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Discussion: What Football Books Do You Recommend?

What's on your football bookshelf?

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In the offseason I often find myself looking to literature to satisfy my football cravings. Sometimes its hard to find the really great books though and that's part of why this post was born. I figured MCMers would have some good reading material to recommend to other fans.

I am actually not finished my most recent book yet, The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks, by Bruce Feldman. I'm around the halfway point so far, and its an interesting look at some of the behind-the-scenes quarterback camps and trainers. There are a lot of familiar quarterback names you'll recognize as well as some names we see pop up around draft time - such as George Whitfield Jr. A small criticism I have is that I was hoping the book would go into some of the technical aspects of playing quarterback and it doesn't seem to be heading that way. Overall I think its a pretty good read though.

If you're looking for a shorter read with a good analytical look, I'd recommend The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown. It covered several common NFL concepts, and I really enjoyed the part on blitz schemes. If memory serves there's a good write up on Dick LeBeau's famous zone blitzes (I read the book two years ago, so I'm a bit hazy on chapters). This is probably one of my favourite football books.

Working my way down my bookshelf, another recent book included The Tao of Chip Kelly: Lessons from America's Most Innovative Coach. It was another short and light read, giving a brief insight into Chip Kelly's work at Oregon. I'd consider this one a decent read though not as enlightening as I had hoped.

Finally, another relatively recent book I read was The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty. It provided a lot of information into how he built his great 49er squads but overall I thought it was a little light on substance. There was lots of reminiscing, so if history is your thing than you may rate it higher.

There are a few coaches' biographies and The Blueprint (on the Patriots' early 2000s dynasty) that come to mind as well.

I would love to hear your suggestions for some good summer reading though, so feel free to recommend some books in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out.