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u/tboneswoodhouse · 3 pointsr/nfl


|1|29|Robert Nkemdiche|DL|Mississippi
|3|92|Brandon Williams|CB|Texas A&M
|4|128|Evan Boehm|C|Missouri
|5|167|Marqui Christian|S|Midwestern State
|5|170|Cole Toner|OT|Harvard
|6|205|Harlan Miller|CB|Southeastern Louisiana

Robert Nkemdiche DL - Grade: A

As a Broncos fan I watched a lot of tape on Nkemdiche and he looks phenomenal, I would argue a reincarnation of former Cardinal Darnell Dockett. First and foremost his character concerns are unnerving but if there wasn't a better place for him to land than with Bruce Arians and the mentorship from Peterson and Campbell. At least this season Nkemdiche should see at least rotational time as a pass rusher, in multiple spots along the defensive line, until he refines his skill set to an NFL level. He also needs to work on his motor since at times he tends to disappear however with the depth in Arizona the hope is the motivation is right in front of him. Without the character concerns he would moved up at least 10 spots in the draft and could turn out to be a real steal for Bruce Arians and James Bettcher.

Brandon Williams CB - Grade: C

Brandon Williams is a tough prospect to evaluate. He does fill a need the Cardinals desperately need to fill at corner but he is raw. So raw he has only played one year in college at the position playing running back beforehand. His physical talent is there though with 4.37 speed, the 7th fastest this year, he may develop nicely however I don't see him as seeing many defensive snaps until his 3rd year in the league. He should be an immediate contributor on special teams as a gunner on the punt team. He seems to have the right attitude and could be a high reward pick for Steve Keim.

Evan Boehm C - Grade: B+

Center was a big position of need to fill after the loss of Sendlein. Boehm is not as mobile as you'd like to see in a zone blocking scheme however he should compete for the starting job and is studious enough to start wrapping his mind around Arias' intricate offense. His strength will be an asset pushing around defenders and his toughness speaks for itself having only missed one game in the last 8 years.

Marqui Christian S - Grade: B-

Played a lot of strong safety in college especially down in the box and won the Cliff Harris award, the nation’s best small-school defensive player. He makes plays in the run game and can read the quarterback well but doesn't have the closing quickness to disrupt receivers in man coverage. Bettcher and co will attempt to utilize him in both safety roles but with his limited range I think he may make the transition into Deone Bucannon's back up as a hybrid linebacker/safety, especially if he continues to keep laying down the wood. Christian however seems to be the one most likely to not earn a spot on the final 53. Fills an area of need and provides depth may see some special teams time this season.

Cole Toner OT - Grade: B

Not needing to play immediately will benefit Toner greatly. Putting on some weight and facing high level pass rushers are the two major areas of concern for him. Should be able to come out and run block with nice footwork. The mental equipment is all there and should be backup as a swing tackle.

Harlan Miller CB - Grade: B

Miller is another small school athlete the Cardinals took a chance on. He is more pro ready than Williams and will probably outrank him on the depth chart going into the season. Although he has experience as a top corner he won't be asked to perform that highly. He is underweight but has good height for a corner. He excels at press coverage but only ran a 4.65 so don't be surprised to see him get burnt by the speedier receivers in the league.

Overall the Cardinals draft class will be difficult to judge based off his year but in the future could be a force to contend with depending on how players develop. Bruce Arians seems to get the most of his players so I have full faith this should be a solid draft class.


Other Offseason News


| New England Patriots Send| Arizona Cardinals Send
|DE/OLB Chandler Jones|OG Jonathon Cooper
||2016 2nd round pick(61st overall)

On March 15th the Cardinals completed a trade with the New England Patriots. The Cardinals shipped out, the 7th overall pick from 2013 NFL draft, Guard Jonathon Cooper and their 2016 2nd round selection for, the 21st overall selection from the 2012 NFL draft, pass rusher Chandler Jones. The 2nd round selection would end up becoming Ohio State safety Vonn Bell after the Patriots traded it to the New Orleans Saints. After breaking his leg in the preseason of his rookie year Cooper has not lived up to his high expectations. Chandler Jones has racked up 36 sacks in his 4 year career, and is coming a career best 12.5 this past season. He will fill a much needed role on the defense helping the pass rush and setting the edge to improve an already stout rush defense. Both teams benefit from this trade adding in areas of conern, and the patriot avoid what is assumed to be a major payday from Chandler Jones which will loom on the Cardinals next offseason.

All or Nothing

The Arizona Cardinals had the privilege to be the first team to have their season recorded and delivered by Amazon. The first episode can be seen right here all other episodes will require a prime membership to watch. It gives an in depth look through the season and troubles these players and the team go through. I would highly recommend checking it out as a football fan. It this takes off there is potential we will see more digital distribution for sports.


