Best football coaching books according to redditors

We found 158 Reddit comments discussing the best football coaching books. We ranked the 40 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Football Coaching:

u/MKactus · 77 pointsr/nfl

That's one of the contributing factors of Football IQ, and the very basics. Other than that, you have to know what defender is going to do what in which system.
There are QBs who also determine blocking schemes for their line. They say which blocking scheme to apply for which play, and switch them up if need be.
Very, very basically, a spread offense spreads out the defense across the width of the field, instead of bunching everything together around the ball. If you spread the defense out, there are bound to be more holes. That could mean putting 4 or even 5 WRs out away from the Oline (hence, wide), for instance.
A lot of the times, they add in the read option in that play. If a certain defender goes into coverage or for the HB, the QB keeps the ball and runs through the gaps of the defense. If the defender stands pat, the QB hands it off to the HB (or throws).
There are some great books that explain a lot of these things. A few I would definitely recommend are (in order of how deep they go into stuff):

u/HelluvaNole · 57 pointsr/CFB

> Why doesn't the o-line power- instead of zone-block? I think they're more physically suited for it but must be missing something.

Our OL coach is Rick Trickett and zone-blocking is his thing. See his book on OL blocking

u/NobleHeavyIndustries · 22 pointsr/Patriots

Read Keep Your Eye off the Ball. Read The Essential Smart Football. Pay for NFL GamePass. Watch the Coach's Film (All-22). They've archives going back to 2011. It's especially helpful if you watch a game (or series of plays) you're already familiar with. Get pen and paper out and take notes. Watch what each player is doing, both before and after the snap, and be ready to rewind over and over and over and over.

There's a lot of good analysis on YouTube too, if you are a learn-by-watching type.

>Start here, on Brett Kollman's channel. He's a former NFL Network production assistant. Most of his videos are story heavy and analysis light, but that video is about how to watch film.
>Sam's Film Room, with Samuel Gold, a writer for the Athletic. Good for beginners. I think he started out at r/nfl.
>The QB School, with former Patriots QB, JT O'Sullivan. Focuses on quarterback play, both good and bad.
>Dan Orlovski's Twitter has a bunch of quick analysis videos, usually focusing on QB play.
>Peyton Manning's Detail is wonderful show, but is stuck behind a paywall at There are two short videos free on YouTube. Resourceful people can find it elsewhere as well.
>Strong Opinion Sports, with Division III NCAA QB Zac Shomler. He has a lot of football video podcasts, but also a QB film analysis playlist.
>Baldy Breakdowns, with former Cowboys OLineman and current NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. No true focus, but has great insight into offensive line play.
>Gamepass Film Sessions. NFL Players and coaches analyze their own plays. The full version is on NFL Gamepass. I'm a particular fan of the one with Joe Thomas.
>Voch Lombardi. Focuses on talent evaluation and line play. Funny as fuck.
>The New England Patriots YouTube channel has Belichick Breakdown and Coffee with the Coach. Breakdown is the more analysis focused of the two.

If you're REALLY interested, the resources are out there. Good hunting.

u/BrownianNotion · 19 pointsr/minnesotavikings

Easiest place to find all-22 and end zone angles is the coach's film from NFL Gamepass, but it costs a lot of money for the amount of usage you'd get out of it at this point. You can watch the coach's film for any game going back, but it's definitely worth more at the start of the season when you can watch the games after they happen instead of going back and trying to watch all the games at once.

Once you get the coach's film, I think that a good place to start for defensive strategies is Matt Bowen's NFL 101 series on Bleacher Report. Here's his breakdown of how cover 2 man works as an example. Once you go through those, you can start seeing what defensive players are doing and trying to figure out what the general defensive playcall was. You still can't be sure what the playcall was (especially with some hybrid defenses that Zimmer runs or when someone blows a zone), but you can get much more of a feel for what's going on. Coach interviews in season on team websites are also cool. As an example, before Lombardi was fired from the Lions he pointed out in a video on their website that sometimes our blitzer in the double A-gap pressure look is not predetermined. We have a pressure play where both LBs will take a step toward the A gap and read where the center is turning; if the center turns to his left, the LB on his left will drop into coverage and the LB on his right will blitz. If he turns to his right, the LB on his right will drop into cover and the LB on his left will blitz. It's a really cool wrinkle to our defense that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

On offense, especially for the run game, I like old NFL offensive playbooks. Some, like a few of Norv's actually, will give some good detail on the blocking assignments for the offensive line and the keys the HB is supposed to read. You may have to Google some of the terminology for the types of blocks, but that stuff should be out there.

Can also get the Complete Offensive Line by Rick Trickett if you're really crazy, but it adds limited value. Goes more in depth for what he and his system expect for offensive linemen's footwork and hand placement for various types of blocks, but not all techniques are ubiquitous. The book is aimed more to help learn how to coach offensive line and goes through drills to use in practice, so if you just want to watch tape you can probably skip that book.

