be implausible to suggest that Brady or Montana would have had the success they did without Belichick and Walsh respectively. What I wonder if Lombardi is missing, however, is the role of collaboration as opposed to leadership. It’s too easy in today’s world of guru books and seminars to get trapped into the mystique of the great leader, and Lombardi goes all in on that very thing. But it may reflect more intellectual convenience than genuine analysis. I wish Lombardi had given less ink to the great NFL leaders and more to the long-term player-collaborators at their sides and instead of trying to make a case for leadership (or for the player, as many Belichick haters do), make a case for the art of the collaboration. Interestingly, Oakland’s Al Davis, successful but not nearly to the consistent degree we see with Belichick and Walsh, never had that single super-collaborator. He was up and down as had did and did not have great collaborator’s over the long course of his career.

Although “Gridiron Genius” is a great read for any NFL fan, as a theory on what it takes to build a dynasty in the league, I believe Lombardi missed the open target (the leader-collaborator teamwork) and threw an incomplete pass. ...more
4

Sep 14, 2018

https://www.themaineedge.com/sports/t...

Theres no denying that Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are among the greatest coaches in the history of football. One can argue about their relative placements in the pantheon, but its difficult to dispute eithers placement among the greatest of the greats. Meanwhile, Raiders owner Al Davis spent decades as the free-wheeling outlaw of the NFLs leadership class, bringing his own unique ideas and passions to the game.

And Michael Lombardi worked under all of https://www.themaineedge.com/sports/t...

There’s no denying that Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are among the greatest coaches in the history of football. One can argue about their relative placements in the pantheon, but it’s difficult to dispute either’s placement among the greatest of the greats. Meanwhile, Raiders owner Al Davis spent decades as the free-wheeling outlaw of the NFL’s leadership class, bringing his own unique ideas and passions to the game.

And Michael Lombardi worked under all of them.

Those relationships form the basis for Lombardi’s new book “Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL.” It’s a chance for Lombardi to impart the myriad lessons he has gleaned over his decades of working with some of the finest football minds in history.

Dynasties are tough to come by in any sport – football is no exception. For a team to reach that sort of exalted, dynastic status, a lot of things have to go right. There have to be a few lucky bounces and some paid-off gambles. And more than anything, there has to be a strong leader at the top, one who is capable of not just maximizing performance on the field, but also creating a sustainable winning culture off it.

Lombardi offers a unique perspective on some of the men who have managed to cultivate that level of legendary success. He worked under Bill Walsh from 1984-1987, right smack in the middle of Walsh’s run of dominance at the helm of the San Francisco 49ers. After that, he worked for the Cleveland Browns for the next decade or so, where he first worked with then-Browns coach Bill Belichick. The next decade was spent working in personnel for the Raiders and Al Davis. After a couple of years as general manager of the Browns, he reunited with Belichick in New England from 2014-2016.

So yeah – he’s been around the block.

What he does in “Gridiron Genius” is expose the reader to the depth of thought that each of these men brought to the table. He talks about what it’s like to be around someone like Walsh, someone whose every waking moment was devoted to improving upon the vaunted West Coast offense that he developed and that led to his success. We’re offered a look at his relationship with Belichick and how the man never really changed from his relatively unsuccessful tenure with the Browns to his likely-never-to-be-matched success with the Patriots. And we get a chance to see the dynamic weirdness (and equal brilliance) of Al Davis in action as well.

There’s a lot that goes into becoming as successful as these men were. It’s not just about Xs and Os. It’s not just about film study and drills. It’s about leadership. It’s about finding ways to get scores of people with very different ideas and very different motivations to land on the same page and move toward a common goal.

According to Lombardi, the common thread is an unwavering eye for detail and a not-quite perfectionism that demands constant efforts toward improvement. It involves a willingness to script everything: not just the plays of the day, but daily practices and weekly meetings and annual player acquisitions and multi-year organizational directives. EVERYTHING. Walsh, Belichick and Davis all had these qualities to some extent. Yes, they were very different men and ultimately saw somewhat different results, but the fundamental principles were all the same.

There’s plenty of inside football stuff in “Gridiron Genius” as well; there are moments when the curtain is pulled back and we get an interesting perspective on some of the inner workings of the NFL, whether it’s game-specific or more general in an organizational sense. Either way, it’s a view that few have had – especially with these particular bosses – and any football fan will find it fascinating.

