Sports Illustrated Blood, Sweat & Chalk: Inside Football's Playbook: How the Great Coaches Built Today's Game

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Overview

The plays used by high school, college, and pro football teams have come a long way from the days of the "T" formation. Today, the typical NFL playbook is complex enough to give a calculus textbook a run for its money-and long enough to be given to players on laptop computers. Plays like the end-around, the Hail Mary, and the counter-trey bear the insignia of some of the game's great innovators and the players that inspired them, while the newest schemes and plays used in the pros and college are quickly studied ...
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Sports Illustrated Blood, Sweat & Chalk: Inside Football's Playbook: How the Great Coaches Built Today's Game

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Overview

The plays used by high school, college, and pro football teams have come a long way from the days of the "T" formation. Today, the typical NFL playbook is complex enough to give a calculus textbook a run for its money-and long enough to be given to players on laptop computers. Plays like the end-around, the Hail Mary, and the counter-trey bear the insignia of some of the game's great innovators and the players that inspired them, while the newest schemes and plays used in the pros and college are quickly studied and copied throughout the country. These days, even middle-school teams in Pop Warner leagues are running complex plays, memorized by playing them out in John Madden Football.

In Blood, Sweat and Chalk, Tim Layden will take readers back to the origins of the offenses and defenses that have changed the course of football and the men behind them. Readers will be delivered to the meeting rooms (and, in some cases, living rooms) where signifi cant schemes were hatched, including the popular one-back spread offense that was fi rst created by John Elway's high school coach to take advantage of his star quarterback's scrambling ability; the origins of the blitz; and the long reign of the triple option as a staple offense for high school and college.

The book will also give readers a behind-the-scenes look at how a modern NFL team formulates its game plan for the upcoming season, and will provide a tutorial for fans to better understand the powerful head games that go hand-in-hand with the big hits.

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What People Are Saying

Urban Meyer
“The game of football is cyclical. Coaches today are getting too much credit for formations and offenses that were dreamed up years ago. Tim Layden does a wonderful job of tracing the original of those ideas in BLOOD, SWEAT AND CHALK.” --(Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach, University of Florida)
Steven Sabol
“Tim Layden explores the minds and ambitions of the game’s formative thinkers. Serious students of football must have this on their bookshelves.” --(Steve Sabol, President, NFL Films)
Dan Fouts
“BLOOD, SWEAT AND CHALK is a must-read for all football aficionados. I, of course, especially enjoyed reading about the great Don Coryell, a true innovator in the game we all love. His ideas changed football – and this book shows you how.” --(Dan Fouts, Hall of Fame Quarterback, San Diego Chargers)
Dan Patrick
“Tim has created a playbook that’s instructional, a history book that’s fascinating and a football bible that’s a must-read for anybody who loves the game. All in one.” --(Dan Patrick, Host, NBC’s “Football Night in America”)
Mack Brown
“Tim Layden does a great job telling the story of the people and the ideas that had a major impact on the game of football as we know it.” --(Mack Brown, Head Football Coach, University of Texas)
Peter King
“This is one of the most important sports books of our generation – and a lot of fun too. The formations and philosophies that win Super Bowls and national titles are made crystal clear. If you live for fall weekends, this is your book.” --(Peter King, author, MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603208888
  • Publisher: Time Home Entertainment, Inc
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden, who joined the magazine in March 1994, primarily writes about the NFL, Olympic sports (chiefly track and field in the summer and alpine skiing in the winter) and horse racing, but has written about a wide variety of subjects for the publication and for SI.com.

Before coming to Sports Illustrated, Layden spent six years at Newsday, three years at the Albany Times-Union and nine years at the Schenectady Gazette. During his three decades in journalism, Layden has won multiple sportswriting awards, including an Eclipse Award for coverage of thoroughbred horse racing in 1987.