For pass offense there's lots of stuff online about various route concepts and what they beat (e.g. how the pin route combination beats cover 4) Once you start watching lots of tapes and get a feel for what defensive schemes are trying to do, why the offense is doing what it is doing becomes more obvious (e.g. read man coverage, motion outside receiver to inside the numbers, CB in man plays with inside leverage, WR runs a quick out with the extra space after the motion for a fairly easy completion).

Another great tool is that Belichick will break down important plays for the Patriots every week and explain the important bits. Probably one of the coolest sources you can get on what's going on in a play right there.

There's lots of stuff out there, but I'm personally hesitant to trust anything that isn't coming from an ex-NFL player or coach. There's a lot of people (myself included) that think they know what is going on but are at best spouting educated guesses or parroting things more informed people have said previously.

Hope that was helpful.

u/Macrophe · 18 pointsr/nfl

The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty

Jaws might be loudmouthed idiot on tv, but he co-authored a pretty darn good book
The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays

And all hail Belichick
War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team

The Education of a Coach

Pretty funny insight into players perspective:

The Rookie Handbook: How to Survive the First Season in the NFL

Also Pete Carrolls book Win Forever is an excellent read.
It has more to do with his Trojan days, but is a very clear telling of his coaching philosophy and why he has succeeded in Seattle. That man knows how to connect with people.

u/FeroxCarnivore · 17 pointsr/nfl

If you're starting from scratch, Take Your Eye Off The Ball. It breaks down the various aspects of position play in a fairly detailed but still accessible manner.

For a historical perspective, Blood, Sweat, and Chalk covers the evolution of a number of notable offenses and defenses (mostly offenses).

u/rodandanga · 15 pointsr/nfl

He was a scout and teacher at Navy from 1956 to 1989. He wrote a great book Football Scouting Methods

It's a good read, even if the formation stuff is a bit outdated.

u/SolomonG · 15 pointsr/nfl

I mean, his father literally wrote the book on scouting players.

u/Teddyismydawg · 13 pointsr/footballstrategy

For what it’s worth, I haven’t worked in coach/scouting myself. Everyone I’ve talked to though says Steve Belichicks Football Scouting Methods is the Bible of scouting.

Makes for an interesting read.

u/hythloday1 · 12 pointsr/CFB

None, I've never coached or played a snap.

I recommend The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown. I literally couldn't put it down. A lot of my education comes from reading as well, which is obviously Oregon-centric but the videos and graphics help with understanding any scheme.

u/successadult · 12 pointsr/funny

Not just padding, but a LOT of rule changes. Players were getting crushed because the old strategy was to line up behind the ball carrier and push him forward while the other team pushed him back. That's why the Bush Push from the USC-ND a few years back was so illegal even though it never gets called.

It's really interesting to read about the new plays and strategies they developed after all the rule changes. Think about how crazy it would be to take a popular sport, then re-write the rule book. What if you could make multiple forward passes during one play and from beyond the line of scrimmage? What if they changed the number of yards you needed to get for a first down? You'd have to come up with whole new plays and formations.

The evolution of formations from the 1920s to the 60s to now is pretty wild. Check out this book for a good lesson on that

u/IsaacTM · 11 pointsr/CFB

Two easy recommendations: The Essential Smart Football from Chris Brown and Study Hall from Bill Connelly. The former is the easier read but both go in-depth without being too confusing. When I was done reading them I felt smarter, for whatever that's worth.

u/Jurph · 11 pointsr/nfl

I usually find this Wikipedia article very helpful. Your English is excellent so I don't think you need to worry about finding a translation. Scroll down to "offensive formations" and the sections on "running plays" and "passing plays" to understand the terminology and how to understand what you're seeing. The great part about that is that if you then search for those plays on YouTube you can find video of the play working well.

I also like to recommend Take Your Eye Off the Ball to new fans interested in Xs and Os. It's an excellent book about how to watch football and understand what's happening -- it explains how an offensive formation is like a "bid" or "bet" in cards, and the defense's formation is a reaction to that bid, and how either side might be bluffing. It goes into excellent detail about almost every aspect of the game.

Give this article a read as well. Chris Brown helps the reader understand the fundamental shift in the current defensive era, which I think will really help you understand what (for example) the Seahawks do on defense. If you like Brown's work, he has also published this book of essays (edited and expanded from his blog) which explain many of the strategic and tactical nuances of the modern game of football in a style similar to what you see in the above article.

u/boost2525 · 11 pointsr/CFB

I'm reading "Three and Out: RichRod" right now, and I'm starting to take pity on the man. He was sabotaged from day one.

u/ALeapAtTheWheel · 9 pointsr/nfl

Mike Tanier (formerly of Football Outsiders, the Fifth Down Blog, and elsewhere, soon to be of Sports On Earth) is far and away the best wordsmith. He's one of the best analyzers, too.