Lombardi also likes to offer up an occasional list, a breakdown of seven criteria for X or 11 reasons behind Y. These lists allow him to get a bit more granular, whether he’s talking about offensive and defensive ideas, a coach’s philosophies or even his own requirements for a franchise quarterback. These detailed explorations serve as a nice counterpoint to a lot of the more anecdotal material.

“Gridiron Genius” is a fun book, one that football fans are going to dig. Does it feel a little too fawning in some spots? A little too shallow in others? Sure. But mostly, it’s one man’s passion for the game and for the people who taught him the most about it laid bare on the page. Michael Lombardi loves football and deeply respects those who helped cultivate that love. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s a good one – and an undeniably honest one. ...more
5

Sep 25, 2018

Thanks to the publisher, Crown Archetype, for providing an advance reviewing copy.

As I write this, were just a couple of weeks into the NFLs 2018 regular season. Sports writers and talking heads are everywhere. The problem is that for every minute they spend talking games, there will be at least as many that they waste of gossip-y garbage, fantasy football and hot-button clickbait topics (like the anthem).

Reading a book that actually examines how consistent football excellence has been achieved Thanks to the publisher, Crown Archetype, for providing an advance reviewing copy.

As I write this, we’re just a couple of weeks into the NFL’s 2018 regular season. Sports writers and talking heads are everywhere. The problem is that for every minute they spend talking games, there will be at least as many that they waste of gossip-y garbage, fantasy football and hot-button clickbait topics (like the anthem).

Reading a book that actually examines how consistent football excellence has been achieved is refreshing. Lombardi spent years on the staffs of Bill Walsh of the 49ers and Bill Belichick of the Patriots during their dynasty years. (He also was on the Raiders’ staff during some of the Al Davis years. No dynasty there, but some memorable experiences.) Yes, you read some human-interest stories in this book, like Nick Saban’s failure with the Dolphins and his revenge (of a sort) when he went to Alabama, but the focus is on team building, game planning, and coaching.

Lombardi takes us deep into the process, from detailing how lower-level coaching staff members are trained, the elements of the defense in Belichick’s analysis, to the day-by-day plan for an upcoming game. He even has an 11-page outline of questions for interviewing head coaching candidates that “explores every nonobvious wrinkle of organization and team building that a head coach needs to control to conquer the modern-era NFL,” from the big picture of the philosophy of the different phases to the game down to minutiae like “Fat guys: How are you handling them?” and who should site where on the plane when traveling to and from away games. And remember the Malcolm Butler interception in the Super Bowl game between the Patriots and the Seahawks? Of course you do, it’s legendary. Well, Lombardi might just blow your mind when he describes all that went into that moment.

I thought that after this book came out it would be a fantastic source of questions for reporters to ask coaches about the nitty-gritty of coaching, but I haven’t heard any of that. I’m beginning to wonder if there are any media members left who understand or care about this. It’s a shame, because reading this book is a great way to go far beyond the personalities and get inside some of the key elements of what makes successful teams.

I’d like to allow Lombardi to address one thing head on, which is the fact that there are a lot of Belichick/Patriots haters out there and there is a lot of Belichick/Patriots content in the book: “[I]f you can put aside your rooting interest long enough to see how the guy accomplishes his goals, it may do some good. You don’t have to root for the Patriots to take away some specific action points from the team’s two decades of accomplishment. A deeper understanding of the WWBD [What Would Belichick Do] concept can guide us all.” When you consider what an intense student of the game Belichick has been since he was a little kid and his father was the coach at Navy, it’s worth paying some attention. Not to mention that some of the stories of how Belichick approaches the game are just plain riveting.

