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Sunday Morning Quarterback: Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths, and Mayhem of Football

Sunday Morning Quarterback: Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths, and Mayhem of Football

by Phil Simms, Vic Carucci

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An in-depth and surprising look at the game, Sunday Morning Quarterback will dramatically change the way you watch football.

You've heard all the football clichés: "Their offense is too predictable," or "They've got to win the turnover battle," or "They didn't make any halftime adjustments." Perhaps you've heard them so often that you've come to


An in-depth and surprising look at the game, Sunday Morning Quarterback will dramatically change the way you watch football.

You've heard all the football clichés: "Their offense is too predictable," or "They've got to win the turnover battle," or "They didn't make any halftime adjustments." Perhaps you've heard them so often that you've come to see them as obvious truths. Phil Simms, after an illustrious career as a Super Bowl–winning quarterback and a broadcaster, is here to tell you that these -- and many other blanket statements taken as gospel -- are all myths, and whoever says them has no idea of what they're talking about.

Drilling deep into the core of football, Simms also shows the hidden signs that players look for that can determine the outcome of a game. Whether it's discovering how a linebacker positions his feet before he blitzes or how to react if the safety is eight or nine yards from the line of scrimmage, knowing these "dirty little secrets" gives players and their coaches a tremendous advantage.

In addition, Simms shares his insights into the enormous challenges coaches face in today's game, evaluating the top coaches and what makes them successful. He takes a look at some of the greatest players he's played with and against, and what he misses most about the game -- waking up Monday mornings feeling beat up and sore. He looks at the next generation of football players -- his son, Tampa Bay's Chris Simms, among them.

Through it all, Simms shares stories from his playing days with Bill Parcells and the New York Giants, and the inside access he's had as an announcer for one of the top NFL broadcasting teams in football.

Fun and lively, Sunday Morning Quarterback should be required reading for anyone who loves football.

Editorial Reviews

Have you ever watched a televised NFL game and wondered what you weren't seeing? Average fans know how to follow the ball but often miss the strategies that make the play a first down or a bust. Former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms knows how to see the game beneath the Xs and Os. As the chief NFL analyst for CBS, he's made a career dissecting changing game strategies and player roles. Sunday Morning Quarterback is designed as a reader-friendly tutorial for reading formations and midgame adjustments. A behind-the-scenes, beyond-the-statistics look at an adrenaline-fueled game.
Publishers Weekly
Former New York Giants quarterback Simms draws on his outstanding NFL career and his current role as a CBS analyst to gamely dissect TV's overly simple, glib analyses-including Simms's own. Written with NFL.com national editor Carucci, the book uses the same recipe that has made Simms one of the NFL's top broadcasters: an easy, conversational tone with a healthy dose of insight from Simms's experience. Are "mobile quarterbacks" always better? What's a "player's coach"? What's the "West Coast offense"? These are just a few of the subjects Simms explores, as he both explains and lets the air out of some of the most popular made-for-TV football clich s. What sets the book apart, however, are the many personal anecdotes Simms offers, in which he shares his unique perspective on key moments of great games and some of the NFL's most intriguing personalities, such as coaches Bill Parcells and Bill Belichik. The iconic Parcells, Simms's coach in New York, with whom Simms won two championships, gets a whole chapter, and the book brims with examples of Parcells's impact on Simms, as a quarterback, an analyst and a person. Another chapter helps readers see the difference between good and great. This is a good book from a great football mind. Agent, Basil Kane. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Sunday Morning Quarterback
Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths & Mayhem of Football

Chapter One

"The Quarterback Threw into Double Coverage" and Other Observations Worth Tuning Out

"As Shakespeare once said, 'Even an idiot is a genius after the fact.'"
-- Tom Moore,
Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator

TV absolutely can lie. Invariably, when our production crew sits down for our first meeting before a game, one of the guys I work with will say, "Well, so and- so was horrendous last week." That's an opinion based largely on what he saw while watching a broadcast tape of the game. Let's say the quarterback was 10 for 24. That means the announcers who called the game most likely pointed out that the quarterback didn't have a good day because of those unimpressive statistics. Then, on Sports Center that night, the anchors said the same thing, only reinforcing an opinion forged several hours earlier.