Chris Brown is also great. Here is his "essentials" book. A great place to start if you don't know his work.

u/Gauchoparty · 8 pointsr/argentina

Una amiga viaja a NY y me va a traer estas dos bellezas:
Take Your Eye Off the Ball y The Essential Smart Football así que voy a tener para hacerme una panzada!.

Por otro lado, mañana PARTIDASO de la NBA, Boston vs. Golden State, no puede fallar.

Finalmente, este fin de semana hay PPV de lucha libre y no puedo estar más hypeado, hace tiempo que no venía tan manija y encima cierra todo con un lunes feriado, fiesta loca. Ah y WARGAMEEEEEEEES BAYBEH.

Perdonen que vengo atrasado con el post, pero estoy con tanto laburo que se me re pasó, mil gracias /u/blackfinwe !

u/atchemey · 7 pointsr/CFB

Yes and no. It will help you learn to read teams, but it won't help you understand why they do things and adjust.

I recommend Chris Brown's books, like The Essential Smart Football.

u/CambodianDrywall · 7 pointsr/CFB
u/StoutsWilly · 7 pointsr/nfl

Also by Chris Brown from Grantland.
He also wrote a book, which is on the short side but talks a lot about not only different strategies/formations but also the history behind them. Great deal for the kindle ($3).

u/insidezone64 · 6 pointsr/CFB

Another book I recommend to people is Blood, Sweat, and Chalk by Tim Layden. It is a compilation of his personal research into offenses and defenses, some of which were featured in Sports Illustrated articles. If you're interested in the evolution of the game and the why of certain schemes, this is one of the best reads out there. It also makes for terrific off-season reading.

u/shawn77 · 6 pointsr/CFB

Blood, Sweat, and Chalk is pretty good. It goes over the evolution of offenses from the beginning of football. It talks about who invented what and the lineage of some stuff. The book really explains the offensive schemes well. I thought it was an interesting read.

u/stevenlss1 · 6 pointsr/nfl

this will give you a good idea of where you want to start learning about the game. Be warned, the more you learn the more you're going to want to learn. All of these posts are about a specific scenario but I've been coaching for 6 years now and every scenario is different. You might not want to run screen against the blitz if you have the perfect run play for this team, this front, this time of the game. No two plays will ever be the same in the game of football and your script walking into the game is lucky to make it to it's 15 plays. You want to understand the system you've built and the one you're up against. This book will lay out some of the systems in football and the rest is up to you.

Nothing would make me happier than a sub reddit where we would all argue strategy instead of fantasy value or who's better than who. I hope you enjoy this book, it's a great read!

u/TBB51 · 6 pointsr/CFB

Read smartfootball by Chris Brown (he now writes for Grantland). His book is also cheap at $10 and totally worth it.

If you're okay with team-specific fan sites, head over to Eleven Warriors and read everything ever written by Ross Fulton and Kyle Jones. While, obviously, focused on OSU X's and O's they also delve into their opponents. They have, in my opinion, the easiest-to-read and best introduction to Nick Saban's pattern-match defensive scheme.

u/jusjerm · 5 pointsr/nfl

I loved Blood, Sweat, and Chalk. It goes into the history of things like the Air Raid, the 46 defense, Single Wing, etc.

It is a great read in one sitting or as a coffee table/bathroom book.

u/copperbacala · 5 pointsr/eagles

I've always watched a lot of CFB and have a particular affinity for defensive players and the defensive side of the ball.

Last year I just kind of went off the games I had watched, combine, rumors and how Mayock felt about guys.

This year I am actually watching these guys snaps on youtube - usually 3-4 games per prospect. I've worked through the defnsive side of the ball over the past month top 7-8 guys at each position. It's pretty hard to see the cb snaps and deep safety play though.

March I am going to be watching a lot of the offensive players. It'll be interesting to see how my opinions on guys will actually pan out in the draft. I am hoping to watch 20-23 minutes of snaps for 4-5 rounds worth of players come draft day.

HAve also been reading Steve Belichik's Scouting Methods

u/CarlCaliente · 5 pointsr/nfl

Got a PM asking about books, might as well share what I've read/enjoyed:

Most people recommend Pat Kirwan's Take Your Eye Off the Ball. Some bits of it can be simplistic, but based off what you told me it should be a good read. It basically breaks down each position group chapter by chapter, and has some extra details about coaching, front offices, scouting, etc.

Next I'd put SI's Blood, Sweat, and Chalk. It's a great balance between storytelling and technical detail. It basically chronicles significant advances in tactics on offense and defense over the decades. For example, offensive chapters start with the single wing, then goes on to the wing T, wishbone/flexbone, Air Croyell, west coast offense, spread, etc. (and many more)

Lastly I'd recommend Chris B Browns two books (and his blog) - The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football. These are similar to Blood, Sweat, and Chalk but more detailed and less about story. Still great reads.

