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Bill Belichick's public image is so Darth Vader-like that readers will be surprised that he allowed Globe columnist Michael Holley two years of nearly unrestricted access to nearly all phases of the New England Patriots football operations. But we are rewarded with an anecdote-filled look at a team that had just won one Super Bowl and, after a difficult season, was winning another.

Holley is not a gifted analyst nor investigator, so what we get is mainly a surface look at the personnel of the team and how an NFL team operates. But what he does get right is the way the relationship and trust among owner Robert Kraft, the coach and quarterback Tom Brady keys the team's success. The symbiosis between Kraft and Belichick, in particular, is the focal point of the book. There's lots of good stuff on the breakdown of both their relationships with Bill Parcells and on Belichick's difficulties with Art Modell. Each came out of those prior failures looking for exactly what they other was willing to offer, making them a uniquely well-suited leadership team.

One of the most amazing things here is to realize the talent this team had, not on the field, but in the front office and coaching staff. Among those in the organization at this time were : Charlies Weis, Romeo Crennel, Josh McDaniels, Dante Scarnecchia, Eric Mangini, Rob Ryan, Ernie Adams, Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff. No wonder the whole system was so well run.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (B-)

  

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Sports (General)
Michael Holley Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: MIchael Holley
    -GOOGLE BOOK : Patriot Reign
    -WIKIPEDIA : Patriot Reign
    -WIKIPEDIA : Robert Kraft
    -Dale & Holley (WEEI)
    -EXCERPT: FIRST CHAPTER : 'Patriot Reign' By MICHAEL HOLLEY
    -INTERVIEW: Off the field :The personal side of Tedy Bruschi (MATT ASHARE, September 25, 2007, Boston Phoenix)
    -PROFILE: The NFL's Smartest Business Team (Jennifer Elsever, Jan 6, 2009, CBS News)
    -PROFILE: Tom Brady Cannot Stop (MARK LEIBOVICHJAN. 26, 2015, NY Times Magazine)
    -PROFIL:E: A Bit of Bledsoe (Shaun Powell, 1/16/13, Sports on Earth)
    -PROFILE: Patriots owner opens up his playbook : Robert Kraft talks to CNBC about the team's run to Super Bowl XLII (Lauren Farrelly, 1/27/2008, CNBC)
    -GOOGLE BOOK: Moving the Chains
    -GOOGLE BOOK: Management Secrets of the New England Patriots: Achievements, personnel, teamwork, motivation, and competition by James Lavin
    -REVIEW: of Patriot Reign (C. Douglas Baker, Bleacher Report)
    -REVIEW: of Patriot Reign (Read Think Football
    -REVIEW: of Patriot Reign (Nick Danger, BlogCritics)
    -REVIEW: of War Room by Michael Holley (Peter King, Boston Globe)
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Book-related and General Links: