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Old 07-13-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Speed is...well...speed!

Since this has been brought up again in the FBG Ratings topic, I would like to see what you all think about the way that EA evaluates measurable data and incorporates it into the game.

First of all, let's get rid of the whole argument that EA does NOT use 40 times and related data to determine the SPD and other ratings. If they didn't, why would Donnie Moore even bother citing 40 times for Ryan Tannehill and Michael Floyd when discussing the rookie ratings for Madden 13?


Madden Maniac has discussed this as well and calls for Moore to just admit it.


Donny Moore has even said it himself.


There's no getting around it. 40 times have been used for decades to gain a bead on how fast a player can cover a given distance. In football, this measure is the 40 yard dash. No matter what position, college, height, weight, or experience, this measurement and other standards of measure CAN be used to accurately evaluate correlating attributes often qualified by football scouts. These measures are universal. If a 6-6, 350lb DT runs a 4.90 and a 6-4, 230lb WR runs a 4.90, they should have the SAME SPEED.

Since speed is another way to simply explain velocity (v), which is calculated by simply dividing distance (d) over time (t), mass has no effect on the calculation of speed. No matter what size, shape, or position, two players who can run any given distance that is equal and is timed using the same standards can potential run at the same velocity. At times, Donny Moore, who I point out most certainly uses 40 times, completely screws this up. Does everyone remember the interview done on Cold Pizza with TJ Housmanzedeh in 2009?

For those of you who don't recall.


Housh was specifically asking how his speed was sooo slow! Moore's response? A 4.61 40 was the justification. The problem? Housh never ran the 40 prior to the 2001 NFL draft! He was not invited to the NFL combine and did not run at a pro day that year. So where did Donny get his 4.61 40 time?

He got it from the number one source for college scouting data on the net; NFLDraftScout. NFLDS provides all of the NFL scouting data for CBSSports and is powered by the same entity that powers FBG Ratings; TheSportsXChange. Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with NFLDS and their work, they supply only the most verifiable data in reporting draft measurables and scouting reports. In this case, for the 40 yard dash times, NFLDS claims,

" NFLDraftScout.com uses the best verifiable 40-yard time for each player. There is no single, official 40-yard time for any player, even those who run at the Indianapolis Combine. Those players who participate in the 40 yards at the Combine actually run twice and on each run they are timed by two hand-held stopwatches and one electronic timer (that is actually initiated by hand on the player's first movement). Combine data includes all six of those times for each player, but no single official time. Team scouts and coaches have various approaches for getting the 40 time they use from those six timings. Some use averages. Some throw out slowest and fastest and then average the rest. In deference to each player, NFLDraftScout.com attempts to use the best verifiable time that seems appropriate for each player. That is the 40 time we post."

You can see Housh's profile here:


Note the 40 time listed, but lack of a time under the "combine" and "pro day" results sections.

So we know where Donny gets at least some of his information. With the amount of money made by this company year in and year out, they should be able to pay for quality scouting info. Even with NFLDS, the information is made public. It should not be hard to get these times and correlating SPD attributes correct.

Donny Moore has failed at using verifiable information and interpolating it into useful, logical, Madden attributes. For those of you who would stand by the "40 times don't carry over to football speed on the field" arguements, I give you this article.


Note that the author differentiates between SPEED and ACCELERATION/AGILITY which are far more useful and necessary in the short-spaced, reaction-heavy, game of football. Since we have tests to, once again, equally and universally measure ACC and AGI, why do we keep seeing the often random "EA SPEED BOOST" that is often given to players in Madden by Donny Moore when they perform great?

I understand that the game engine and OVR ratings calculator needs to have increases/decreases where SPD is heavily weighted, but are we really seeing players get faster? Are they really getting better because of SPD? Or, as I posit, are there other factors that affect a player's performance.

Let's look at Victor Cruz who exploded on the NFL scene last year. Last year, Cruz had a SPD rating of 90 when Madden 12 dropped. His OVR was a 61 and it jumped up to an 87 by year's end. Cruz ran a pretty darn good 4.47 40 yard time and had some pretty solid numbers in the 10yd split, 3 cone, and shuttle.


The biggest issue I have is that amongst all players who ran at a combine or pro day since 1998 and had a best verifiable time provided by NFLDS, the averages came out to be quite different from how EA rates their players.

40: 4.81
10: 1.66
Shuttle: 4.32
Cone: 7.30
Vertical: 32.5in.
Broad: 113in.

Given these averages, if EA really understood the distribution of the data that can be verified and used to correctly assign the correlating attributes, we can determine how every player no matter what position or size should be rated for SPD, ACC, AGI, and JMP. You can also use the best times for each since 1998 to find the upper bound for each attribute:

40: 4.21
10: 1.40
Shuttle: 3.70
Cone: 6.27 (wow!)
Vertical: 46.0in.
Broad: 140in.

Now when I think of "average" I often go back to my college days of using 70 as the arbitrary average. It can be set to anything, but in my experience, 70 seems as a good spot for average. So if a player ran a 4.81 40, their speed, no matter what position, would be 70. Same for the other attributes.