It’s particularly great to read a football book from a guy who is reporting from his own direct experience, rather than from a reporter who will always be at least one step removed. If you really care about football, especially about coaching, this is a terrific book to read. There are some parts that are a bit of a slog, but I’m giving it five stars because of how good the rest of it is and how much of a standout this is from most football books. ...more
3

Nov 14, 2018

3.5*'s

Entertaining but not as enlightening as I would have hoped. Draftniks along with Patriot and 49ers fans will like it since it focus on the draft, and the Bill's Walsh and Belichick.
5

Jul 08, 2018

I received ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

A fantastic look at how championship teams are built from the ground up. Lombardi pulls insights from several luminaries in the sport of football over the last several decades. However, this book is not just about how to build a team, but also how to watch the game and sound more intelligent, and some subtle changes coaches can employ to create more wins on the field. This is a must read for any football fan out there.
4

Sep 01, 2018

I've read a lot of Lombardi in articles and on social media so I was initially concerned whether there'd be anything new in this book. I was pleasantly surprised. This added in a lot of detail that shows the inner construction of a team and how that builds coaching success. While even the best coach can't necessarily take under performing and injured team to the super bowl, a good coach can help players' develop in a way that builds championships. There's been a lot written about Walsh & I've read a lot of Lombardi in articles and on social media so I was initially concerned whether there'd be anything new in this book. I was pleasantly surprised. This added in a lot of detail that shows the inner construction of a team and how that builds coaching success. While even the best coach can't necessarily take under performing and injured team to the super bowl, a good coach can help players' develop in a way that builds championships. There's been a lot written about Walsh & Belichick so some of this material I'd seen before, but most of Al Davis was new to me. This expands on a number of the coaching leadership titles already out there and was a really filler before football season began. ...more
4

Oct 16, 2018

Mr. Lombardi uses this book to talk about what he has learned about winning football teams. Of course most of the time is spent with the years he worked with Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick. Really you cannot go wrong with either one of those two men, but to be fortunate to have worked with both is truly amazing. You are taken through the guide of a team and how it starts at the top and what is expected of everyone including office staff, etc There is a grading system of players before the draft Mr. Lombardi uses this book to talk about what he has learned about winning football teams. Of course most of the time is spent with the years he worked with Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick. Really you cannot go wrong with either one of those two men, but to be fortunate to have worked with both is truly amazing. You are taken through the guide of a team and how it starts at the top and what is expected of everyone including office staff, etc… There is a grading system of players before the draft and then another right before, and of course how both Walsh and Belichick would trade down in the draft and the value in receiving those extra picks. You are also shown how some of those picks helped form some of the better 49 niner teams. He spends little time speaking about his time with Al Davis and most of that is because Bill Walsh worked for him at one time and so he felt a lot of information was already passed on. I really enjoyed the time he talked about Cleveland and the men working for Belichick there and for taking us the readers behind the trades of the 49 niners when they were putting together those super bowl teams. Overall a good book which I found entertaining. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com ...more
5

Dec 30, 2018

This was a great study on NFL team building and schemes. The emphasis on culture building and leadership applies to many different industries.
5

Sep 17, 2018

I have enjoyed Mike Lombardis work over the years at the NFL network and now at The Ringer. I have always liked hearing the views on the league from a former GM with ties to some of the greatest minds in the game. I was eagerly waiting for this book and it did not disappoint. As a long standing Giants fan I really appreciated the insights into how Belichick thinks and runs an organization. Many great lessons in this book that are applicable to business as well. In addition, I enjoyed the I have enjoyed Mike Lombardi’s work over the years at the NFL network and now at The Ringer. I have always liked hearing the views on the league from a former GM with ties to some of the greatest minds in the game. I was eagerly waiting for this book and it did not disappoint. As a long standing Giants fan I really appreciated the insights into how Belichick thinks and runs an organization. Many great lessons in this book that are applicable to business as well. In addition, I enjoyed the multiple Springsteen references. Highly recommended for any football fan. ...more
5

Jan 01, 2019

Excellent book.

Great book for someone who enjoys the details of the game. Gives insights on game and personnel
strategies.
Well written.
4

Oct 08, 2018

I've spent my adult life consuming baseball books, but there are few comparatively good books on the NFL. The complexity of the game isn't easily explained even by the guys that are paid to do it from the broadcast booth. Michael Lombardi's book helps the reader to understand how the game is changing season by season and staying competitive is only possible for those who understand and even create the change. Lombardi's former bosses Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are the kinds of guys that adapt I've spent my adult life consuming baseball books, but there are few comparatively good books on the NFL. The complexity of the game isn't easily explained even by the guys that are paid to do it from the broadcast booth. Michael Lombardi's book helps the reader to understand how the game is changing season by season and staying competitive is only possible for those who understand and even create the change. Lombardi's former bosses Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick are the kinds of guys that adapt to the changes and then made their own.