For web reading, I loved Matt Bowen's Football 101 series on Unfortunately he works for ESPN now, but he has two years worth of excellent beginner articles on He breaks down tons of big picture concepts which can really help fill in details.

u/PeeGeeBee · 5 pointsr/nfl

Exactly what I came to say. In one of the early sections of the book you're taught to chart a game; quick notes on formations and results that you can do in short hand between snaps. It's like keeping a score sheet at a baseball game and one of the things coaches do on the sidelines. If you do it yourself you'll very quickly learn to recognize whats about to happen on both sides of the ball and then start to learn where you need to watch to see what is really determining the outcome of the play.

It can get pretty dry and since it's almost entirely focused on the modern game it doesn't give a lot of context to go with it's technicality. If you're stalling out on some parts this might help, it's a more friendly initiation into the technical aspects. It's more a history of the major innovations (reinventions?) on each side of the ball and how each built on the last. It's a pretty good road map for what a scheme is all about and how each individual position has turned into what it is today. It will give you a pretty solid grasp on what be going on on the field so that Take Your Eye off the Ball makes more sense when it tries to tell you how to actually see it in the moment

u/JimboLodisC · 5 pointsr/Patriots

$9.09 on Amazon? Just bought myself a copy.

I'm a keeper, too!

u/eharp1126 · 5 pointsr/MichiganWolverines

Read Three and Out. Lloyd did not help RR out at all, and transferred a number of players away. Additionally, he was the coach when The Horror happened, and his success against Tressel was nigh non-existent; he wasn't growing the program or putting Michigan in a place to succeed in modern football. He kept his hand in UM football after retiring as well, which hasn't helped the program evolve. We are still feeling a lot of these effects.

u/skepticismissurvival · 5 pointsr/nfl

I would recommend, in order:

Take Your Eye Off the Ball by Pat Kirwan

The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown

The Art of Smart Football by Chris Brown

Blood, Sweat, and Chalk by Tim Layden

u/tatramountain · 5 pointsr/nfl

I don't know. One one had, he's kind of young (only 42), but he's won a superbowl ring and there are only so many NFL HC jobs available.

On the other hand, most coordinators have gone on have little success outside of NE (weiss, crennel, mangini, mcdaniels). Bill O'brien is the only guy who really has gone to any sort of success (penn state and texans).

People think they're hiring Belichick jr. But Belichick has been coaching in the NFL for as long as long as Patricia has been alive (ok, technically, belichick started in 1975 and patricia was born in 1974, but the point stands). That, and Belichick started breaking down film when he was 10 and his dad literally wrote the book on scouting.

That said, NFL coaches typically make $4-5 million/year and get 3-5 year contracts. It'd be tough to turn down that kind of fully guaranteed money.

u/dropdatdurkadurk · 5 pointsr/nfl

Yeah there a couple simple factors behind what the Rams do with their personnel

  1. A massive part of playcalling is knowing what the other teams defensive rules are for coverage. You simplify the number of responses and checks a defense can have when you stick with one personnel grouping they become a lot more predictable. The focus in many ways of them doing this isn't "We are trying to confuse you and dictate the terms of engagement" it's "We just want to understand what you do and respond to do you, we will react to you". Great article here showing how McVay calls based off understanding a defenses rules

  2. This is article gets at a very key point: everything the Rams do looks the exacts same before the snap note the point below in particular

    While most NFL coaches talk about how they want to keep defenses guessing by making every play look the same, McVay actually does so by giving defenses run action on more than 95 percent of under center looks, no matter if it's a tailback handoff, an end around to a motion man or a play action pass."

  3. I strongly recommend this book for anybody who actually wants to know how the Rams playcall. What you will notice is about half of their 3rd down passing plays if you read the book can be distilled down to about a half dozen concepts. Again number of plays doesn't matter it's having the right play against the particular coverage.
u/surreptitioussloth · 5 pointsr/nfl

Double comment, but Robert Peters is a good person to look at for football strategy stuff.

This is a breakdown of the ram's third down offense from last year, and he's got a bunch of other stuff getting into the bones of how offenses run.

u/kamkazemoose · 4 pointsr/CFB

I thought I should just point out that this is an excerpt from a new book, called Three and Out, by John Bacon. When Rich Rod started, he basically was given all access to follow him around, because he was planning on writing a piece about him being an offensive guru, but then shit hit the fan and he changed the premise of the book. Its basically an inside look into all of the drama around Rich Rod's hiring and firing, and a lot of the infighting of the AD. It sounds like a good read for anyone interested in what happened to Michigan the last 3 years. You can pre-order here, if interested.

u/SrWiggles · 4 pointsr/CFB

I'll always upvote SmartFootball. Dude is fantastic at explaining schemes and plays, both offense and defense. This article from Grantland about the Michigan State defense is just about the best thing I've ever read about defensive football. Also, his book is a must read for any other football nerds out there.

u/takeapictureofthat · 4 pointsr/CFB

I'll bite.

Just because he had the lowest winning percentage in UM history doesn't mean he's a bad coach. :/

Interesting book BTW.

u/whitedawg · 4 pointsr/CFB

I highly recommend The Biggest Game of them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State, and the Fall of 1966. Despite being about two of my least favorite teams, the book does a magnificent job exploring that era of college football, touching on subjects like the beginnings of national recruiting, television coverage, race, and politics.

