Whether you’re a fan of the New England Patriots organization or not, nobody can doubt the effectiveness and dominance of the organization that has owned the NFL over the past 16 years.
Michael Holley’s book “War Room” delves into the stories of Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Tom Dimitroff — the coach, the director of personnel, and the scout, most responsible for the Patriot’s run of 3 titles in the early ’00s.
As a coach I found this book very insightful with regards to team building and personnel direction. My favorite parts of the book were the first couple chapters which detailed Belichick, Pioli, and Dimitroff’s highly successful ’01, ’03, and ’04 Super Bowl seasons with the Patriots. It was very interesting to peel back the curtain and see, for example, some of the inside stories of the draft room in those years and how players that I, as a Patriots fan, know and remember, were viewed by the coaching and management staff. One story from the book that grabbed my interest in particular was how the Patriots rebounded after loosing Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators from those championship teams. Belichick had done such an outstanding job of setting cultural expectations that he was able to hire and promote from within, keeping the winning culture intact while still adapting to seeing new faces and dealing within the ever-changing landscape of the NFL.
As a Patriots fan I enjoyed this book and it’s ‘behind the scenes’ look at what goes on behind the scenes of a very successful NFL franchise, but I was hoping for more actionable and anecdotal advice regarding team building. I’d highly recommend the book if you are an NFL fan or fan of the Patriots, but I don’t see much value being added if you are a casual fan.