It is the first and most important question you must ask before you play a career mode in any sports game.
“On which team should I choose to coach or play?”
In Madden 13 you will first have to make a choice as to whether you want to be a player or a coach. In that spirit, we are happy to present you with a full summary of each team’s needs as they are provided by EA Sports in the Connected Careers manual – although they are completely re-worded.
Choosing to be a player will entail a bit more focus on where and how you want your career to start. The goals you will have to achieve will differ depending on your back-story; but the real decision you need to make as a player will be which team you want to try and become a starter. This all comes back to which players each team needs and that is our focus in this article – the easiest teams and positions to start a career in Madden 13 as a player.
When it comes to playing for the Cardinals, they could be the top choice for many wanna-be Quarterbacks. You will start with having one of the best receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald and also one of the better young prospects in Michael Floyd. Outside of that, you shouldn’t have a lot of competition from the likes of John Skelton or the apparently terrible trade acquisition of Kevin Kolb.
Arizona also has a wide open role for someone to play Tight End (TE), granted – this means you will have to also replace hometown hero, Todd Heap who played his college ball in Arizona. Here’s hoping you can get the QB to throw you the ball when you are competing for touches with Fitzgerald and Floyd though.
On defense it is really a matter of either being an effective outside linebacker or being the other cornerback to help the outstanding Patrick Peterson. Peterson is quickly becoming one of the most impressive young talents in the NFL but he can only guard one receiver at a time. That could be a good opening for you to step up and help in Arizona.
Starting your career in Atlanta will present you with a tough task as a player. If you want to be a starting QB you will probably have to wait at least one season to overtake Matt Ryan. Although, the potential is there to amaze coaches as the second coming of Brett Favre (sorry Falcons fans – had to say it) you will have to earn your stripes and prove that you are better than Matty Ice.
The Falcons need some help on defense and that will give you a nice opportunity to try and step in as a Middle Linebacker or a Strong Safety. The benefit of these positions is that they give you a great opportunity to be an enforcer on defense. Want to lay out receivers coming over the middle – why not do it in Hotlanta?
Baltimore was a true title contender last season. Naturally, they really don’t have a lot of needs but that doesn’t mean you can’t play there. Your best bet is to come in as a receiving Tight End to help Joe Flacco with a decent outlet when his receivers can’t get open.
You are also looking at openings at Linebacker and Cornerback as the Ravens are starting to age on defense, they will need to find replacements for players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Outside linebacker might give you a solid chance to come in as a pass rushing monster in Baltimore.
It isn’t really a question of whether you will play much on the Bills. It is a question of where you want to play. Buffalo hasn’t had a real Quarterback since Jim Kelly and their receivers aren’t exactly big names either. Stevie Johnson can easily be complimented with a WR that can run routes decently (and not drop easy touchdowns to win big games). The same can really be said at Tight End as the Bills need all the help they can get.
On defense, they have the line on lock with the likes of Marcel Dareus and Mario Williams. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide aid as a defensive back like a prototype cornerback or even a balanced safety. When it comes to Buffalo, don’t expect a lot of wins – but there is a lot of room for you to get playing time and maybe even build them into a winner behind your efforts.
Want a good piece of advice? Don’t try to be a Quarterback for the Panthers. You won’t be overtaking Cam Newton any time soon. On the other hand, you can come in an compliment Steve Smith as a decent route running WR or look to start as soon as possible as a Free Safety. With the Panthers, there really aren’t a ton of options because they are so young and talented. However, when it comes down to it there are some openings for you to jump in and join the fray.
Da Bears are one of the most talented teams in the NFL and you will have a tough time starting from the get-go. However, if you are looking for a more sure-fire way to start for the Bears you should try to become a receiving tight end or possibly a safety. If you want to eventually become the next Middle Linebacker in Chicago, you will have to serve as a back-up for Brian Urlacher and earn your stripes.