Also, if you're remotely interested in football strategy, The Essential Smart Football is, well, essential.

u/iammattchambers · 4 pointsr/Texans

I actually don't think it's a gross oversimplification. The two offenses are undoubtedly similar in both assignments and terminology. But don't take my word for it, take BOB's - He's said multiple times on the Texans podcasts that the patriots may have a different term for a specific route combination or protection call, but that we run "basically the same offense." This is why when we brought in former Patriots WR DeAndrew White last year, BOB said:

>"His assignments, he knew. He was in a similar offense to this before at the Patriots."

And it's not just DeAndrew White. There's a reason why the Patriots have signed our WR's in the past. Keshawn Martin, Nate Washington, Demaris Johnson all played in NE for a time after they played with us because of how similar we are. This NESN article about Washington's signing with the Pats says the same thing:

>Washington knows New England’s offensive system from his year with the Texans, playing under head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. The Patriots had success trading for Martin, another former Texans receiver, last season. They also briefly brought in ex-Texans receiver Damaris Johnson last season.

Beyond the similarity, I just don't buy that they're going to learn a ton from Stephen Anderson about us anyway. There's a reason why PatDStat said of this exact rumor, "If the Patriots are using Anderson for “info” the Belichick has fallen off as a coach this past off-season."

Make no mistake, the Patriots have studied all of our DW4 tape front and back already. If BOB has developed any playcalling, personnel, or situational tendencies with Deshaun, the Patriots know about them by now. Steve Belichick, BB's dad and great coach in his own right, harped on film study so hard in his book that if you're going to lose to anyone, it better be off of plays and gadgets not previously shown on tape, which you can prepare for ahead of time.

As for what's not on tape, Anderson probably doesn't have much to offer there either. By all accounts, Stephen Anderson didn't practice much at all with DW4, because he couldn't come close to sniffing 1st or 2nd string. He wasn't in the gameplan meetings for Week 1, and he wasn't with the 1st & 2nd teams working on installation. He was a back up TE fighting for a chance to make the squad as a 4th stringer. Do you really think he had the chance to take note of every player on squads and plays he wasn't a part of?

u/Sentinel13M · 3 pointsr/49ers

The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football. The price for me is $2.99 each

u/tejastacostand · 3 pointsr/LonghornNation

Eric and Paul breakdown his annual edition of Thinking Texas Football....

Link to Amazon

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/CFB

I think the consensus is that he wasn't a good fit for the Michigan culture, and that as much as anything led to his ouster.

Evidently, the new book Three & Out details pretty well how certain elements of the UM cabal didn't want him there to begin with, and how others gradually walked away from him during his tenure.

honestly, I think he'd be at or near the top of the list for those 4 schools. None are traditional football powers, so there isn't much they'd really be risking.

u/losferwords · 3 pointsr/nfl

Playing MAdden is okay, but I find it hard to believe nobody has suggested actually reading a book other than the rule book.
Check these out:
Take your Eye off the Ball

Blood, Sweat, and Chalk

u/slapnscratch · 3 pointsr/Sabermetrics

Check out this book:
It discusses the ages and such in which coaches decision making peaks.

u/the_EDJ · 3 pointsr/Huskers

A common answer I've seen given is Chris Brown's Smart Football book. I think it's slightly overrated for what it offers, but I still really enjoyed it.

I also like to follow the Breakdown Sports blog. I use Feedly as an RSS feed to keep up with news stories.

u/banjos_not_bombs · 3 pointsr/nfl

If you want a really in-depth explanation, there's a great chapter on Don Coryell's offense in Jaws' book.

u/VanFailin · 3 pointsr/CFBOffTopic

A while back I bought a book in Kindle format called The Essential Smart Football. Reading Kindle books on PC is supported but unpleasant, so I recently bought a Kindle paperwhite, remembered a couple days ago that I wanted to read this, and am now about 3/4 of the way through the book. It's apparently copied from the author's blog, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me as much as it bothers some (I'm paying $3 for formatting and convenience).

Smart Football is a collection of essays about innovative coaches in both college and the NFL. Each essay describes one successful coach at the time of its writing (the essays are all dated, none newer than 2012) and most include play diagrams to illustrate the concepts he's discussing. It's a really engaging read, in part because each essay is short enough that I can't get bored. The topics don't feel repetitive or trivial, even though there's often a sentence or two to explain that, e.g., Cover 2 is a coverage with 2 deep safeties.