Projected Starting Lineup

New Members of the Arizona Cardinals


|QB|Carson Palmer|Drew Stanton
|RB|Chris Johnson|David Johnson|
|WR X|Michael Floyd|JJ Nelson
|WR Z|John Brown|Jaron Brown
|WR Y|Larry Fitzgerald|Brittan Golden
|TE|Darren Fells|Jermaine Gresham|
|LT|Jared Veldheer|
|LG|Mike Iupati|
|C|Evan Boehm|AQ Shipley
|RG|Evan Mathis| Earl Watford
|RT|DJ Humphries| Cole Toner


DE|Calias Campbell|Robert Nkemdiche
NT|Corey Peters|Rodney Gunter
DE|Frostee Rucker|Red Bryant
SLB|Markus Golden|Shaquille Riddick
MLB|Deone Bucannon|Gabe Martin
MLB|Kevin Minter| Alani Fua
WLB|Chandler Jones|Alex Okafor|
CB1|Patrick Peterson|Cariel Brooks|Brandon Williams
CB2|Justin Bethel|Harlan Miller
SS|Tony Jefferson|DJ Swearinger
FS|Tyrann Mathieu|Tyvon Branch


K|Chandler Catanzaro
P|Drew Butler
LS|Daniel Dillon|Kameron Canaday
KR|JJ Nelson|Kerwynn Williams
PR| Patrick Peterson

u/Jurph · 1 pointr/nfl

First of all, there's nothing that can replace watching games. Watch football! I recommend NFL GameRewind so you can watch the games with no commercials, get the All-22 tape, and get basic access to DVR features. GamePass is expensive and unnecessary at first, and I watched my local team for years with no cable -- plain old over-the-air TV plus a local affiliate that broadcasts every Ravens game was enough. So watch football! I also recommend these sources:


I watched two or three seasons of football before I read the following books, and I really wish I'd had the foresight to begin reading as soon as I became a fan. I recommend reading Take Your Eye Off the Ball by Pat Kirwan first, because it teaches you how to watch the games you'll be seeing this season, especially how to "read" a defense like a QB would. You'll begin to be able to see when a defense is "showing blitz" or an offense is "showing run". You might also want to get a fast-forward introduction to the history of the game so you understand where the current traditions come from. Scores of books and blogs dig into the history of the game but I think Jaworski et al's Seven Games that Changed the Game and Chris Brown's The Essential Smart Football are both great reads. The latter you can effectively preview by reading his work at .


Nobody writes about football as well as the guys at Grantland; the article I've linked there is one of my favorites. It goes into the history of the game and helps you place the current game in context. Brian Burke's Advanced NFL Stats is a more analytics-focused look at the game; his greatest contribution to the game (in my opinion) is his evidence-based chart for 4th down decisions. A lot of other sites focus on Fantasy Football because that's where you can make a ton of money -- hundreds of thousands of hungry gamers every Sunday and Monday. Honestly, Fantasy Football scores have almost no relevance to the strategy of the real game, and I'll say no more about that hobby.

=Other References=

If you're trying to figure out whether a particular performance was mediocre, good, great, or execrable, you want to look it up at Pro Football Reference. If you're trying to understand a piece of football jargon, check out Wikipedia's American Football Strategy, which is a good read on its own and contains sub-articles on the differences between a 4-3 and 3-4. Pro Football Focus had a great piece on defensive personnel prototypes that will help you sort out what people mean by things like "He's a great 0-technique NT for a team that does hybrid 3-4." Ordinarily I'd say you want to know the rules before any of that, but honestly I watched the game for years before I ever needed to consult the rulebook.

u/PM_ME_YOUR_RHINO · 206 pointsr/nfl

The Raiders.

They're just so cool. The uniforms, logo, and name are badass. I don't know what it is, but the fact their colours are silver and black just really sticks with me. I remember watching one of the NFL Super Bowl champ rundown and they mentioned Al Davis always checking the uniforms to make sure they were silver, not grey.

On the topic, Al Davis was such a badass.

> He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner and owner.

  • He was also active in civil rights:

    > refusing to allow the Raiders to play in any city where black and white players had to stay in separate hotels. He was the first NFL owner to hire an African American head coach and a female chief executive. He was also the second NFL owner to hire a Latino head coach.

  • His motto, 'Just win, baby'.

  • John Madden coached them and reading his book was really fun.

  • Raider nation.

  • The Black Hole. Talk about intimidating.

  • Howie Long is one of my favourite ever players. Started after I read Maddens book.

  • Bo Jackson. I'm 21 and didn't grow up in the States much, and I had vaguely heard of Bo. Watching his 30 for 30 was beautiful.

  • Seen as working class team with an aggressive play style (historically).


    ^^I ^^also ^^think ^^the ^^ ^^49ers ^^are ^^cool.


    EDIT: For those interested, John Maddens book is called 'One Knee Equals Two Feet'. Here's a link for it on Amazon. It's quite old, but still a stonking great read.

    Also that word reminded me of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Buy it as well.

    EDIT 2: "If you're buying any of the books mentioned in these comments, Amazon has a physical book sale today. 30% off, use promo code HOLIDAY30" - thanks to /u/Mandarinez.

    EDIT 3: If you're interested in some Raider history check out Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders by Peter Richmond. - thanks to /u/Imaygetyelledat.
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/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/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/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/mikerhoa · 1 pointr/nfl

I'll love my Jets until they inevitably kill me from a combination of high blood pressure and other stress related illnesses.

