Madden NFL 10 Preview

Welcome to Madden NFL 10 franchise mode. This is year 1 of my Dallas Cowboys franchise, I'll try to cover what I can, then answer questions tomorrow or during the week.

Let's start with the franchise setup. From here, just pick your team. For those wondering, you can select all 32, if you want to.

Next it's the Franchise setup options. I'll just list them here:

Sim Injuries: (On/Off)
Injuries: (On/Off)
Salary Cap: (On/Off)
Quarter Length: (1-15 minutes)
Fantasy Draft: (On/Off)
Trade Deadline: (On/Off)
Use Preexisting Injuries: (On/Off)
Update Depth Chart: (CPU/User)
Re-Sign Players: (CPU/User)
Free Agent Wire: (CPU/User)
Sign Draft Picks: (CPU/User)
Fill Roster: (CPU/User)
Accelerated Clock: (Off, 15, 20, 25 seconds)

Next is preseason, for those that asked, you can't change your preseason schedule. In the main franchise hub, you can check the leagues top stories, manage your team. Look at your preseason schedule, manage your players (release, re-sign, trade, place a player on the trade block, make a team captain and edit a player). When going into player editor, while you can change player info and equipment, you can't change any ratings. You can tinker the depth chart, get a roster breakdown, look at the free agents (of note, you will see P. Burress, C. McAlister, E. James, M. Harrison, G. Ellis, R. Harrison, A. Toomer, D. Brooks, of course many more) and also look at the injury report.

Under the NFL Info tab, you can look at the league schedule, nfl records, Hall of Fame, season, career, team and coach stats. View transactions and rivalry history.

Under the coaching tab, here is a list of things you can change:

Offense: Philosophy
Run vs. Pass
RB Carries (RB2 RB1)

Offense: Strategy

Defense: Philosophy
Scheme 3-4 or 4-3
Run vs. Pass

Defense: Strategy



QB Sub Out
QB Sub In
RB Sub Out
RB Sub In
WR Sub Out
WR Sub In
FB/TE Sub Out
FB/TE Sub In
OL Sub In
OL Sub Out


DT Sub Out
DT Sub In
DE Sub Out
DE Sub In
LB Sub Out
LB Sub In
CB Sub Out
CB Sub In
S Sub Out
S Sub In

Still under the coaching tab, there are audibles. Change up to 5 audibles on offense and defense.

Under the finances tab, you can view player salaries, team contracts, team expenses and team income.

Lastly, under the settings tab, you can save your franchise, export active team, adjust the menu music, volume controls, franchise options and head to the Madden Shop.

After the preseason has been completed, you can import your NCAA draft class, if you don't import them now, you can't load them until the following preseason.

After you have played your week 1 game, the Extra Point will be available from the main hub. Simply press "Y" to watch the show. During the show, you can see scores and stats from around the league, slate of games for next week, previews of the best matchups, offensive and defensive players of the week.

Speaking of The Extra Point, there is no talk about playoff scenarios, something I feel is very much a part of football, especially as the weeks wind down. At the end of the season, the Extra Point shows yearly awards, MVP, OPOY, DPOY, OROY, DROY and the official playoff picture. Recaps of the playoff games, as well as the Super Bowl, really aren't that exciting or filled with a lot of info, but at least we have something, unlike previous years. I can see this taking a huge leap next year, especially if they can add in highlights from around the league. Or going back to the old days, highlights of games, during your game. Seriously, how cool was that, back in the day?

For those wondering, the Pro Bowl is a week before the Super Bowl.

Next, let me show you some of the stats. Since I'm not quite finished with my current franchise season, there are taken from simming an entire season.

First of all, I've simmed quite a few seasons and I've seen a few crazy playoff matchups, but I'd say for the most part, they are believable. I mean, you never know in the NFL, there is a surprise team or two, every year.

AFC Division winners (Steelers (14-2), Pats (11-5), Colts (9-7), Chargers (8-7-1)
Wildcard (Ravens (13-3), Browns (10-6)

NFC Division winners (Cards (12-4), Eagles (11-5), Bears (10-6), Panthers (11-5)
Wildcard Seahawks (11-5), Saints (10-6)

Super Bowl: Steelers 21 over Eagles 13 (B. Roth. missed 5 games, during the season, but played the playoffs)

Injuries are a part of the game, here is a list of key injuries in this sim. All of the following were season ending injuries. There were quite a few injuries that kept key players out for a week or more, as well, but I won't list those.