Highly recommend if you're looking for something to read while you're supposed to be working.

u/3601squirrelnuts · 3 pointsr/CFB

High school coach here. Coaching Team Defense by Fritz Shurmur is considered the "Bible" of defense by many in the coaching profession. This book, along with Bill Walsh's Finding the Winning Edge and Steve Belichick's Football Scouting Methods, are on every list of coaching "canon." I don't know if you're looking for something this technical, but reading Shurmur's book will change the way you watch teams play defense forever.

u/Sports-Nerd · 3 pointsr/CFB

I love Blood, Sweat, and Chalk, It is like a history of football formations and strategies. It tells the story, but is almost kind of like a reference book.

u/i_enjoy_lemonade · 3 pointsr/nfl

Also read a portion of "The Games That Changed The Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays". Talks about Sid Gillman's Chargers, the 70s Steelers, the '85 Bears, Bill Belichick's Super Bowl gameplan, etc.

It's interesting. Not so much history of the teams as much as it is history of concepts, like Sid Gillman's vertical passing concepts, the 70s Steelers' uses of Cover-2, Buddy Ryan's 46, etc. Very fascinating book.

Would also recommend.

u/key_lime_pie · 3 pointsr/nfl

Just in general, or on a specific topic?

Books I'm reading right now:

u/CursoryComb · 2 pointsr/nfl

You have to be careful with some analysis you find online, but two that I've seen that are usually spot on are:
This guy also wrote a book that can walk you through a ton of football jargon.

There are several magazines we get including American Football Monthly and American Football Coaches Association.

If you're really looking to dive into some things, go on Amazon or even to the local library and check out books on specific topics you find interesting. Even reading "outdated" books you'll notice the pillars and fundamentals of football today.

Defenses have been changing pretty drastically the past two years, but this book was a great introduction to how many NFL teams were playing their defensive fronts.

Lastly, I have a great benefit of attending coaching clinics and networking events, however, go to your local college and watch a practice. Many of the practices are open to the public and the coaches, usually, are a very open bunch. Spring is usually the best time since that's when all the other coaches are trying to tweak routines and see what everyone else is doing.

u/who-hash · 2 pointsr/AskMenOver30

The speed of the game and athletic ability of the players goes up 10-fold.

NFL defenses are fast. D-linemen and edge rushers get to the QBs quickly. DBs cover the field better. Offensive schemes are usually more complex and most successful college QBs simply can't adapt.

Although I have a home team that I root for I love watching any good team play. Unless it's your thing I wouldn't get caught up in any of the drama which is what most mainstream media headlines will contain. It ruins it for me.

  • I found a couple of books that helped me: Take your Eye off the Ball and The Essential Smart Football
  • I'd highly recommend against going to r/NFL unless you want memes and sh1tposting. I can only handle it in small doses. There is an occasional good analysis but you've got to wade through a lot of garbage to find it.
u/BLeighdat · 2 pointsr/CFB

Went through the same thing a couple years ago. [This is a good place to start.] ( Give it a thorough read; it is much easier (although still not easy) to find film without coaches' commentary. Best of luck!

u/SchrodingersGaren · 2 pointsr/CFB

It's not strictly CFB, but Essential Smart Football is really interesting from an X's and O's perspective.

u/ChicagosOwn1988 · 2 pointsr/nfl

Read the book Blood, Sweat and Chalk. This is a must read for any fan no or old

u/eddydio · 2 pointsr/CFB

After reading John Bacon's [Three and Out] (, I concur. His issue was defense. His D still allows a lot of yards and points, but he has a program that let's him run his offense and enough talent to make it work.

u/Slick1ru2 · 2 pointsr/CFB
u/DemonDes · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

This bad boy:
Hey boils a lot of high level concepts down to readable levels. Focusses quite a bit on college offenses though.

u/Gyhy · 2 pointsr/nfl

(I think your post was delayed because it got caught in the spam filter.)

The Essential Smart Football. More of a collection of essays, but very informative for the price ($3 kindle/$9 paperback).

u/AmazingStreet · 2 pointsr/CFB

Here are a few books I would recommend.

Concept Passing

Quick Passing Game

Offensive Line

R4 Passing System

u/Toto_radio · 2 pointsr/soccer
u/djimbob · 2 pointsr/Patriots

Obviously while fans would rather read a biography, it would be so cool if he did something like Football Scouting Methods: 2nd Edition by Bill Belichick.

u/tayloraugustus · 2 pointsr/CFB

Three and Out, by John Bacon. Rich gave him full access to his Michigan program, and it seems that everyone f'ed up there, not just Rich.
edit: fixed link

u/Trapline · 2 pointsr/nfl

For football history from an X's and O's perspective one of my favorites is Blood, Sweat and Chalk.

u/darkbear19 · 2 pointsr/CFB

Piggy Backing off this, his book The Essential Smart Football is a great way to learn also.

u/hipcheck23 · 2 pointsr/Patriots

Hey, thanks for dropping by. Personally I've always been neutral toward ATL, but I like the Falcons a bit because one of the original Pats architects went over there. Have you read the book The War Room? It talks about how the brain trust split into 3 groups that also built up KC and ATL.

u/pkcs11 · 2 pointsr/nfl

Read the book "Blood, Sweat and Chalk", you will have more knowledge than any two lifelong NFL fans you know afterwards.

u/goodhumansbad · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Maybe something like this?