But the reasons I like those two teams are pretty simple:

I LOVED the Dallas teams of the 90's, if only because they drove my Giants fan relatives crazy. But Jay Novacek was also my favorite player, and I played TE in school. Plus I saw them beat the Giants in overtime at the Meadowlands, and Emmitt absolutely dominated despite hurting his shoulder in the first half. If you ever get the chance you should check out Boys will be Boys by Jeff Pearlman, it's a great read.

I loved the Saints ever since I visited NO when I was 10. Fell in love with the entire city really. Those teams in the early 90's Dome Patrol years with Swilling, Walsh, Hilliard, Heyward, Wilks, Martin, Fenerty, Johnson, and all the rest were awesome. I loved using them in Tecmo Super Bowl. Plus they have the coolest unis in the NFL...

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/InkBlotSam · -1 pointsr/nfl

>Do you know how the NFL and the NFL draft works? This is kinda the crux of it.

You should read my post better. Because that's exactly what I was pointing out. In order to help shitty teams get better, the worst teams get the best draft picks.

>Browns were not exactly given a full deck to play with when they came back

That was 20 years ago. Every single player from back then has long since retired, and the Browns have had enough top draft picks in the ensuing 20 years to have fielded like four SB teams since then.

>Yeah, that is an absolutely terrible analogy. It almost makes me think you don't know how analogies are supposed to work.

Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you. Let's dive in:

"Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning."

The "bad teams go first" reverse draft order is structured to offer a "handicap" to the bad teams, to give them a better chance of winning. Likewise, giving someone a head start in a race is a way to offer a "handicap" to slower runners, to give them a better chance of winning. And in the same way it would be pretty weak game to talk shit about winning when you only won because you were given a 70 yard head start, it's also pretty weak game to talk shit about how great your team is when it's only good because you were given a "handicap" of top 5 (if not 1st overall) draft picks over and over and over for years and years to help you unshit your team.

You see? That's how analogies work. You should try to get them sometime.

The bottom line is: The Browns didn't repair their shit-hole team themselves, they were helped out by the NFL's draft "welfare" system that gives increased advantage to shit teams. And while other teams may take a year or two of bad records to get themselves right with the draft, the Browns needed two decades of near-constant help. Not sure that's a real brag-worthy thing for Brown's fans to get real cocky about. But I also understand they're... pent up. So here we go.

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/skepticismissurvival · 1 pointr/nfl

Tim Layden's Blood, Sweat, and Chalk does a fantastic job of marrying scheme innovations with the stories behind them.

Same goes for Chris Brown's The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football. I really like his writing.

If you're into the college game, Mark Schofield's 17 Drives does a great job recounting pivotal drives from the last season. He does a great job describing the plays and you can basically imagine it playing out in your head.

I've also read Steve Belichick's Football Scouting Methods. It's pretty straightforward and dry but there's a lot of good information in there if you're looking to scout opponents. It's pretty amazing how much of the process from 60 years ago translates to today.

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/peregrinus14 · 11 pointsr/nfl

If you're a new fan (like me) then this one I would say is definitely worth it to get a better understanding of the nitty gritty that goes on during games.

Apart from that, I have seen numerous recommendations for Fan Notes (That I haven't read yet) as a good intro to football culture at large. This is currently on my reading list (About 3rd at the moment).

Here is a list of books by NFL's Chris Weaselling that you might find useful. I hope that is a useful enough introduction, and happy reading.

u/reftr · 1 pointr/nfl

For a good look at the history of the NFL I recommend America's Game by Michael MacCambridge. It's main focus is on the NFL/AFL merger and the business side of how Pro Football became so popular.

The other book I enjoyed was Leatherheads of the North by Chuck Frederick. It's a book about the early days of the NFL, mainly about the Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos, and how the league almost died a few times during those rough and tumble days of the roaring 20's. It's pretty short but it's a lot of fun to peer back to a time before the NFL had the strength and popularity it enjoys now.

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/bootscallahan · 6 pointsr/nfl

The "All or Nothing" series on Amazon was really good. Also, the official NFL channel on Youtube has a lot of full games, including Super Bowls. As a Saints fan, I recommend watching Super Bowl XLIV. And definitely check out the "America's Game" episodes on all the Super Bowl winners.

u/thebearjew982 · 0 pointsr/nfl

Spoken like someone who doesn't know their history.

> It's like you've all forgotten that the only reason you (might) be relevant this year is because of the absurd amount of top 5 (if not #1 overall) draft picks

Trust me, no one has forgotten how shit the Browns have been since coming back in '99.

>you've been given year after year after year thanks to your constant sucking, until half you team is made of top 5 players.

Do you know how the NFL and the NFL draft works? This is kinda the crux of it. The worst teams get the highest draft picks so they have an opportunity to draft the best players. Seems like you might've been unaware of how that works.

Besides, the Browns were not exactly given a full deck to play with when they came back, so it's not like there was a chance of any kind of stability to help maintain a winning culture.