This book is both a walk down memory lane and a lesson in how systems and culture are necessary for success. Like most good books on the subject it's not the secrets that he shares but the reader's willingness to approach the work in a unrelenting systematic way. For that reason the approach to winning is translatable to any career or organization if you are willing to be unconventional. Every NFL coach should read this book, but few will be able to step outside of themselves to make the best use of it.

I'll admit that about halfway through the book was too general at times, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded. The game planning section was specifically illuminating. To see how Belichick prepares for a game is daunting. To work for him you better love football and you better love winning more than football because the amount of effort necessary to glean a few things that might come in handy is beyond what the average millionaire coach is going to do.

Here are some of the things Lombardi shares:

-The salary cap creates player talent parity among the teams and that makes quality coaches who can harness the most from that talent the real difference between winning and losing.

-Andy Reid is a great regular season coach, but his time management skills are so poor that he's had little success in the playoffs.

-Bill Belichick is successful because he doesn't take any part of the game for granted. Caring more about special teams or ball security or weather conditions can be a big difference in a game of inches.

-Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Tom Brady found greatness because they were great systems players.

-Jay Cutler could never be a winning QB because he wasn't a focused leader. His lack of intensity or even interest standing on the sidelines did not inspire a team to follow him.

-You shouldn't draft a QB that hasn't won at least 23 games in the NCAA.

-Sometime in the near future computers will design the plays and may be even allowed to call them during the game.


...more
5

Feb 04, 2019

The best book I have read on important traits of disciplined coaches/leaders. Just the chapter on Game Management could be a book in itself. I would recommend that anyone who wants to learn about discipline and focus read this book.
5

Dec 01, 2018

All football fans should read. Great insight into what announcers and normal nfl shows never discuss, from scouting to ownership and game prep. Great book.
4

Nov 23, 2018

This was and interesting and educational look out how to build a championship NFL team. Michael Lombardi shares lessons learned from his experiences working with Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick.
4

Nov 01, 2018

Michael Lombardi presents a very readable book on what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Much of the attention is on coach, but he also has interesting perspectives on quarterbacks. It is nice that he has personal experience with multiple successful coaches. The book has a lot of focus on "Bill's"; Walsh, and Belichick, with some Parcell's included. Which given their respective histories and impact on the game is a great choice.
He makes a good case for the key elements of success, and failure, in Michael Lombardi presents a very readable book on what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Much of the attention is on coach, but he also has interesting perspectives on quarterbacks. It is nice that he has personal experience with multiple successful coaches. The book has a lot of focus on "Bill's"; Walsh, and Belichick, with some Parcell's included. Which given their respective histories and impact on the game is a great choice.
He makes a good case for the key elements of success, and failure, in football franchises. The book is not too technical, so as long as you have an interest in football it is a good read - and it does not take a long time either! ...more
5

Jan 02, 2019

Michael Lombardi has fascinating insights from his time working with Bill Walsh, the Oakland Raiders and Bill Belichek. In particular, his time with Walsh and Belichek, he's formulated in this book how to build championship-level teams.

For the true football fan, this is a must-read
5

Dec 28, 2018

Fantastic read in which I took so many notes. It is full of great information that someone that enjoys other sports can still take so much from it. The coaches are definitely geniuses as labeled. So much fun to read.
4

Nov 28, 2018

Very good book about what goes on behind the scenes in football.
4

Jan 01, 2019

Mike has been lucky enough to work closely with 3 of the greatest minds to ever come across the football field. He seems to have learned the love of football from Bill Walsh, the love of scouting and analytics from Al Davis, and the longevity/working experience from Bill Belichick.

As a listener of the GM Street podcast, where mike is a weekly co-host, I have known and listened to some of the stories and takes in the book. That did not take away any of the joy or interest in reading them. Just Mike has been lucky enough to work closely with 3 of the greatest minds to ever come across the football field. He seems to have learned the love of football from Bill Walsh, the love of scouting and analytics from Al Davis, and the longevity/working experience from Bill Belichick.

As a listener of the GM Street podcast, where mike is a weekly co-host, I have known and listened to some of the stories and takes in the book. That did not take away any of the joy or interest in reading them. Just had to put it out there.

