Ian I absolutely agree that the mini games need to go. I have always been baffled at the idea of mini game based progression since real life progression doesnt work on a pass/fail basis. The best example for this imo is the nba 2k series where if you dont meet some arbitrary standard of success in a mini game, you simply dont get any better. If the goal is to score 10 touchdowns but I only score 9, why am i being rewarded as though I scored none. Madden's mini games imo suffered from a disasterous lack of football focus. A DB is not measured by how well he can guard the #1 WR in single coverage with no help and the whole field at the WR's disposal. That is setting up the DB for absolute failure. DBs cant guard elite recievers with help, let alone 1 on 1, and especially not with the whole field and therefore the whole route tree at their disposal.
Why should my QB not get any better when I completed 90% of my passes in the QB drill but those passes werent for touchdowns? And I shouldnt even have to mention that the playcalling for the QB drill was at best, terrible. I can vividly remember getting to the 2-yard line and getting go routes across the board for 5 plays straight. Then after I actually scored and needed to score again quickly, it was all quick slants.
My vote is to do away with mini game based progression entirely due to the fact that in the long run, all mini games become tedious.
Mini games should be an entertaining side activity, or an educational tutorial activity. If a mini game does neither of those activities then it is wasting our time. I would much rather have progression based on performance and the quality of my coaching staff. You should also be able to tell your staff to work with a player to train him into becomming a specific type of player to fit your system. An example is if you want a guy to be a power back then inform the coaching staff and they can tailor his game to becomming that (assuming he is meant to be that. I would also like the natural talents of the player to come into effect so if you try to make Reggie Bush into Brandon Jacobs then you should fail and the player should be terrible in your system. His size and skills just dont translate to that)
Didnt mean for the post to get this long but I used to spend so much time thinking about training and progression as a result of so many failed franchises and associations due to frustrating mini games.