> It's like losing the 100 yard dash so badly that eventually the competitors give you a 70 yard head start, and then when you come in 5th place you start talking shit like you did it yourself.

Yeah, that is an absolutely terrible analogy. It almost makes me think you don't know how analogies are supposed to work.

If the Browns were being spotted a 2.5 touchdown lead in every game and still finished with the record they had in 2018, then yeah, your analogy would be apt because distance is to a race as points are to a game of football.

As it stands though, your version is terrible because the Browns did not get that head start in all their games, and in fact played with something of a handicap for half of the season with Hue & Haley at the helm, as well as rookies and second year players all over the field.

But it's all good! I'm definitely not going to make fun of a certain horse-faced GM who works for a certain horse-based team that can't evaluate QB talent for shit. That would be rude of me.

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/key_lime_pie · 18 pointsr/nfl

If you ask the Patriots who their gunner is, they will tell you that it's Matthew Slater.

If you ask the Patriots who their General Manager is, they will tell you that the position doesn't exist.

This is not semantics, either. The position has never existed under Robert Kraft's ownership. Most of the people on this subreddit were not alive the last time the Patriots had a General Manager.

When Kraft assumed ownership of the New England Patriots, he inherited Bill Parcells as his head coach. Parcells had been hired by the previous owner, James B. Orthwein, and had essentially been given full control over player personnel.

Over time, Kraft did not feel like Parcells accepted enough of his input in player personnel decisions. This came to a head in the 1996 NFL Draft, when Parcells wanted to draft defensive end Tony Brackens with the 7th overall pick, but Kraft overruled him and selected WR Terry Glenn instead. Parcells resigned from the Patriots after the 1996 season, and took over as HC of the NYJ.

His experience with Parcells led Kraft to believe that coaching and personnel should be separated, and as a result, his next head coach, Pete Carroll, was given no authority over personnel decisions. When this arrangement failed spectacularly, Kraft had to revise his thoughts about separating coaching and personnel, and agreed to give new head coach Bill Belichick broad authority over personnel decisions, provided that Kraft himself would be included in discussions.

Thus, the duties traditionally carried out by a General Manager are handled by a group of individuals working together, which include Kraft, Belichick, and some lesser-known people like Nick Caserio and Monti Ossenfort. Kraft believes that this is the best way to run the front office, and that's how Belichick wants it to be run anyway. The reason why Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli have been successful in their GM jobs in Atlanta and Kansas City is due, I think, in no small part to their expanded duties as part of the Patriots front office.

Source: War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team by Michael S. Holley

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/FuckLarryBird · 7 pointsr/nfl

This book was pretty helpful. It isn’t too long and it’s not a bad read. It breaks down the basics of formations and play types. It helps you understand and figure out a teams game plan while you’re watching the game. I haven’t read it in a while so I don’t remember everything it gets into but you see the game differently after you read it. Definitely doesn’t get into everything but it’s a pretty good start.

u/krulos · 11 pointsr/nfl

The team doctor ultimately has the team's best interest at heart, not the player's. There are many good books that go into this such as Mark Bowden's Bringing the Heat and You're OK It's Just a Bruise.

Percy is protecting himself in seeking out an independent second opinion.

u/jsep · 2 pointsr/nfl

There's actually a fantastic book that covers this exact question, along with charting the rise of the NFL from its roots to present day.

America's Game: The epic story of how Pro Football captured a nation.

I highly suggest anyone who hasn't read it before check it out. Not only is it well written, it's full of fantastic behind-the-scenes information on the sport. I read it first as a casual NFL follower and it gave me an unbelievable amount of history and understanding of the game. I re-read it this summer now as a die-hard and knowledgeable fan, and it's just as good.

But again, to the OP's question, this book traces the history of the NFL from a drowning, practically broke league 70+ years ago to our nation's favorite sport.

u/Kredns · -4 pointsr/nfl

Can we not turn this subreddit into /r/TIL. TIL post don't really add much in the way of discussion (especially when it's just linking to Wikipedia articles).

For anyone interested in more NFL history I would highly recommend reading America's Game by Michael MacCambridge. I read it back in high school and it did an excellent job of giving a good overview of the NFL's history (going back to the 1930s I think).

u/Brokewood · 4 pointsr/nfl

Collision Low Crossers - A reporter is embedded with Rex Ryan's NYJ during their most recent championship runs. Really good inside look written by a football layman. He really breaks things down and gives some awesome glimpses into what the in's and out's of an entire year of football.

False Start: How the New Browns Were Set Up to Fail - A book that looks specifically looks into why the Browns have been complete shit for so long. Delving into the expansion draft process, how a new owner acquires a team, finding GMs, what GMs do, etc. It honestly does a fair job, and IMO paints a better emotional picture for someone unexposed to Cleveland sports than 30 for 30: Believeland episode did. It ends on a horribly depressing note as it's from 2004 and he says things are finally looking up...

