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 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 Dimitroff and Pioli The meat of the book focuses on the key transition period in their careers where the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season, lost in the Super Bowl, lost their starting quarterback the following season, and saw the three of them go their separate ways It mimics the growth that happened in real life of Belichick s two most trusted personnel evaluators.I d only recommend this book to people who are true Football fans or ideally New England Patriots fans as it shines a bright light on the inner workings of this sport You will only get something out of the book if you understand the intricacies of the game and league Here are some of my key takeaways from the book Belichick understood that Football presents an ever evolving range of opponents, each with their own strengths and weaknesses Belichick built his teams like a race care that could be modified and become adaptable to any course you asked it to run He ignores the false choices of being good at one thing at the cost of another, and instead chooses to embrace being the best at whatever his opponent is worst at in a particular game or play This extended to his scouting system, used to identify up and coming players, which was built with football evolution in mind It could be expanded or reduced to capture changes and trends in the game With both players and coaches on his staff, Belichick aims in developing from within It stunned me that most of the top coaches on Belichick s staff today had been coaching with him for over 15 years Despite his gruff exterior, Belichick is known as a very caring individual He originally got to know Pioli by letting him sleep on his couch in the coaches office in Cleveland so he didn t have to commute as much He s known as a great listener amongst his players Before coming into vogue with Ryan Holiday s writing, Belichick practiced fear setting , often telling his fellow coaches that they will most certainly be fired in this business, and most of the time it isn t in their control Knowing this, Belichick emphasized the focus on family The scouting system Belichick developed reminded me a lot of the scorecard method of hiring Each position had a specific description of the outcomes they expected of the player e.g he must be able to win the battle in the neutral zone, he must be able to knock the offensive line back and establish a new line of scrimmageetc Belichick is very good at ignoring the noise, believing if they built the team with local sentiment in mind, they would be tempted to keep the team as is It reminds me of a common business mantras like Don t fall in love with your own ideas or Don t get romantic about how you made your money Like good founders, Belichick and Pioli hired people who there own worst critics Robert Kraft, the CEO of the Patriots organization, operatedlike a Chairman in terms of the Patriots sports team itself He was involved enough to show he was paying attention, but not so much that it came off like he was meddling Some of the most spectacular draft pick failures of the Patriots came from players with incredible athletic talent, who were not willing to put in the hard work Chad Jackson, Laurence Maroney andrecently Jamie Collins, are examples of players who fell out of favor to do lack of effort Belichick knows how to handle the emotions of his players, getting ahead of the Spygate incident by having a comedian come into address the team, allowing him to make fun of himself and all his best players By getting ahead of the crisis, Belichick allowed his team to focus on the game at hand As new players joined the Patriots, the veterans often wondered why a group that accomplished nothing was seemingly so relaxed This continual cultural evolution is another challenge that NFL teams face, which other business organizations might not Belichick s excellence as a coach is heavily driven by the amount of deliberate practice he s put into the craft Since the age of 23 he went straight to working in the NFL His father was a legendary scout he wrote a book on the topic and as a child Belichick was studying the game of football It is no surprise he has been to 9 Super Bowls in his career Belichick also LOVES all aspects of the game, from the big picture to the finer details of watching hours of film His love for the game gives him the drive to work hard and why he s never complained of burnout or hinted at taking a break As we are exposed to Dimitroff in the story, his personal development becomes clear as he emphasizes how he is OK to have a very different view of things than Belichick Case in point, Belichick advised against him trading up o draft Julio Jones for the Falcons, but in hindsight it looks like a Franchise saving trade for the organization While Belichick studies a lot, he also understands that you need to eliminate excess and unecessary information, focusing only on what a player can do for your particular system When the book briefly covers the approach of Todd Haley, another NFL coach at the time, it was surprising to me that it said Haley knew that there couldn t be any in game switching which seems at odds with the Patriots approach to continual in game adjustments The owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, showed incredible attention to detail When Dimitroff showed up to a golf tournament wearing the pants of a competing brand to one that Blank owned, he inquired as to why, and when he heard it was because of lack of a common size, Blank immediately called the store to have it rectified as he suspected this could be affecting other customers Belichick undersells the importance of the regular season Nothing matters if you didn t close the deal and won the Superbowl Football games aren t won on Sundays in the fall They re won on draft day in the spring in the war roomNew 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 PioliThough they once worked together to create one of the greatest franchises in modern NFL history, these three master strategists are now competitors Belichick continues at the helm of the New England Patriots, while Pioli heads the Kansas City Chiefs and Dimitroff runs the Atlanta Falcons Yet still they share a common goal building the perfect team, one draft pick and one trade at a timeWar Room is packed with never been told anecdotes as well as new insights from team officials, players, coaches, and scouts, all leading to surprising and groundbreaking insights into the art of building a champion This is a good read for any football fan, and a must read for any New England Patriots fan I enjoyed it a lot but really wish it had been better written Two of my favorite books about sports are David Halberstam s A Sense of Where You Are and David Remnick s King of the World and I wanted War Room to be as good as they are, which it wasn t. I think you have to be a big Patriots or NFL draft fan for this one and probably both to enjoy it. 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 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 big Pats fan, and while the first third or so of the book covers the Patriots and Bill Belichick, much of the information is rehashed from Patriot Reign, but with the perspective of Belichick and his colleagues Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff as team executives The bulk of the book is about Pioli and Dimitroff and their careers including the early days, time with the Patriots and their respective tenures with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons At times the book can offer interesting perspective on why a certain player was drafted, or how they developed a successful system for scouting players But often information will be recycled from previous chapters and feel a little stale This is a book that you read over the course of a few months, as it is often easy to lose focus due to its somewhat dry nature If you are a Patriots fan, I highly recommend you read Patriot Reign instead But if you want to knowabout the men who aren t talked about as much when it comes to New England s success as a franchise, I d say that it s worth giving a shot Just keep in mind that this book encompasses the Atlanta Falcons as well as the Kansas City Chiefs, so it s not just for Pats fans 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 isabout 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 any and i dont really care about the falcons i wanted to read a book about the patr 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 isabout 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 any and i dont really care about the falcons i wanted to read a book about the patriots, but bill belichick doesnt really do the media, so the next best thing includes these two.i found myself skimming and skipping over chapters where i only saw pioli or falcons the first quarter of the book is a good read except one part, and this is where the book s likeability started to wane, the final game of the 2007 season the author was talking about records and history and about how randy moss and tom brady could both SET records with one touchdown pass reception except that wasnt true they could only TIE records with one, they needed two each to break the records.it was a small oversight, but one that betrayed the fact that this book is less about the patriots andabout pioli dimitroff 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 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 Michael Holley manages to bring depth to the many people he covers in the book which only makes the readenjoyable This was one of those books that I was sad to finish 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 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 Any Business USA Read the book and think about yourself building a team at your place of business It works 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. 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.