T. Romo (DAL) - Broken ankle
K. Brooking (DAL) - Complete MCL tear
M. Manningham (NYG) - Broken ankle
A. Gonzalez (IND) - Torn Tricep
M. Clayton (BAL) - Fractured elbow
T. Hightower (ARZ) - Compound stress fracture
M. Turner (ATL) - Partial ACL tear
B. Scott (BAL) - Broken tibia
M. Forte (CHI) - Torn pectoral muscle
J. Long (MIA) - Fractured shoulder blade

League Leaders (Top 5)


B. Ruud (TB) - 179
D. Jackson (CLE) - 167
C. Lofton (ATL) - 156
D. Smith (JAX) - 154
L. Foote (DET) - 152

Tackle Assists
B. Ruud (TB) - 64
A. Pierce (NYG) - 58
G. Hayes (ARI) - 53
D. Jackson (CLE) - 53
D. Ryans (HOU) - 52

Tackle For Loss
B. Ruud (TB) - 30
S. Cooper (SD) - 20
T. Cole (PHI) - 18
C. Greenway (MIN) - 17
P. Willis (SF) - 17

T. Cole (PHI) - 16
D. Ware (DAL) - 15
D. Freeney (IND) - 13
J. Abraham (NYJ) - 12
Osi (NYG) - 12

C. Hope (TEN) - 8
K. Rhodes (NYJ) - 8
A. Samuel (PHI) - 8
C. Rogers (WAS) - 7
J. Joseph (CIN) - 7

Longest FG - 56 (K. Brown, J. Brown, A. Vinatieri, N. Kaeding, R. Gould)

Punting - McBriar (DAL) - 45.1, Inside 20 - Moorman (BUF) - 48

Kick Return
A. Randle El (WAS) - 31.7 (1 TD)
J. Cribbs (CLE) - 30.7 (3 TD)
J. Miller (OAK) - 28.7 (2 TD)
F. Jones (DAL) - 27.7 (1 TD)
L. Washington (NYJ) 27.6 (1 TD)


Punt Return
D. Jackson (PHI) - 18.1 (1 TD)
H. Douglas (ATL) - 16.8 (2 TD)
E. Royal (DEN) - 16.2 (2 TD)
R. Parrish (BUF) - 15.6 (3 TD)
R. Bush (NO) - 15.2 (2 TD)

QB Rating
B. Roth (PITT) (109.4) Missed 5 games
P. Manning (IND) (105.1)
T. Brady (NE) (104.8)
K. Warner (ARI) (103.3)
P. Rivers (SD) (101.1)

Passing Yards
T. Brady (NE) - 4810
P. Manning (IND) - 4405
J. Cutler (CHI) - 3951
K. Warner (ARI) - 3834
D. Brees (NO) - 3633

Passing Touchdowns
P. Manning (IND) - 48
T. Brady (NE) - 38
K. Warner (ARI) - 38
J.. Cutler (CHI) - 30
P. Rivers (SD) - 30

Passing Interceptions
J. Kitna (DAL) - 19
M. Schaub (HOU) - 18
J. Delhomme (CAR) - 18
K. Orton (DEN) - 18
B. Quinn (CLE) - 17

QB Sacks
B. Quinn (CLE) - 62
J. Cutler (CHI) - 57
D. Garrard (JAX) - 53
J. Kitna (DAL) - 52
M. Sanchez (NYJ) - 51

Comp %
B. Roth (PIT) - 65%
T. Brady (NE) - 65%
P. Manning (IND) - 64%
D. Brees (NO) - 64%
K. Warner (ARI) - 64%

Rushing Yards
A. Peterson (MIN) - 1632
D. Williams (CAR) - 1602
C. Johnson (TEN) - 1432
T. Jones (NYJ) - 1331
W. McGahee (BAL) - 1283

Rushing Touchdowns
A. Peterson (MIN) - 8
W. MCGahee (BAL) - 8
C. Johnson (TEN) - 8
T. Jones (NYJ) - 8
L. White (TEN) - 7

M. Colston (NO) - 119 (And he was out for 2 weeks)
R. Wayne (IND) - 107
A. Johnson (HOU) - 100
L. Fitzgerald (ARI) - 100
D. Bowe (KC) - 91

Receiving Yards
R. Wayne (IND) - 1624
L. Fitzgerald (ARI) - 1514
M. Colston (NO) - 1484
A. Johnson (HOU) - 1414
R. Moss (NE) - 1401

Receiving Touchdowns
R. Wayne (IND) - 16
L. Fitzgerald (ARI) - 15
W. Welker (NE) - 13
A. Johnson (HOU) - 13
T. Houshmandzadeh (SEA) - 12

After the season, progression of all players are done and it's time to perform off-season front office tasks. When hiring staff, it doesn't look like you can promote someone on your staff to head coach. So if your head coach leaves, you have to find someone outside of the organization. You need to look to hire/fire the head coach, off/def. coordinators, special teams coach, training staff and a scouting agency. Also, I don't see coaches that are currently without a job, like Shanahan and Gruden, for example.

