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War Room

The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team

Michael Holley

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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

In this landmark book, 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 protégés Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.

Holley masterfully shows how a single idea conceived by Belichick in 1991—how to build the perfect team—triggered a journey filled with miraculous finishes, heartbreaking losses, broken relationships, and Super Bowl championships. Readers are given unprecedented access—from the draft room to the locker room to the sidelines—and insights into why Belichick is considered to be the NFL’s best coach and premier strategist.

Before he achieved success, though, Belichick was barely surviving as a coach. War Room opens in Cleveland, where Belichick, a young head coach, worked in an office with two employees in their late twenties: Pioli, a low-paid scouting assistant, and Dimitroff, a groundskeeper and part-time scout. After Belichick was fired by the Browns in 1996, the three men were in separate cities and seemingly a lifetime away from being recognized as leaders and champions. But soon they were reunited in New England, where they refined and burnished Belichick’s method for constructing a winning team, overseeing 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 is now in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs and Dimitroff is running the Atlanta Falcons. And even though they no longer work for the same franchise, they do have a common goal: building the perfect team, one draft pick and one trade at a time.

War Room is their unique and often astonishing story. It is packed with never-been-told anecdotes and new observations from team officials, players, coaches, and scouts, all leading to surprising and groundbreaking insights into the art of building a champion. 

Publishers Weekly Review

21 November 2011 – Holley (Red Sox Rule: Terry Francona and Boston's Rise to Dominance) has written the ultimate book for pro football geeks. From the front office to the draft room, the author provides an intimate look at three NFL teams—the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons—and the men who built them. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, with protégés Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli, created a dynasty in New England that won three Super Bowls in four years. With fly-on-the-wall immediacy, Holley chronicles their unorthodox approach, even as Pioli and Dimitroff became general managers of, respectively, the Chiefs and the Falcons. War Room begins in 1991 with Belichick head coach of the Cleveland Browns (at 39, the league's youngest) and concludes following the 2011 NFL draft and player lockout. Holley objectively captures on- and off-field episodes, including 2007's infamous "Spygate" videotape scandal, and humanizes his subjects with reports of job interviews, dinner conversations, private meetings, and personal traumas.

Customer Reviews

Inspiring and informative

Being a lover of the NFL but living in the Wales there is very little information or literature to look at the inner workings of the game. This book provides a great insight in to the depths of one of the NFL's finest teams but also provides wonderful nuggets of information on other teams, players and coaches. Being someone who works in a managerial role within a sport I have found a lot of the techniques on this book could be used by myself in my own career. The reason the book does not got five stars however is that I felt some of the chapters were a little slow and on occasions some points were being repeated. I would also advise any body that does not follow American football to think closely before diving in to this book because a lot of the book is "football speak". Overall very informative book, with a lot of references to the modern NFL but also much of the history and development of the game.

War Room
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  • £4.49
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Football
  • Published: 08 November 2011
  • Publisher: It Books
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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