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Publishers Weekly, 2009-07-13 Billick, the former longtime coach of the Baltimore Ravens, presents what at first appears to be a gloomy treatise on the future of the NFL. He argues that the organization's unresolved collective-bargaining agreement is threatening to alter pro football as we know it in 2011, and Billick sees the time before then as "a pitched battle for the soul of football." Thankfully, the book mostly eschews this potentially preachy stance, as Billick details the workings of professional football, both on and off the field. Among the more interesting tidbits: free agency is a crapshoot for teams because football is "much more interdependent than other sports," while despite all of the analysis and preparation for the NFL draft, many teams essentially go with their gut feelings when choosing players. Billick also examines the difficulties of being a head coach, who has "to find a rhythm that fits his personality." He even breaks down the increasing complexity of offensive and defensive schemes in the NFL. Billick, with the help of numerous interviews and humorous anecdotes, emerges as an authoritative, affable guide. The book may lack focus (is it investigative, a treatise on the future of football or a collection of Billick's professional memories?), but the Super Bowl-winning coach's keen observations and informed opinions will engage any football fan. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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