9 sports books you may have missed in 2014

It's hard to get around to all the worthy sports books that come out in the space of a year. Here are excerpts from nine that deserve attention.

1. 'The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks,' by Bruce Feldman

The following excerpt describes how George Whitfield – who has been called “The Quarterback Whisperer” for his knack grooming players at the position – schooled Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the coveted Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player.  

“One drill [George] Whitfield created to fine-tune [Johnny] Manziel’s instincts or, more specifically, to retrain them, he called the Jedi. In order to get Manziel to work lower in his base, a tendency the A&M star worked against as his adrenaline revved, Whitfield said he wanted to ‘rob’ the quarterback of his sense of vision by putting a blindfold over his eyes, so his instincts would kick in. His analogy was to the way someone wakes up in the middle of the night in a dark room and tries to, cautiously, be more anchored as they feel their way to the bathroom. ‘It put him in more of a controlled, predator position,’ Whitfield said. In the Jedi, Whitfield lined up two receivers, one off to the QB’s left, the other to his right, and pointed for one of them to clap, triggering Manziel to plant his feet and get set to fire. Whitfield actually didn’t intend for Manziel to try to throw the ball. ‘I didn’t want him to throw, because I didn’t want the ball to dictate “success.”' Manziel couldn’t help himself, though. He connected on 26 of 28 throws while blindfolded.'"

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