Fumble : The Browns, Modell, & the Move - An interesting look from Art Modell's accountant. But it is written by an accountant, so it gets incredibly dry at times. Fascinating (if somewhat painful) inside look at the life of an owner, how a team makes money, what exactly happened with Modell and why he had "No options left".

u/oppositeofcatchhome · 2 pointsr/nfl

If you're interested in the history of the NFL (and just professional football in general,) I highly recommend America's Game by Michael MacCambridge. While being pretty comprehensive, it is never dry. It's very cool learning about how football went from a sport that no one cared about outside of college to the behemoth that it is today.

u/GrundleTurf · 1 pointr/nfl

If you like reading, this is a great book for people like you and still good for any NFL fan. I enjoyed it even though I read it at 30 years old and I've been watching football since I was 3.

u/LarcusMywood · 24 pointsr/nfl

Here's a good book called "Keep Your Eye Off The Ball." It's always raved about here on /r/nfl, and it pretty much teaches you how to watch football properly.

It's definitely not for beginners. I've given up on the book in several parts as I'm still a relatively new fan, but what I have got from it is great.

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/SundayKegger · 4 pointsr/nfl

I haven't been involved with coaching at a high level, but I will recommend a book that goes over this, to route concepts, to some popular play-calling verbiage. For example Zebra is sometimes referred to as 11 personnel, or 1 RB and 1 TE. This book is a book I think every football fan should have on the shelf.

It's called Take your eye off the ball

Written by Pat Kirwan, with forewords by Pete Carroll and Bill Cowher

It's only $5.08 on Amazon right now. I wouldn't pass that up.

u/Sulklash · 0 pointsr/nfl

Well that's my point, he's not really adding value by making sweeping generalizations after a Week 1 loss. To those points, (1) Is age really an issue? Fitz looked great out there and he's definitely leading the way in age. Carson looked bad, but I'd argue that's because he's bad.
(2) The Cards have played very well, probably their best offense, without DJ in the mix. In fact, BA is all about, "next man up." (3) There is nothing to indicate that is even a concern. That is straight speculation he bases off nothing more than his opinion. OP should watch All or Nothing becuase that arguement is BS.

I'm not implying that OP needs to break down individual plays, but he needs something more to backup his statements. Even if OP is looking at them, "from a macro level," OP needs more than broad generalizations that can be applied to any team. For example "the Cards are screwed moving forward because they ran the ball this many times against the Lions so they clearly rely on the run," or, "age is an issue for the Cardinals because X DB is Y old and clearly couldn't keep up with Z in man coverage."

With all that said, I do agree with OP's premise. I have serious concerns about both BA and Keim at this point. For both to be so blindly confident in both Palmer and Stanton is straight absurd. I can't and won't defend that move.

u/nimr0d · 2 pointsr/nfl

The more you watch the more you'll be able to see things out of your peripheral vision. Like when playing a video game you're shooting at someone while also looking at the radar at the same time.

Also if you're interested this book is really good:

u/xStoicx · 5 pointsr/nfl

For the most basic and easy to understand introduction, I highly suggest the book Take Your Eye Off the Ball 2.0: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan.

Youtube channels -

Samuel Gold

Brett Kollmann like /u/browntown6969 pointed out as well

Blog -

Smart Football (also his books) along with the other blogs linked to on that website

All of those are really great and helped me when I first starting learning about football on a deeper level.

u/socialpresence · 2 pointsr/nfl

I recommend this Offensive Football Strategies

It's really detailed and goes into many different styles and systems. I haven't read the defensive edition, but I assume it is just as good.

For me it showed me that there's nothing new under the sun in football. Everything we see on Saturdays and Sundays in 2017 has been done before.

Also you may enjoy /r/footballstrategy and also /r/FootballGameFilm

u/whitedawg · 1 pointr/nfl

Plus it's George Plimpton, who is a legitimately good writer.

Another good one is The Education of a Coach, by Pulitzer winner David Halberstam.

u/fearyaks · 2 pointsr/nfl

I read the Blind Side too which was a strong read but my personal favorite was the one that Pat Kirwin (you can listen to him on Sirius NFL radio) put out last year. It's called Take Your Eye Off the Ball . It doesn't have as much history as it does strategies and coach/GM speak. A very good read though.

u/nitram9 · 1 pointr/nfl

I really liked "The Real All-Americans" about the Carlisle Indian School. Although it has nothing to do with the NFL. Except that Jim Thorpe played for them and he played in the very very early NFL.

I also really liked "The Education of a Coach". A biography of Bill Belichick. Obviously this would have limited appeal outside of NE.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/nfl

What level of football are you looking for? Basic knowledge, high school/college level concepts, or NFL concepts? Offense or defense? Positions and what they do, or what the entire unit is trying to do?

There's books like this or this, which are sort of high school/college level descriptions of the game, and assumes you at least know the basics of the game (rules, what each position's role is, etc.)

This is a good resource for college/NFL-level concepts. This is a 'defensive bible' written by a former NFL coach.