Stadium upgrades, there are 44 different ones. Have fun with those, not my cup of tea.

You can look into stadium relocation next. Here is a rundown. Sorry if it's a jumbled mess, would be so much easier to take screenshots.

Create new uniform, select location (shows cities desire for a team - Lakeland FL is the least desired city, Mexico City being the most desired)
Design stadium (sidelines - left/right seating, dugout, pillbox, luxury box - north/south endzones (6 to choose from) - environment background - 4 to choose, lights/roof 7 light styles, roof 6 to choose: edge wall - color scheme, (4) design style (2), field: midfield (6), endzone logo (4) color style (8)field type (2) names: stadium name and section name
Secure funds, after adjusting team contributions, personal seat licenses, relocation funds, it shows the likelihood of approval.
Getting approval is next. When submitting your approval and you are denied, you can't attempt to relocate again until the follwing year, fans will know of your intent to move the team, no matter what. Lastly, it's time to finalize the deal.

Now you can take a peek at any sponsorship offers. It shows the offer, contract terms and the expectations from the company, be it 8 wins or a playoff appearance.

Next up, retirements.
No real surprises here. J. Carney, G. Frerotte, Z. Thomas, M. Stover, D. Brooks, I. Bruce, J. Galloway, T. Bruschi, J. Garcia, M. Harrison, just to name a few.

Now it's time to resign your players, or let them walk. Whatever you prefer or let the CPU handle everything. I had no problems signing any of my players, including D. Ware. You can slap the franchise tag on someone, if you want.

Next up, NFL free agency. Here, you can view player interests or submit an offer to the player. Check out the player interests:

These are all ranked with a rating of 0 to 100. Let's take a look at Darren Sproles, for example.

Money - 90
Team Need - 95
Position with icon - 90
Great coach - 99
Great coordinator - 89
Top ranked team - 95
Great facilities - 70
Large market - 65
Good team overall - 97
Nice weather - 50
Winning team - 90
Veteran leadership - 50
Solid supporting cast - 60

Trying to make him a contract with Dallas was a no-go. I offered him 6 years for 28 million, not something ideal for the Cowboys, just to see what he would say. Happy to say, this is a very good sign. I'd say overall, I'm very happy to see that you can't just sign anyone you want. Some players, you offer a contract to, will consider the offer. I also notice, most of the big name free agents, already signed back with their current team. Go ahead and advance day by day or skip to the end of the 30 days of free agency. If someone agrees to a contract, you have the opportunity to change your mind, after the player has accepted the offer.

It's now time for the NFL draft. The first thing I looked at was the Seahawks and Broncos draft order, as we all know, the Seahawks grabbed the Broncos first round pick in 2010, after trading this years second rounder. Well, those trades didn't make the cut, as I see the Broncos have their #1 and the Seahawks only have 1 first rounder.

Anyways, while in the draft hub, you can make trades and see who is coming off the draft board, while waiting for your pick. The Vikings just offered me the third pick of the draft, if I give up my first and second round picks. Since I need help on the defensive line, I make the trade and select the top LE on my board out of Notre Dame.

While waiting for your pick, you can check out the projected rounds, school, 40 time, shuttle time, cone time, bench rep, vertical, age, height and weight. You will also see trades flash up on your screen, if other teams in the league are wheeling and dealing. The teams have 10 minutes to make their pick, but most of them take about 10 to 15 seconds. You can watch it or simulate to your next pick. No, the #1 pick doesn't come on stage with his cap and jersey.

Late in the third, I pick up a projected 2nd round wide receiver. I need a legit #2, so that works. After going through the draft, it's now time to sign them all.

My first rounder is giving me a hard time, as he wants more money. He's a #3 pick afterall, so I bump it up. After a LOT of negotiating, he finally accepts and it's off to my third rounder. No problems at all signing him, in fact, I had no issues signing the rest of my draft picks.

Looking at my first round pick, he comes in with a 75 rating, while my third round (projected 2nd) wide receiver, comes in at 47, he has a lot of work to do.

Next up, it's time to get the depth charts set, so I can see what my guys have in the preseason.


