Reviewing Smart Football
I want to start with a few thoughts first before reviewing The Essential Smart Football. I’ve been reading Smart Football for a long time. Chris Brown is a tremendous author, and a thought leader really in the football community (including fans, “monday morning quaterbacks” who think they know the game, football coaches, and football pundits). His website alone has content that is relevant for all the parties mentioned above, which is extremely hard to do considering the language barriers for each.
When Chris announced his book, I was intrigued. Chris clearly is very intrigued with football history, which is a major area of how he appeals to us football coaches, although that also obviously works for fans as well. I was somewhat worried to buy it though, because quite frankly, I feel one of the best ways Smart Football works is Chris’ voice. Chris is very engaging with all of his fans, and that is just as much a part of his success as his blog itself.
So I was concerned those elements would be lost in his book. But what I’ve found, before I even read the book, is Chris is just as engaged as any author I’ve seen, in regards to his book. And I’m not saying this as a casual observer or football coach, I’m saying this as the marketing web analyst that I am by day job who constantly looks at some of the top social campaigns out there. So, what I’m saying is you don’t just get the book, you get the whole “Chris Brown / Smart Football” engaging package! He’ll answer questions about the blog or the bog. So sight there, it’s worth the 9.99 Amazon Kindle purchase. You can ask him questions, etc.
Before I continue with the book review, I read other reviews on the book. Most have been very positive. However, there are some football “historians” who disagree with Chris Brown and the Essential Smart Football on some details. I can tell you, however, as a football coach that almost every principle has been invented and reinvented. Finding the true roots of the 4-3 defense may actually lead you to a high school in Texas. Maybe Billichek’s defense was stolen from a JUCO defensive coordinator. The bottom line is, unfortonately, due to so many variables at play, the originator of a defensive scheme or some specific play is very hard to trace back and probably not worth our time. I think what’s worth our time is to look at the success of teams who have used a scheme. This is the lesson the majority of the best football coaches know well. I’m not going to try and reinvent the wheel, I’m going to learn from the best and adapt it to what I do. It doesn’t matter if Bill Walsh, George Halas, or some freshmen offensive line coach created a blocking scheme. If it’s good, I’m willing to learn about it. I might not use it, but I will learn about it. This is what The Essential Smart Football provides us football coaches, on top of a lot of other great stuff.
Reviewing the Essential Smart Football Book by Chris Brown
Now, onto the actual book. The book, by Chris’ own admition, is about 1/3 original content. Quite frankly though, reading stuff over again and having some of Chris’ best stuff in the one spot, on paper (or on my iPad), is simply fantastic. I think reading The Essential Smart Football’s coverage of individual schemes, especially those over the last 10 years, was extremely interesting. I love his piece on the 3-3-5 defense, and I truly enjoy hearing his thoughts on it. Another area that’s interesting is how Rex Ryan’s defense essentially created Tom Brady’s current offense with two tight ends. There is a lot of other great stuff in there too that is just really interesting, no matter what your football “I.Q.” level is.
I don’t want to give all the information away, but I believe all football coaches should buy The Essential Smart Football. I only wish there was more to it! The book is just right for leaving you to want a little bit more, which is why you need to go visit his blog. The book is light enough to easily read and not dominate your time, it’s good enough to read in an afternoon, and it leaves you wanting more information in a good way.
You can order the book through Amazon by clicking here!