Football is a complex sport that takes years and years to master. Feel free to ask questions here.

u/barrows_arctic · 137 pointsr/nfl

When the NFL first started broadcasting games on TV, circa 1949-1950 in Los Angeles for the Rams, they immediately saw a HUGE decrease in attendance. Back then, attendance and ticket sales were (by a very wide margin) their largest source of revenue. If it hadn't been for a sneaky deal that Dan Reeves had signed with the TV conglomerate that was doing the broadcasting (which saw him compensated for attendance drops greater than about 10%, IIRC), the Rams would have seen insurmountable monetary losses that first TV season.

Nowadays, the revenue model is based on TV contracts, so the rules are a bit outdated.

EDIT: this book has a pretty good couple of sections about the early TV experiments the NFL did. The wikipedia page on the blackout rules also has some info.

u/hokie_u2 · 9 pointsr/nfl

Passage from the War Room where Bill Belichick discusses with Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff about trading up to get Julio Jones:

>"Thomas, I'm just telling you as a friend," Belichick says, "I wouldn't do it."
>When Belichick began studying the 2011 draft, he saw great depth at the receiver position. Why go all-out for someone like Jones when you can have a Jonathan Baldwin, who as far as, Belichick can see, is just as good if not better than Jones?

u/weetchex · 276 pointsr/nfl

Watching this, I'm again reminded about how wrong it is to have the doctors that treat the players employed by the teams.

There need to be independent doctors who will give the players medical advice in the player's own interest, not the team or league's interest.

edit - There's a pretty good book by Rob Huizenga about being a team doctor and some of the conflicts. (The whole James Spader Woods subplot and most doctor scenes on Any Given Sunday were pretty much lifted directly from the book.)

u/kabal4 · 3 pointsr/nfl

If you can find a free copy it's a quick and good read and a very thorough explanation as to how the NFL screwed us over as an "expansion team". The NFL didn't want an expansion team to come out and dominate year 1 so they hamstringed the Browns hardcore by changing expansion draft rules and only giving the Browns less than like half the time the Titans Jags had to put together a front office and coaching staff for the draft. We have been churning over head coaches and GMs who want their own people ever since.

I haven't read the book in about 5 years so I can't provide a very good synopsis, maybe someone else remembers better.

Edit: Knew there was a summary somewhere out there.

u/allsecretsknown · 2 pointsr/nfl

A good intro to understanding the game of football is Pat Kirwan's book, Take Your Eye Off The Ball.

Take his notes on the origins of zone blocking with a grain of salt, though.

NFL Game Rewind is also a fantastic resource, giving fans the ability to watch the same kind of film coaches do.

u/crwlr123 · 2 pointsr/nfl

I picked up this book myself and found it super interesting:

Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look

Definitely helped me understand not just the game on the field but also things around it, like drafts and contracts.

u/DTSportsNow · 10 pointsr/nfl

Take Your Eye Off The Ball 2.0 by Patrick Kirwan is respected by players, coaches, and football executives as one of the best books to learn everything you need to know about football.

u/Seanspeed · 26 pointsr/nfl

Comes with experience. It's probably the most complex team sport there is, with games being more chess matches than anything.

You can accelerate your learning by reading books like Take Your Eye off the Ball if you're really invested in learning more, but even something like getting into the Madden games can help a lot. Plenty of online resources as well for concepts and formations and whatnot.

While you'll learn plenty just by watching, without a bit of background on the fundamentals, a lot of stuff is gonna be lost on the average viewer.

u/U2_is_gay · 24 pointsr/nfl

Sure I mean there is a whole book written on it. And I should really say it wasn't just the draft, but the entire set of circumstances surrounding their return to the league.

The tl;dr is that the confirmation of Al Lerner's purchase of the team was heavily delayed in an attempt to drive up the price of the franchise. The NFL was hoping more bidders would come in last minute with better offers. That didn't happen and the final paperwork was signed less than a year before the first game of the season. To contrast, the Panthers and Jaguars had about 2 years to build their team. The Texans had over 3 years.

This doesn't just mean players, though that's a big part of it. It means front office. It means coaching. It means facilities. All of that was delayed. It was an impossible task. A lot of coaches saw this and didn't want to come to Cleveland. Before the roster had even been built! They just knew it would be the shit show that it was. So let's just call Chris Palmer's (first new HC) tenure a complete wash. It's not like he left things any better than they were when he get there though. How could he? Butch Davis inherited the same mess, and so on and so forth until present day.

The draft was fucked up because the rules in place for the Browns were far more strict than the rules put in place for the Jags and Panthers. The Browns were allowed to select fewer players from each individual team. Players on IR the year before were not excluded from the players made available to them. The Browns were given the scraps of the scraps to work with and it was compounded by the fact that the team was only started a few months before the fucking expansion draft even took place! Try putting together a competent scouting department and then actually scouting players in that amount of time.

I'm not saying the team hasn't been massively incompetent at the same time. Lots of bad draft picks. Trouble attracting free agents. A poor track record of treating injuries. Lots of things. But there are other incompetent organizations out there and they seem to figure it out every once in a while. I mean after 20 years you think would accidentally do a couple of things right! But the Browns have been trying to flip heads and have come up with tails for almost 20 years now. Like I can barely believe it's possible sometimes. They were certainly done no favors from the onset though.

u/tusqer · 1 pointr/nfl

If you can, buy and read a book called "Take You Eye off the Ball 2.0" by Pat Kirwin. I've watched football my whole life, but never really "got" all of it until I read his book. It's really great, and I think a must-read.