Let me quickly go over the options for Online Franchise. For anyone that didn't know, you can't adjust sliders for online franchises.

Create Online Franchise
Franchise Name (Up to 21 letters)
Team (Pick your team here)
Max Users (2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32)
Fantasy Draft (On/Off)
Game Skill (Rookie, Pro, All-Pro, All-Madden)
Quarter Length (1-15 minutes)
Accelerated Clock (Off, 15, 20, 25 seconds)
Acccelerated Presentation (On/Off)
Injuries (On/Off)
Trading (On/Off, On - No CPU Trades)
Weather (On/Off)
Fatigue (On/Off)

Commissioner Options
Advance Week
Game skill, quarter length, accelerated clock
Max users
Allow join
Post news for the rest of the players to see
Send/view chise invites view pending
Promote to commish
Boot from franchise
Delete franchise
Looks like u can join up to 5 OL franchises

You can't change the camera angle in online franchise, not sure if you guys were aware of that.

I know I skipped out on some stuff, but I'll leave that up to you guys. Give me some questions and hopefully sometime tomorrow, or during the week, I'll start answering some of them. There is no way I can get to all of them.

FYI, I have no idea when the online franchise website opens, once the EA team lets me know, I'll be sure to let everyone know.

Madden NFL 10 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 DGuinta1 @ 08/01/09 04:53 PM
Ty for the article. Romo broken ankle! Yikes!
# 2 Lodeus @ 08/01/09 04:54 PM
Nice read.

Think we can get an example of player progression?
# 3 SPTO @ 08/01/09 04:56 PM
Don't usually step in here but thanks for the read...How the heck did the Steelers win 14 games with Big Ben on the shelf for 5 weeks?! That seemed a bit um, ODD.
# 4 ryby6969 @ 08/01/09 04:59 PM
Only thing in the stats that I didn't care for was the number of rushing td's. Other than that, it looked good. No sliders in online franchise might cause some problems. Overall, great info! Thanks
# 5 7unholyconfessions7 @ 08/01/09 04:59 PM
thanks chief!
# 6 countryboy @ 08/01/09 05:13 PM
Great writeup Steve and thanks for taking the time to sim a season and post the stats.

Alot of good information.

I know the Vikes offered you a trade during the draft, but did cpu teams trade amongst themselves?
# 7 Nyy26Bosox7 @ 08/01/09 05:16 PM
When I get through my 1st year of franchise and the off-season I will post a review and my likes and dislikes
# 8 Deegeezy @ 08/01/09 05:22 PM
Great write-up Steve. Thanks a ton!

Question for Steve or anyone else that knows from previous Madden's...Can you save the game in the middle of the draft?

Also, I know how it works in real life, but how does the Franchise tag works in Madden?
# 9 leo2k2ndc @ 08/01/09 05:49 PM
Good Info ... But there's one thing I don't get ...


** That is All*
# 10 synopsis26 @ 08/01/09 05:51 PM
Thanks for the info Steve. I wish Madden would give us the option of changing the game minutes for simulated games. That way we could keep up with the league leaders and be rewarded in progression.
# 11 I Peench @ 08/01/09 05:59 PM
Like others have requested, I'd love some examples of progression. Overall, great write-up. Thanks, Steve.
# 12 Uncle Way @ 08/01/09 06:03 PM
"Can't change the camera in Online Franchise"

This really bothering anyone else?

The default camera is garbage
# 13 Freezer Boy @ 08/01/09 06:05 PM
Franchise mode sounds good this year, but the one thing I'm disappointed about is that you can't edit ratings in franchise mode. I was really hoping they would put it in this year.
# 14 steelernation28 @ 08/01/09 06:12 PM
Sounds Great!
# 15 gamertom @ 08/01/09 06:13 PM
A lot of people like to play cpu vs cpu . last year players did not get injured playing that way, do you know if this year players can get injured in cpu vs cpu?
# 16 mavfan21 @ 08/01/09 06:14 PM
I thought Ian had confirmed you can edit every players ratings in franchise mode....this isn't true???
# 17 RumbleCard @ 08/01/09 06:21 PM
Is there a coach mode?
# 18 martinsingh @ 08/01/09 06:27 PM
Nice write up thanks!
# 19 HealyMonster @ 08/01/09 06:39 PM

Question about the options you listed for Online Franchise. Does the commish have an option to sim games or something that can be done if say a game isnt played so that the rest of the league doesnt get held up?
# 20 icomb1ne @ 08/01/09 06:45 PM
Anyone else think the total number of rushing TDs is pretty low?

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