But look at how EA rates their players. These are the averages for all 2500+ players in Madden 12.

SPD: 74
ACC: 81
AGI: 74
JMP: 68

Look at that ACC rating. It is greatly skewed toward the high bound. In fact, all other attributes are apart from JMP is skewed toward the upper bound. This, in my opinion, is the reason for over inflation of attributes in Madden.

They don't recognize the true mean and the data distribution of reliable data. This allows for less differentiation between players and has gotten everyone over the past few years to be dis-satisfied when their favorite players do not have 99s in every attribute, especially speed. Heck, the over inflation even allowed for some players to attain 100 in certain attributes (Hester's 100 SPD).

The produt of this overinflation has been finding it near impossible to differentiate inbetween players and how they play. If every WR has a SPD rating between 99 and 85, the use of SPD as an attribute to differentiate Madden player talent is nearly obsolete. This is even worse when the data suggests that the average WR in the NFL is closer to an 82 SPD when using 70 as the universal mean. Instead, if your WR doesn't have a SPD rating near 90, he is genuinly "useless" as he won't seperate downfield on your 80 yard bomb.

This is NOT football. Football is the perfect colision of raw athletic talent and polished technical skill. The importance of technical skill is missing. Chad Johnson has always been a great route runner and used his ability in this regard to seperate. He only ran a 4.57. The same is true for Jerry Rice, who only ran a 4.57 according to Bill Walsh. Although these players would only grade out with 83 SPD ratings on a "true mean" scale, they were among the best at getting open. That tells me that the RTE attribute trumps the SPD rating. Madden needs to reflect this somehow.

The dilemma I have brought up on numerous occassions is how to rate the FBG players because of the vast discrepency between how I would like to truely rate players and how EA rates players. I have gotten numerous emails from folks who have seen the site and scoffed at the ratings because the "speeds were too slow". However, if all players are rated the same way, then the speed ratings are relative. Same goes for other attributes.

This of course had caused issues for franchise users who will have to accept Madden-generated rookies that utilize the EA ratings system. It was a tough call, but I decided to keep things true to life, and rely further on other attributes (AWR, CTH, RTE for WRs) to make up for the lower physical attributes. The lack of editing in Madden 13 has all but done away with such efforts, but in the end, we must not stop asking for real, representative ratings in Madden. EA has listened to us before...and made some changes (often at the expense of taking out other established features). Do you think they will ever evolve their thinking to first, admit that they already use 40 times and other data sources, and second, use said data to properly rate players?
Dan B.
Player Ratings Administrator
NFL Scout

Petition to EA for FBG Ratings:
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

Great writeup sir and I again completely agree. You frustrate me in the sense that you articulate my issue with ratings so well that it makes the fact that EA/Tiburon refuses to adopt a practical formula(s) based universal format all the more confusing.

I have said before that maybe it's the fact that if the ratings came down to simply inputting real world player data and created data for generated players into predetermined universal formulas, the Madden ratings "team" is not as indispensable. So I can't hate on anyone trying to ensure they have a job but at least provide the community with the tools and share capability to do it for ourselves.

I guess we need to push for a universal ratings editor and a share feature. That way we can download FBG ratings before starting a CC and scale back rookie ratings after the draft to the desired range. At least with the manual progression system, there would no longer be an issue with skewing up manual ratings adjustments.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

Absolutely brilliant points made.

The one complaint I have always had about Madden has been the ratings. I don't want to turn this into a bashing thread.

Love the points you made. That's the way the game should be.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

I'd love for ratings to be further separated (to allow for more tiers).
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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40 time is part of the equation for speed... Not the whole enchilada. They have said that countless times.

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Old 07-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

Originally Posted by CRMosier_LM
40 time is part of the equation for speed... Not the whole enchilada. They have said that countless times.

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Yet, in Madden, speed = how fast the player covers 40 yards.

So if that's how Madden uses the SPD rating, then so should the roster makers, imo.
"Some people call it butterflies, but to him, it probably feels like pterodactyls in his stomach." --Plesac in MLB18
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

The issue I have with some speed ratings is that Donny will not take into account when a guy is injured but runs the 40 anyways and gets a bad time. Last year Tandon Doss had a groin injury at the combine, that led to double sports hernia surgery, which is why he did not play last year. With the bad groin, Doss ran a 4.6. Boldin ran a 4.7 when he tested in the 40 coming into the league yet Doss is slower than Boldin. Not only that, both of them were slower than old man Derrick Mason. I'll be interested to see how he would update a player like that after they have had surgery. What criteria do you use? He's obviously faster than his pro-day/scout time:http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/6452/player?r=1

And his scout profile even indicated that he's coming off a groin surgery:

Never know for stretching the field, but I doubt he's as slow as Moore has him or will have him.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: Speed is...well...speed!

I must agree, and I read that we wont be able to edit players in M13!!?? This opens up even more gripes for Tiburon and Donny.....
Speed is important in football but EA needs to be reminded of said players, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Micheal Irvin, etc. These guys are HOFers! So why is speed the end all, be all, for Madden?
And I just cant understand taking editing players from the hands of gamers
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