The Bengals are an interesting situation because if you want to be the quarterback that brings them back to their Super Bowl days of the late 1980s you will need to be a solid Field General. Andy Dalton is good, but you can come in and replace him with a little bit of work and focus on being consistent. AJ Green is the #1 WR on this team, but they need a second option – so if you don’t want to try and replace the Ginger Ninja, you can always come in and catch passes from him. You can also push for a spot as the Bengals runningback as they have been a team in flux at that position since Corey Dillon left the team years ago.
On defense you will have a hard time getting a starting job as they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. However, they can always use a great enforcer at strong safety and if you don’t mind laying down the law they won’t mind you in Cincinnati.
Face it, Cleveland is terrible if you want a winning team. However, if you want a chance to start and bring the team back to the glory days of the 1960s or even the mid-1980s you could always be the West Coast Quarterback that the team has been waiting for. While you shouldn’t try to come in and replace the highly touted Trent Richardson at HB there is definitely an opening for you to step in as the #1 Wide Receiver for Brandon Weeden.
On the defensive side of the ball the Browns are only a few pieces short of being one of the best teams in the league. They are pretty much set on the defensive line but that shouldn’t keep you from pushing for a spot as a run supporting safety or maybe even a decent outside linebacker.
The Cowboys have some solid options at WR, but the door is open to come in as a Speed WR and contribute right away. Even with a little practice and standout games in the preseason, you may just start the season as Tony Romo’s go-to guy. On defense, you can make a splash as a Balanced FS or Prototype SS.
Denver Broncos -
You won’t replace Peyton Manning any time soon. However, you could always try and become his favorite target (assuming you can take he eyes off Demaryus Thomas) and become a possession WR that gladly flies over the middle like Wes Welker does for Tom Brady. You could also try to emulate Dallas Clark and become a receiving TE that makes every dump-off throw look like an intentional pass because you are just that good.
On the defensive side of things the Broncos are aging at cornerback but could really use some help in the safety position. Make it your mission to remind people of the great John Lynch or Brian Dawkins and you will be a welcome addition in Denver’s defense.
Detroit Lions - Speed Runningback, Run Support Safety, Balanced Cornerback and Possession Wide Receiver
Detroit is one of the more interesting teams to roll with because they are so young and talented at many positions but they are still lacking enough to make that final stride deep into the playoffs. You can come in and prove yourself to be a great option at runningback if you do well in practices. They really need someone to come in and convince opposing defenses that every play isn’t a pass. In the same breath, you can also try and develop yourself to play second fiddle to Megatron (Calvin Johnson) and make secondaries hate playing the Lions even more.
Detroit still needs a lot of help in their own secondary and could use you right away if you are a great man coverage cornerback or a great safety – they won’t be picky.
Green Bay Packers - Balanced Runningback and Safety
The Packers were 15-1 last year and really don’t need a lot of help. However, they do need someone to take some pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and run the ball a few times every game. It might be tough to get a lot of yards rushing in this pass-happy offense – but if you want to make your mark as a starter early in the season, you have come to the right place.
On defense the Pack can really use someone at safety. They lack the type of playmaking guy that other teams like the Steelers have in Polamalu and that would truly make this defense even more fearsome.
Houston Texans - Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Playmaking Strong Safety
Houston doesn’t need a lot of help in their tremendous offense, but Andre Johnson would appreciate you taking some of the pressure off of him as a second option for their passing attack.
On defense the Texans need an enforcer in the middle secondary and if you could prove to be that type of monster that makes people go “Woo!” you will be a welcome addition to the Texans’ defense.
Indianapolis Colts - Take Your Pick – Runningback, Receiver, Anything…
According the the CCM Manual you can even come in and replace Andrew Luck at QB. While we would discourage this from a common sense perspective, it is pretty much your choice with the Colts. Where they need the most help on offense is in the running game. They built a team for passing with Peyton Manning but now they need to learn how to develop something that doesn’t implode after one guy leaves.