Really depends what your budget is for a gift - a book is always good, but if you're wanting to spend more maybe you could get him tickets to a game and go with him? Getting him out of the house would probably be a good thing to encourage.

That is a hell of a thing to go through, and I don't meant to do that "OH, you're depressed? Have you tried having fun?" thing... But I'm sure you get the idea. Sometimes it is helpful to do things with family/friends even if you won't exactly be footloose and fancy free, it's a step in the right direction.

u/kbergstr · 2 pointsr/footballstrategy

If you're interested in the entire process of Scouting an oppenent, you can pick up Steve Bellichick's (Bill's Dad) book on scouting on kindle for $2.99.

He pretty much invented modern scouting, so it's a bit dated, but you should be able to get a handle on the full process that he uses-- it's probably a bit more use as a coach than a player, but it'll increase football intelligence and give you a process for scouting.

u/essecks · 2 pointsr/nfl

Smart Football is pretty good for small bite-sized articles on topics- even comes in book form too, though I'm guessing that the book is just a compilation of the blog posts.

Some other books that I liked were mainly ones on Belichick- so War Room was pretty good, easy to read, albeit more about drafting, less technical game-time discussion.

Steve Belichick's Football Scouting Methods is pretty good too, but written in the 50's / 60's and more leaning towards scouting.

Grantland does occasionally have some good articles.

Football Outsiders is also similarly great at smaller analysis articles.

/r/footballstrategy has a few good links, but it's a quiet(er) subreddit and doesn't get much traffic. Some of the articles that I liked from there came from x and o labs.

u/dxdrummer · 1 pointr/nfl

The Games that Changed the Game

Take your eyes off the ball

Blood Sweat and Chalk

are all great if you want to get into detail

u/PresNixon · 1 pointr/sports

If you like Football, read "Blood, Sweat, and Chalk." It's a great book with the history of various formations, how they're used, why they're used, their strengths and weaknesses, all kinds of good stuff.

u/jack_spankin · 1 pointr/nfl

Steve Belichick: Football Scouting Methods

This should get you started.

u/C-Effect · 1 pointr/CFB

While not an all-encompassing historical piece on the landscape of college football per se, John Bacon's "Three and Out" offers a fascinating insight into Rich Rodriguez's tenure with Michigan Wolverine.

Here's the book description:

> Three and Out tells the story of how college football’s most influential coach took over the nation’s most successful program, only to produce three of the worst seasons in the histories of both Rich Rodriguez and the University of Michigan. Shortly after his controversial move from West Virginia, where he had just taken his alma mater to the #1 ranking for the first time in school history, Coach Rich Rodriguez granted author and journalist John U. Bacon unrestricted access to Michigan’s program. Bacon saw it all, from the meals and the meetings, to the practices and the games, to the sidelines and the locker rooms. Nothing and no one was off limits. John U. Bacon’s Three and Out is the definitive account of a football marriage seemingly made in heaven that broke up after just three years, and lifts the lid on the best and the worst of college football.

Although I've yet to read the book, I have read the first chapter that's free (look to the right side of the amazon page for the Kindle edition and you'll have the ability to have a first chapter sneak-peak) and it's compelling, to say the least. And one of the reasons for this is that the book deals with so much more than Rich Rodriguez's tenure, but also the history of Michigan Wolverine football.

Like I said previously, I haven't read it all but it's definitely on my wish list. Make sure to read the first chapter to see whether or not you'll like it.

u/Wink182 · 1 pointr/nfl

This is a very good book. Also, Blood, Sweat, and Chalk by Tim Layden gives a good history and explanation of football innovations through the years.

u/glatts · 1 pointr/nfl

First, look on YouTube for basic info. You can find videos about positions and plays and even schemes like the spread pretty easily.

Second, I recommend looking up some film breakdowns. Bill Belichick does them weekly (I think it's weekly) on a local Boston channel, but you can find some of them on YouTube by searching for Belichick Breakdown.

Third, try to find some guides for how to watch football and how to breakdown a game. Articles like this can provide you with a greater understanding of what everyone is doing during a play.

Fourth, do some reading.

I highly recommend Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look to help you while watching the game, but be sure to get the paperback version so you get all the diagrams. It will teach you the progression of the reads, the route running, the blocking and everything that happens on defense as well.

To help you cut through some of the jargon announcers use, I recomment Blood, Sweat and Chalk: The Ultimate Football Playbook.

If you want to learn more about strategies, try The Essential Smart Football.

To learn more about evaluating players, Football Scouting Methods is a must read. It will take you to the football of another era, but with the foundation from all the other info I've provided you will be able to start putting the pyramid together and learn how the game became what it was today.

u/grizzfan · 1 pointr/CFB
  • "The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football." Best book on big time college football I've ever read. Goes inside/behind the lines, and gives you different angles and perspectives on scandals. There's four chapters dedicated to the story of Mike Leach ranging from TTU to WSU. One about how Nick Saban got to Bama, and others about sexual assault, paper classes, improper benefits, and all the other politics and behind the scenes damage control stuff we never see. It's also euphoric, because it gives the inside story of players' or coaches' experiences in big moments we all know of.

