Michael Lombardi's new book will give inside look at Patriots machine
Despite his freezing cold takes as a media analyst, Michael Lombardi still earned himself a good reputation thanks to his decades of work in NFL front offices. Now, in his new book Gridiron Genius he's planning to reveal inner strategy and details from his tenure with New England. On Sunday, ESPN's Mike Reiss offered an inside look at the upcoming tome and shared some of his favorite insights from reading through the book.
First off, Reiss stresses the depth of Belichick's respect for Lombardi revealed in the book. Belichick wrote the foreword (the coach's "way to thank Lombardi"), and his fingerprints are all over the finished product--with a large part of the book focusing on Lombardi working for the Patriots, practically every other word references Belichick or his policies in some way.
One of Lombardi's main goals, Reiss says, was "to show his view of what it takes to build a championship team or business." With that in mind, the book goes in-depth on myriad facets of the Patriots organization--things from a day-by-day breakdown of the team's preparation for the 2015 AFC Divisional Round (against the Ravens) to a section on the importance of the oft-overlooked team cafeteria. As Reiss communicated, the most successful franchises are able to communicate a unified, effective team culture throughout the building. Lombardi also focused on how the best coaches pay attention to their players' different learning styles and are able to adapt their strategies to help the roster succeed. Reiss pointed out Malcolm Butler as an example; team staff adjusted to give him more individual walkthrough and study time to help him better process the playbook.
Lombardi's book is due out on September 11. In the meantime, the Patriots will begin training camp in just around a month.