In that same breath, the Colts haven’t really had a feared defense. They can use pretty much anyone as a linebacker and if you want to be a decent coverage cornerback, they could use you there as well. This is a team in shambles and they need you more that you need them.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Field General Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Safety
The Jaguars are a team in flux. They have a new owner that looks like Mario and with a name like Khan – it is only a matter of time before this sunshine state team feels his wrath with a move to Los Angeles. That said, you can come in and replace their terrible Quarterbacks (take your pick) on day one. The other move would be to come in as a receiver and hope the terrible quarterback situation will pan out at least for your stats – if not the win column.
On defense they really need someone to play safety. It shouldn’t be too bad from a statistical point of view as the Jaguars are almost as terrible as the Colts.
Kansas City Chiefs – Field General Quarterback, Receiving Tight End, Run Stopping Strong Safety
The Chiefs thought they had a winner in Matt Cassell. Little did they know that it was a stupid idea to assume a quarterback would do well just because he did a decent job on an elite team before his arrival. Cassell can be replaced if you want to come in as a QB on Day One. Outside of that, you can also be a receiving Tight End and make people forget about Tony Gonzalez.
On defense you can team up with Eric Berry and make it a very scary place for receivers to go. Become an enforcer on defense and you might bring this team closer to ‘the next step’.
Miami Dolphins - West Coast QB, Wide Receiver, Receiving Tight End and Safety
The Dolphins have a strange quarterback situation that could allow you to jump ahead of Ryan Tannehill. While we wouldn’t suggest that for the same reason we don’t suggest trying to overtake Andrew Luck (See the Colts, above) it is still possible. On the other hand, the real spot to reach for will be as a Wide Receiver with the recent dismissal of Chad Johnson. Assuming there is no option to head-butt your wife in Connected Careers, you should be guaranteed a spot on the Dolphins as a WR.
If you prefer, you can also try to become a receiving tight end for Tannehill and that could make you the next Rob Gronkowski. At least when you are in South Beach you will have a legitimate reason to take your shirt off and make the cover of TMZ.
On defense you can come in and start as a safety simply because they are that desperate. In Miami you really have a lot of options for a team that will have a tough road ahead in the talented AFC East.
Minnesota Vikings - West Coast Quarterback, Receiving Tight End, Cover 2 Middle Linebacker, Safety
The Vikings are a team that were on the cusp of greatness with Brett Favre only a few short years ago. Since his third retirement they have been searching for hope in all the wrong places. Adrian Peterson can’t do it by himself and you certainly can’t do better – so don’t try to step in at runningback. You can come in at Quarterback on day one and compete to be the starter. Also, there is plenty of room for you to be the receiving tight end that they haven’t had for a long time if ever.
On defense the Vikings have the great Jared Allen at defensive end. However, you can come in and be the monster they need as a middle linebacker or even as a safety. The Vikings had a top tier defense only a couple years ago. It is time for someone to make them powerful again.
New England Patriots - Balanced Runningback, Man Coverage CB, Safety
On offense you need them more than they need you. Tom Brady has no equal at his position and his receivers certainly don’t need your ‘depth’. On the other hand, you can come in and be a decent runningback if you do well during the preseason.
On defense, the Pats could use someone to step up as a great cornerback or feared safety. Outside of that you will have a relatively tough time playing in New England.
New Orleans Saints - Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Run Support Cornerback
Unless you put out a bounty for Drew Brees you won’t be the quarterback for the Saints. That said, you can be one of his receiving targets if you work hard as a red-zone receiver. The Saints are one of the best offenses in the NFL, it will be tough to do much else.
On defense they are also stacked but could use you as a run support cornerback. With enough hard work you can play for the Saints but when it is all said and done it will be tough to be a day one starter here in your first season.
New York Giants - Receiving Tight End, Balanced Middle Linebacker
The Giants won the Super Bowl last year. They really don’t need a lot of help anywhere. That said, Eli Manning could use you as a receiving tight end to help take pressure off his great receivers.
