Coach Belichick is so good that I doubt if he will be fully appreciated and understood in his own lifetime. His intense reluctance to share his private thoughts and experiences makes that lack of appreciation and understanding even more likely.
Since coach Belichick began heading up the New England Patriots, everyone has become familiar with his one game at a time attitude and approach. Due to the publicity associated with the recent passing of his father, coach Steve Belichick, everyone has begun to sense that the real dynasty in New England began with coach Belichick's father.
Recounting the early years of coach Belichick's education and start in coaching reveals a lot that I didn't know before, and I appreciate Mr. Halberstam's efforts in that regard. But I was shocked to see some of the more obvious omissions in that dimension. For instance, both Belichicks found lots of wisdom in football books. While that aspect of their learning is referenced here, I learned more about that part of their approach from a brief television profile where coach Belichick was interviewed recently than from this book.
It's pretty clear that Mr. Halberstam doesn't know very much about football. As a result, you get constant references to game preparation such as watching and rewatching films . . . but not much beyond the mere recounting of the intense effort. Everyone watches films intently now. How is coach Belichick different in his methods? It isn't spelled out.
The descriptions of coach Belichick's time in New England could have been written from daily newspaper reports. There's not much value added by Mr. Halberstam.
Because others were willing to say a lot more about coach Belichick than either the coach himself or his colleagues were, this book is primarily about others' impressions of how coach Belichick learned and what he learned. I found those observations to be very superficial in most cases.
I attend as many open practices by the Patriots as I can during training camp. Anyone who came to three or four of those practices could have added a lot of depth to this book. I suspect that Mr. Halberstam was working in an air conditioned library somewhere rather than attending those sessions during recent summers.