Gaming

Fixing Franchise: Off-season Training Programmes

As one Madden games comes to a close, speculation mounts regarding the next iteration of the NFL juggernaut. In this series, we will be looking at ways EA can improve the game, from gameplay to the different modes. 

Every team will have multiple off-season training sessions, not having it in Madden in 2019 is quite shambolic. 

Giving coaches more say in how a player develops outside of the regular season should be on EA’s to-do list. It can be pretty simple at first before adding more and more depth over the years. 

Telling players to lose or gain weight over the summer would be a good place to start. 

Or making your quarterback work on his spiral or foot mechanics would be a simple but effective way for him to improve. 

You may have a receiver who isn’t seeing much time on the field but would make an excellent returner on special teams, so asking him to work on these things during the summer adds more realism to any franchise mode. 

College players will undergo a strict training programme to get them ready for the NFL so Madden should be doing the same. 

Players bulking up, perhaps cutting weight to fit a new scheme or role, are all simple additions which would make Madden 20 feel like a different game to Madden 19.

With the aforementioned coaching carousel, setting up your defensive back coach, for example, to work on your rookie cornerback to work on his zone skills and agility or your wide receiver coach spending the off-season with your receivers to polish their route running.

A player can return for pre-season with a +2 in short route or your quarterback can go up in his deep accuracy or down, depending on how good the coaches are and your training facilities. 

This would tie in nicely with the new scheme fits introduced in Madden 19. You can tell players to adapt to the scheme and if it doesn’t work, perhaps it is best that you move them on. 

It could help with player regression as well, as players get older they need to work on particular things to help extend their careers for a few more years.

Want to switch from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3? Well instead of just moving your OLBs to DEs and vice-versa, have them undergo a training plan with your new 3-4 defensive co-ordinator you picked up and his team of 3-4 coaches (it’s nice when everything links up).

In this training plan, they will try and alter their weight, they may gain some strength but lose some speed or acceleration.

With the aforementioned coaching carousel in place, your staff can get more upgrades as the seasons progress, meaning they get more training points to use over the off-season and these plans have a better chance of succeeding. 

The improvement, and regression, of a player should not only depend on what they do during the season, but what they do in preparation for an upcoming campaign.

You see countless videos of players training during the summer in real life and it’s something the developers at EA should be looking to add in the near future.

Perhaps have it so that it affects every player, even ones in their prime.

If you don’t put them on an off-season workout, they decrease in stats slightly, and have it linked to a players development.

Your superstar devs have less chance of decreasing during the off-season, your players with normal dev have a greater chance of seeing their stats decrease, especially if they haven’t played many snaps during the season.

If only there were terms for this, something like a mini-camp or organised team activities…

I’m sure the guys at EA can find a way to market and implement this into Madden.

Article written by:

Kadeem joined the NFLGirlUK.com team in 2016 and is currently the AFC Conference Editor, covering the AFC West division, as well as writing about Madden for the Gaming section. Though quite new to the NFL, after becoming acquainted with it through Madden, Kadeem has written features and articles on the sport for the Morning Star newspaper, where he is the current sports editor. He can be followed on Twitter @KadeemSimmonds.

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