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/PimSlickens · 7 pointsr/nfl

Boys will be boys. Such a great look back on what being a football superstar was like before the age of social media and before when everyone had a phone.

I kinda even hate the cowboys but I still really enjoyed it and think back on it from time to time. Some of the stories stay with you.

u/JohnnyFire · 2 pointsr/nfl

Main factor, I guess, is time. There's some fantastic reading material on it, but I think the basis was that the Panthers and Jags had around 640 days to get ready for expansion; the Browns? They got 370. Think about how long this LA thing is taking, if, tomorrow, they just said "YEAH, FUCK IT; NEW TEAM IN LA NEXT YEAR, EXPANSION DRAFT, GET STARTED NOW, NEW OWNER WILL BE WHO THE FUCK CARES, GO GET IT." Like that.

False Start by Terry Pluto goes into it more in depth.

Here's also a great explanation from /u/Brokewood.

u/lunkavitch · 31 pointsr/nfl

For how to appreciate the game more, Take Your Eye Off The Ball.

For a great narrative from a player's perspective, Slow Getting Up.

u/DarthFrog · 2 pointsr/nfl

This book by the late Dr. Z is one of the best football books I've read. I also like Take Your Eye Off the Ball.

u/AnsikteBanana · 2 pointsr/nfl

Just click the Play button symbol next an episode and you're good. No prime needed. Completely free.

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/Scrags · 3 pointsr/nfl

Not OP but here's a great resource if you're looking for a deeper understanding.

u/Dorkamundo · 1 pointr/nfl

What I don't understand, is why they haven't been able to computerize Madden's voice for the video game. They should have been able to pull all the audio they have of him (which should be thousands of hours) and piece it together to allow them to use it in the current games.

It would be great. I miss him in the game and in real life.

If you get a chance, check out his book"One Knee equals two feet".

u/holymacaronibatman · 3 pointsr/nfl

Take your Eye Off the Ball is an excellent read that can help explain some of the more subtle things about football.

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/Phayded · 1 pointr/nfl

Here is an excellent book to learn all the basics and some advanced stuff about football.

Take Your Eye Off the Ball

u/ajh6w · 7 pointsr/nfl

Pat Kirwan's Take your eye off the ball is amazing.

Worth every penny.

u/arcangel092 · 1 pointr/nfl

America's Game by Michael MacCambridge is a tremendously detailed chronology of the NFL. I believe it starts with the 1958 championship game and continues to present day. I highly recommend it.

u/AaronBurrned · 2 pointsr/nfl

I picked this up during the offseason and it helped level up my understanding quickly. Maybe a Xmas gift to yourself candidate:

The Art of Smart Football

u/BillyJackO · 1 pointr/nfl

A book called 'take your eye off the ball' is suppose to be good for learning the x's and o's. It's suppose to help get a grasp of formations and the chess match of the game.
Edit: link to Amazon and words.

u/subdudeman · 3 pointsr/nfl

This book is a great resource. The dude knows the game.

u/djbuttplay · 1 pointr/nfl

Check out Matt Bowen's Football 101 stuff from when he was with Bleacher Report:

He's really good at explaining everything.

There are also some books that have been recommended quite a few times on this sub, like this one:

u/CrackerJoe · 1 pointr/nfl

Came here to recommend Take Your Eye Off The Ball which is ridiculously thorough.

This version even includes a DVD.

It's $10. Definitely worth it.

u/miked1be · 12 pointsr/nfl

> You don't see conspiracies growing around the Jags, Browns, or even my Fins and there's a reason for that.

How about the basis of this book?

Basically when the Jags and Panthers joined the NFL and were immediately successful the other NFL owners were annoyed/frustrated that these newly formed teams could just come in and beat their established teams so quickly. When the Browns were re-forming in 99 the NFL owners then postponed the votes on who would be the new owner multiple times pushing the vote back over and over again even though it was almost a given that Lerner was going to be the guy. When the ownership was finally approved, the Browns ended up having the shortest amount of time to prepare a team out of any expansion in the history of the NFL by a pretty wide margin. There was also more about the teams making the expansion draft even harder on the Browns. Terry Pluto makes a pretty damn good case based on interviews and observations from people involved in the process that the '99 Browns were set up to struggle from the start. Everything after that has been the organization's fault of course but those first couple seasons were really hamstrung by the rest of the NFL ownership.

u/Duke_Swillbottom · 2 pointsr/nfl

One knee equals two feet by John Madden is probably incredibly outdated but useful breakdown of the rules for the casual fan. He gets a lot of shit (deservedlyish) for being a buffoon in his later years but the man knows and incredible amount about the game and how to pass that along to the uninitiated so to speak.

u/TheTVDB · 1 pointr/nfl

Start by reading this blog:

Next, read these two books:

Note that both of these books target high school coaching strategies, so they're relatively basic and don't go into a lot of detail.

