Next Man Up by John Feinstein
A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL

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Synopsis

In the NFL there is only one certainty: that every day, someone will have to be the Next Man Up. Football is an unrelentingly punishing sport, played and practiced at undiminished intensity, and it devours its players. Confronting injuries, trades, and the grim reality of competition, every NFL team prepares constantly for the likelihood--the certainty--that even franchise players can go down at any time. And someone new must be ready, trained, and primed to step in at the highest level.
Bestselling sportswriter John Feinstein persuaded one NFL team to lift the extraordinary secrecy that shrouds the sport and let him see how a team operates at the closest level. One team let him join every practice, every coaches' meeting, every players' gathering, every strategy debate. From the give-and-take of draft day, into the grinder of summer training camps, and from 100-degree practice games to the last game in frigid conditions, Feinstein reveals how a football team works--or fails to work--as no writer has done before.
Next Man Up unveils rituals (what a coach tells a player at the moment he cuts him); rules (the inanities of league-appointed "uniform Nazis"); conflicts (the scouts vs. the coaches, the general managers vs. the agents, the offense vs. the defense, the special teams coaches vs. everybody); money (how much a journeyman makes, and how his life differs from the multi-million-dollar-a-year star players)-every nuance of a team's life, from the owner's goals to the coach's day-to-day travails to the feeling of the sleet-soaked ball in the hands of a receiver on artificial turf.
The access John Feinstein enjoyed allows him to discuss with equal understanding the owner's management strategy, the coaches' and coordinators' plans for each new game, and how it all affects the players themselves. Anyone who loves football--any team, in any era--will savor the thousands of details revealed here for the first time, and the extraordinary drama that goes into following week after week, the most sensational sport in America.
 

About John Feinstein

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JOHN FEINSTEIN is the author of many bestselling books, including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. His books for young readers offer a winning combination of sports, action, and intrigue, with Last Shot receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best young adult mystery of the year. He lives in Potomac, Maryland, and Shelter Island, New York, with his family.
 
Published September 3, 2007 by Back Bay Books. 256 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Next Man Up

Kirkus Reviews

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Feinstein’s easy, deliberate chronicle of the Ravens’ days provides sumptuous details on draft picks, coaching decisions, the search for a diamond in the rough among the free agents, players’ injuries, squabbles between teammates, family matters that stole important players from important games a...

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The New York Times

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Mr. Feinstein was there when coaches yelled at players, coaches screamed at referees and coaches sniped at coaches.

Oct 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Next Man Up: A Year Behind th...

Bleacher Report

It is a well-written account of what it's like for the players, coaches, and owners to go through an NFL season—and, in this case, a disappointing one, as the Ravens did not make the playoffs.

Mar 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Next Man Up: A Year Behind th...

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