It is really a well written book, and you will enjoy it if you are a football head. Worth the time. ...more
5

Oct 18, 2018

Great Read! As a football coach I recommend it to anyone looking to establish a culture or just simply grow as a professional. Its a book that is easily applicable to business leadership. Great Read! As a football coach I recommend it to anyone looking to establish a culture or just simply grow as a professional. It’s a book that is easily applicable to business leadership. ...more
5

Nov 29, 2018

Makes so many great points that I wish the Cardinals would follow.
4

Oct 04, 2018

This book isn't about football stories but rather all the preparation that goes into game planning. If you're not a Patriot Fan this book may have too much Bellichek praises for you! I enjoyed the book and it was most interesting while it was thought provoking. I always appreciated the quality of the program that the Patriots have achieved along with all their titles. It's a lot of hard work and time that yields to the later.

There are many pieces and some stories UNPatriot but I suspect the This book isn't about football stories but rather all the preparation that goes into game planning. If you're not a Patriot Fan this book may have too much Bellichek praises for you! I enjoyed the book and it was most interesting while it was thought provoking. I always appreciated the quality of the program that the Patriots have achieved along with all their titles. It's a lot of hard work and time that yields to the later.

There are many pieces and some stories UNPatriot but I suspect the authors most time spent and / or influenced by Bellichek and Co. determined much of the book. Did I mention success? I should have.

For a real football fan interested in the finer points of the game this should be fun reading for the most part with some dryness for good measure. ...more
4

Dec 20, 2018

A well written, well put together book. As a fan of pro football for more than 50 years I found the book informational with specifics to game and team management. One of the more interesting aspects were the insider workings into NFL clubs (most specifically the Pats and the 49ers) and ownership and staff personalities. I gave up on following players (those whom I term millionaires in shorts) long ago preferring instead to following well-run sports clubs as business entities. This book fulfills A well written, well put together book. As a fan of pro football for more than 50 years I found the book informational with specifics to game and team management. One of the more interesting aspects were the insider workings into NFL clubs (most specifically the Pats and the 49ers) and ownership and staff personalities. I gave up on following players (those whom I term millionaires in shorts) long ago preferring instead to following well-run sports clubs as business entities. This book fulfills that interest nicely and is the reason for the 4 stars. I must admit that I found the all-consuming driven genius mystique re: Belichik and Walsh a tad tiresome - though one might argue you can't argue with their successes. ...more
4

Oct 12, 2018

As one of the other reviewers pointed out, Lombardi shares a lot of his stories on podcasts, but there is considerable new material here. Mostly new stuff, I would say -- plenty of meat left on the bone.

Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick are all pivotal figures in NFL history, and Lombardi unusually worked with all three of them. Here he's trying to point out things they did to help them get ahead of the rest of the league. With the two Bills in particular, he's trying to explain what made As one of the other reviewers pointed out, Lombardi shares a lot of his stories on podcasts, but there is considerable new material here. Mostly new stuff, I would say -- plenty of meat left on the bone.

Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick are all pivotal figures in NFL history, and Lombardi unusually worked with all three of them. Here he's trying to point out things they did to help them get ahead of the rest of the league. With the two Bills in particular, he's trying to explain what made them great -- how they built a culture of excellence.

One chapter outlines in some detail the full week of practice leading up to a playoff game. I thought that was well done (particularly with the Patriots in that game implementing a controversial gadget play they had picked up from the college game).

Being a long-time follower of the game, I very much enjoyed some of the old-time stories. The 49ers in 1986 had a legendary draft, trading down a number of times. Lombardi re-constructs that, explaining that it all kind of happened by accident. The team originally targeted a few players in the middle of the first round, including Ronnie Harmon (Bills) and John L. Williams (Seahawks). When those players were unexpectedly all chosen, San Francisco chose to trade down to buy some time and try to come up with a new draft plan.

Lombardi says that the 49ers were going to cut John Taylor when he was a rookie, so he arranged for Taylor to feign a back injury (allowing the team to instead stash him on IR). And he points out that when he was at the 1987 combine, Bill Walsh saw an unknown quarterback on the other side of the field; he watched him make a couple of throws. "Make sure Holmgren goes to see that quarterback throwing right now," Walsh said. The quarterback was Rich Gannon, who would become a great starter with the Raiders a dozen years later.

A worthy effort. ...more

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result