Among Layden's most significant work for the magazine are stories detailing the remarkable recovery of injured NFL player Kevin Everett (Dec. 2007), the phenomenon of Big Hits in the NFL (July 2007), the Triple Crown near-misses by Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004) and Big Brown (2008), the tragic career of track star Marion Jones, the subculture of ticket scalping in the pre-Internet world (1997) and during the winter of 1995, the growing problem of gambling by college students.

Born and raised in Whitehall, N.Y., Layden graduated in 1978 from Williams College, where he was an English major and a member of the basketball team. He is a runner-turned-cyclist who regularly battles the hills of northern Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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Table of Contents

The Web of Coaches Inside Cover Jacket

Prologue 9

1 The Single Wing 14

It's more than 100 years old, the offense of Pop Warner, but it's still out on the field today?you can ask Bill Belichick

2 The Wingt 26

The offense of the '50s was curated by a legend named Tubby and elevated by a team of Fightin' Blue Hens

3 The Wildcat 34

The recent resurgence of an old idea has intriguing portent?the end of the quarterback as we know him

4 TheWishbone 44

A good ol' Texas coach had a crazy idea, his boss said O.K., and the damn thing tore through football like a tornado

5 Option Fever 58

How the wishbone's connected to the flexbone, and the flexbone's connected to the I-bone.

6 Air Coryell 70

In the '60s, a squeaky-voiced coach decided there was only one way to beat a better team: Throw like hell

7 Air Heirs 84

The disciples of Don picked up where the great Coryell left off?and won more than their share of Super Bowls

8 The West Coast Offense 90

It really should be named the Cincinnati Offense, but make no mistake: This is Bill Walsh's baby

9 Lombardi's Power Sweep 104

Here was one man's proof that a key to football will always be knocking the crap out of somebody else at the line of scrimmage

10 Student Body Right 116

The play made guys like Ricky Bell and Marcus Allen legends at Southern Cal. Oddly enough, even Bobby Bowden was involved

11 Zone Blocking 124

It's all the rage in the modern running game, but don't try to tell an old hard-core offensive line coach it's a revolution

12 The Spread Offense 134

How Mouse met Tiger, horrified the football establishment and 40 years later? made Vince Young famous

13 The One-Back Spread 148

An L.A. high school coach took a chance and launched an offense and John Elway and Drew Brees with it

14 Byu Air Raid 156

An all-out, pass-happy system was born and raised in Utah but then went flying into unexpected places

15 The Spread Option 162

The game changed on a bobbled ball by an obscure quarterback at a school you've never heard of

16 The Cover Two 170

As the long passing game began to run amok in the NFL, frantic defensive coaches needed help; this was it

17 The Ryan Family Defense 182

How Buddy Ryan invented the 46, dominated a Super Bowl with it then passed his wisdom to his sons Rex and Rob

18 The Zone Blitz 108

In 1983 Dick LeBeau and the Cincinnati Bengals hit on a defensive ploy that really worked. It still does

19 Spraed Stoppers 210

Joe Lee Dunn uses a 3-3-5 defense, Gary Patterson uses a 4-2-5, both for the same reason: dread of the spread

20 The Double A Gap Blitz 222

All the late nights in Jim Johnson's office paid off in what may be the ultimate defensive weapon?so far

21 The No-Huddle Offense 230

Wicky Wacky Wyche took the two-minute offense and told Boomer to use it every minute

22 A-II And Beyond 242

When two California high school coaches found a loophole in the rule book, they may have seen the future

Acknowledgements 251

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Great book

    Great book, any fan should read this. A lot about the history, not a lot of "chalkboard talk" or different graphics for different formations other than one at the beginning of each chapter. That's the ONLY downside, and I love the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    This book is great for anyone wanting to learn the history of great plays still used today. It was a gift for my 12 year old son. He has a love for the game and has been drawing out his own football plays for years. It was one of his favorite Christmas gifts!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    It ok

    I just want to...
    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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