  • "Missoula, Rape and the Justice System in a College Town." The scope is college football at the University of Montana. This can be a difficult read, especially if you or anyone you care about has had an experience with rape or sexual assault (graphic and chilling), but it is really good, and is a harsh reality check that most don't really get from sports-prioritized media on the topic (Victim perspective and stories).

  • On the more X's and O's side, there is "Blood, Sweat, and Chalk." Ignore the wildcat chapter though. The history of that chapter is extremely weak and inaccurate.
u/newmellofox · 1 pointr/nfl
u/hells_cowbells · 1 pointr/CFB

Another one not by a coach, but check out Smart Football. I haven't read the book yet, but his blog is really good, and it has good reviews on Amazon.

u/1staccountwasmyname · 1 pointr/CFB

Haha, most fans would be satisfied with that, yes. But you would still hear all sorts of some dumb stuff like "well, we really shouldn't have gone for it on 4th down that one time, that was a bit much" or "I don't think the players are conducting themselves with enough integrity after scoring" or something like that. So I guess we can be satisfied as a fan base, we just never want to feel good about it.

There's a part of Three and Out dedicated to talking about stuff like this. I don't remember the exact story, but a local radio station challenged people to call in with complaints about the team the day after a blowout win and they got swamped with calls.

u/BosskOnASegway · 1 pointr/CFB

The Big Scrum is my go to recommendation for a history style text. You have a players flair so I am not sure The Essential Smart Footbal will be meaningful for you to read, but its a great book nonetheless.

u/theonetheonly55 · 1 pointr/ducks

No he didn't invent the triple option. That's as old as football itself. The Zone-Read, running the option off the defensive end out of a shot gun formation, was "invented" by RichRod.

When he was a coach in something like D3, there was a blown play where his QB missed the hand off. Typically, the QB is instructed to follow the RB on that sort of thing, but instead took off the other way. Rich Rod asked why he went off the other end and the guy said something like, "the end followed the HB, so I went the other way". A light went off in RichRod's head and he used it to stampede through the coaching ranks.


edit: added source

u/oorza · 1 pointr/nfl

I was going to add Jaws over McNabb, but I honestly think that's probably a good debate to have. Both QBs led their team to a lost Super Bowl, but McNabb had much more consistent success. Jaws looks a lot worse on the stat sheet, but he came out of a different era, so that's obviously not fair to compare one-on-one. Regardless of who was the better QB, Jaws is definitely the best analyst (IMO) in broadcasting. His book should be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to call themselves a football fan.

u/JustOneSexQuestion · 1 pointr/nfl

This book is awesome:

Has a whole chapter dedicated to Belichick

u/Free_Pimp_C · 1 pointr/nfl

Its an older book and some of the stuff is outdated but its one of those foundation books that is a great place to start from. It's a bit dry here and there but sounds like what you are looking for.

u/mshm · 1 pointr/CFB

Websites (Most are not active):

  • Inside the Pylon - Videos may not load embedded, but you can copy the url. Pretty good look at base plays, position responsibilities, and other terms you run into.
  • Breakdown Sports another place for looking at the above, less available though covered deeply. See article on Cover 1 for example.
  • Football Study Hall More on the statistics side of football (old stomping ground of Bill Connelly), a bit more all over the place.
  • Dan Casey's Twitter If you want to see clips of fun and interesting plays past and present, he's a good'un.
  • Playbooks - Historic coaches' playbooks. You can get a pretty good understanding of things like read progression and play goals from these, as well as what the purpose of each player on the field for each play by reading through some of these.

    Books: These are the books most people recommend starting from.

  1. David Seigerman's Take Your Eye Off the Ball This is a really good book for understanding the game holistically. From positions to managing a season to how you can pay attention to a play, a drive, and a game.
  2. Chris B. Brown's The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football (read in order of printing) Fantastic book set for anyone ready to dive a deeper into how the game has and could develop. Seeing everyone raving about the wildcat is always a chuckle though.
  • Tim Layden's Blood, Sweat & Chalk. Definitely worth the the purchase. Would recommend the above first, but this is a great go for the stories behind the plays. How they came to be and why.
u/SubwayEatFrosh · 0 pointsr/CFB

They wouldn't "officially" offer him the job without meeting with him in person. But Bill Martin did speak to Miles directly on the phone. Michigan officials asked to set up a meeting with him in Miami, where Miles had already scheduled a recruiting trip later on in December, but Miles refused to meet with them to discuss the deal until after he had coached LSU through their bowl game, which ended up being the national championship, though no one expected that at the time. After Miles refused to set up a meeting, that's when they moved on to Rich Rod.

It's all covered in the book "Three and Out". I think that's the most thoroughly researched a reliable source that I've seen on the matter.