Finally, go through this list of resources:

If you're still itching for material on strategy, look at books about the great coaches. There is a good one about Bill Walsh, but I don't recall the name of it.

u/SPLACAUS · 1 pointr/nfl

I'm making plenty of changes to how I'm living my life; some small, some larger. One thing is I've wanted to get back into reading; I'm slowly working through it, but I have so much I want to go through. Should I stick to one book at a time, or can I juggle back and forth between multiple?

For those who are curious, this is what I'm working on right now, and I'm about 1/5 of my way through the first read (because I know I'll come back to reference it all the time).

u/TBausO · 3 pointsr/nfl

[America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation ] ( by Michael MacCambridge is a really good starting point. It basically covers everything from the first draft to the early 2000.

u/chadthundertalk · 56 pointsr/nfl

Well, on the off chance you change your mind, may I direct you to this?

u/SAFETY_dance · 1 pointr/nfl

Go get this book.

One of the best football history books I've ever read - and it'll give you a new appreciation for your team. Basically, the NFC north wouldn't exist without the Browns.

u/tokeyoh · 1 pointr/nfl

I recommend reading this if you really want to understand the game. It puts perspective on a whole 'nother level.

u/DerpyDruid · 35 pointsr/nfl

Slow Getting Up is basically a treatise on the nfl from a 45-53 roster player's perspective. Well worth a read.

u/Ledbetterman10 · 1 pointr/nfl

>do you have any recommendations how to get in the sport?

John Madden's book from the 80's called "One Knee Equals Two Feet and Everything Else You Need to Know About Football" is a good resource for beginners.

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/weirderthanyou · 1 pointr/nfl

This book will lay it all out for you quite well

u/ohmeohmyke · 2 pointsr/nfl

A Gronking to Remember by Lacey Noonan. Just your average run of the mill Gronk fan fiction.

u/A_Feast_For_Trolls · 7 pointsr/nfl

Dude, do yourself a favor and read [Boys Will be Boys] (, your team was delightfully fucked up in the 90's!

u/Abiv23 · 1 pointr/nfl

Football is really really complicated, you're never going to learn the technique related stuff (how to release from press as a WR, how to chain moves together as a pass rusher) without playing yourself

Learning general knowledge stuff like formations and pre-snap reads for an offense/defense read "Take your eyes off the ball"

u/biglineman · 2 pointsr/nfl

The Real Football Network, Pat Kirwan's site, is offering the updated version on his [site] (

They're running a sale on the bundle packs as well.

[Amazon lists it for $13.] (

u/SolomonG · 2 pointsr/nfl

Football Scouting Methods, by Steven Belichick

His father, not him, but still considered the book on scouting by many. A large part of Bill's knowledge comes from growing up in a football environment.

u/THE_GREAT_PICKLE · 38 pointsr/nfl

This wasn't written by Belichick, but is an excellent read: Education of a Coach by Dave Halberstam. I read this 5 or so years ago and it made me completely re-think how I viewed coaches in the NFL. I highly recommend it.

Hell, I'm going to go home after work and start re-reading it now that I'm reminded of it.

u/DownTrunk · 6 pointsr/nfl

I don't know if it's what you're looking for, but Boys Will be Boys is an entertaining read. It's about the cowboys in the '90's and their crazy shenanigans.

u/J-Sluit · 5 pointsr/nfl

Well it looks like Sherman, is the bad guy again.

It hasn’t been this bad since Crabtree lost in man-to-man.

But because of all this madness, we’ve missed one major thing:

Travis Kelce flagged a ref, just as great as the Gronkening.

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/mikekowa · 5 pointsr/nfl

Football almost died in the beginning of the 1900's when 11 college kids died in one season. However, Roosevelt (I believe it was him, I'm Canadian so forgive me) really loved football and didn't want the nation to be "soft" and thought that football was great for toughness. He legislated tons of shit and basically started the changes necessary to make football safer. In came the helmet.

Source: America's Game, the book.

u/ChicagosOwn1988 · 2 pointsr/nfl

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

u/ArfWeGotcha · 2 pointsr/nfl

Nate Jackson wrote a book about his journey.

u/philbert247 · 1 pointr/nfl

Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson really opened my mind to how small most players’ career windows are.

u/thehbrwhammer · 10 pointsr/nfl

American Football Coaches Association has a series of books that are very instructional:

u/twominitsturkish · 19 pointsr/nfl

I know what someone's getting for their Secret Santa this year.

u/Boysterload · 3 pointsr/nfl

Get a book by Pat Kirwan called take your eyes off the ball:

u/exlaxbros · 6 pointsr/nfl

Great book that explains this (and a lot more) in detail for the layperson. Go to the "Look Inside" deal and see page 31, he breaks down/diagrams out a call and shows how the pattern works.

u/talon06 · 2 pointsr/nfl

[Take your eye off the ball] ( by Pat Kirwan is exactly what you're looking for

u/ThatKindOfGeek · 6 pointsr/nfl

Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look