But when we get together to watch the coaches' tape, that critical member of our crew is stunned to see that the guy he thought was "horrendous" actually played a much better game because he can see the whole picture. The coaches' tape provides an overhead view of each play from the sideline and end zone. For the most part, TV cameras only follow the ball and zoom in on the players throwing it, catching it, and running with it, and don't give you a true sense of what's going on everywhere else.

"Wow! Look at that!" our resident critic says. "He didn't have time to throw there."

Right away, you find out that you didn't realize the quarterback was under so much pressure, because TV didn't document it well enough. You realize it was, in fact, all because of the quarterback when he did make some completions. Under pressure, the guy's not open, and he makes the perfect throw. All of a sudden, of those 10 completions, 5 end up being great plays. Now your whole perception changes of what that quarterback did in the game.

You have to be careful with wide receivers, too. You might be watching a broadcast tape of a receiver who catches only two passes and your first conclusion is that he isn't doing a good enough job of getting open. Then you watch the coaches' film and see that he is getting open, but the quarterback's not seeing him or is not getting the time to find him or is not making good throws.

I believe it is every bit as important to prepare to broadcast a game as it was to prepare to play in one. A broadcaster who goes into a game unsure about the topics he is going to address would almost be like a quarterback who goes into a game unsure about the plays he's going to call. My gosh! I couldn't sleep if that happened. It would drive me crazy. If I didn't prepare for a broadcast it would be on my mind the whole time that my new partner, Jim Nantz, and I were standing in that announcers' booth on Sunday afternoon. The viewers depend on me to get it right. And I know what it means to the players, the coaches, their families, their lives, for me to be as accurate and as truthful as I can. Like it or not, what I say and what my fellow broadcasters say during a game can affect careers one way or another.

You always can tell if the announcers had or even took the time to study and get thoroughly prepared for a game. Many times they will make observations or blanket statements as if they were indisputable facts, even when they aren't. So many times when I'm doing games I'll make a statement, and when we run the replay, I'll say, "Uh-oh, that's not what happened." The replay gives me a view where I see that I was wrong. A lot goes on out there and you can't see it all, but when you're wrong you should correct yourself as you see the play a second or third time. What choice do you have? There's visual evidence that says you're a liar, so you might as well go ahead and say, "Yeah, okay, I was wrong." And you just move on.

Sometimes when you're broadcasting a game it's hard to admit you've made a mistake. I've listened to announcers insist that a play unfolded a particular way, even when the replay will show something completely different, but that doesn't matter. They're going to stick with their story. It happens all the time.

If all of this sounds a little pompous, so be it. I'm like everyone else: I think my opinion is the only one in the world that counts. That's why I doubt I'll ever sit in the booth with another ex-NFL quarterback -- because we all think that we know it all. I'm sure other announcers listen to me and hate a lot of stuff I say. That's fine.

But for everything we say, there are consequences. I'm reminded of it every time people come up to me and say something about a football team or a player, and I'll say, "That is not true. Why would you think that is true?"

Almost without fail, the answer is, "Because I heard it on TV ... Because I read it in the paper ... Because I read it on the Internet."

"Just because you heard something on TV or on the radio or read it in the paper or on the Internet doesn't make it true."

"Well, how else will I know? I have to believe what I read and what people tell me in the media."

With that in mind, I've come up with a list of examples of blanket statements and clichés that announcers and writers have thrown out there so often through the years that they are accepted as gospel when, in fact, they often have nothing to do with reality ...

Sunday Morning Quarterback
Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths & Mayhem of Football
. Copyright © by Phil Simms. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Phil Simms led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl championships and owns nineteen team records. After retiring in 1993 with fifteen NFL seasons under his belt, Simms has become part of CBS's top play-calling team. He lives in New Jersey.

Vic Carucci is the national editor of NFL.com and the coauthor of a number of bestsellers, including Do You Love Football?! with Jon Gruden and Sunday Morning Quarterback with Phil Simms. He lives in East Amherst, New York.

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