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.