On defense you will have the best chance to overtake Chase Blackburn as middle linebacker. Blackburn made an amazing interception while guarding Rob Gronkowski in the Super Bowl but you can try and become the ‘every play’ MLB if you perform well.
New York Jets - Balanced Quarterback, Outside Linebacker
The Jets have a quarterback controversy already. The benefit for you is that neither of them is really that impressive. Tebow is a name more than a real quarterback and Sanchez is one of the most overrated quarterbacks in recent memory. You can come in and make everyone start screaming as there is a three way (don’t make this weird) quarterback controversy.
On the other hand, you can try and catch throws from these crappy QBs as a possession receiver that compliments Santonio Holmes.
Defense is the name of the game for the Jets as Rex Ryan has made them one of the best in the league. However, if you want to make this defense that much better you are better off trying to do it as the LOLB. Outside of that, you will have to wait awhile to play on this defense.
Oakland Raiders - Speed Wide Receiver, Prototype Cornerback
The Raiders haven’t changed much since the death of Al Davis. They still prefer speed over anything and if you want to be that type of receiver that burns past everyone – Oakland is your home. Otherwise, they are set with great talent on offense.
On defense they lost a lot when Nnamdi Asomugha left for Philly. If you can be the prototype cornerback this team needs you might help them become a true playoff contender.
Philadelphia Eagles - Receiving Tight End, Prototype OLB, Run Support Strong Safety
The Eagles are talented. While they weren’t the ‘Dream Team’ that some crackheads (Vince Young) thought they would be they are mighty powerful on offense. Your best bet is to try and overtake Brent Celek as a receiving tight end by the end of your first season. Outside of that, you really don’t have an offensive option to start in your rookie year.
On defense they need some help from the outside edge with an outside linebacker. Their most glaring weakness is at safety – Brian Dawkins has been missed greatly and if you can be the enforcer they need you might have a home in Philly.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Good Luck… Receiving Tight End, Zone Coverage Cornerback
This is one of the most talented teams on both sides of the ball. The Steelers are set pretty much everywhere, but you might be able to make an impact as a receiving tight end on offense.
On defense you won’t crack this starting lineup unless you try to be a zone coverage cornerback. The Steelers are stacked and you will have to earn every snap on this team.
San Diego Chargers - Red Zone Threat Wide Receiver, Run Support Strong Safety
This is a talented team with an elite passer in Philip Rivers. They lost Vincent Jackson to the Buccaneers and now you could step in and make people forget about the diva WR. It is the perfect situation in the perfect offense for you to be a receiver.
On defense your best bet is to be a run supporting safety to help deal with the likes of the AFC West’s great runningbacks.
San Francisco 49ers - West Coast QB… anything else is going to be tough
In the off-season there were rumors about the 49ers pursuing Peyton Manning to replace Alex Smith. Now you can take over that job as Smith is still in question as a true championship quarterback. Take advantage of the pre-season to overtake the former #1 overall pick and then throw to some of the best receivers in the NFL.
On defense you are out of luck. This is one of the best squads in the NFL and you won’t get playing time on defense. Look elsewhere.
Seattle Seahawks - Field General Quarterback, Possession Wide Receiver, Outside Linebacker
Being the Quarterback in Seattle will be tough as they put a bunch of money into the ‘one game wonder’ Matt Flynn. You might be the quarterback of the future if you can outperform him. They can also use some help at wide receiver if you want to go that direction.
On defense the Seahawks let go of former top pick, Aaron Curry last season. You can try to fill his shoes and be the player they need at Outside Linebacker.
St. Louis Rams - Balanced Wide Receiver, Outside Linebacker, Man Coverage Cornerback
Want to make the Rams into the ‘Greatest Show on Turf Part 2′? Make yourself into a great receiver with Sam Bradford and you might be on your way to greatness. Outside of that you can also go to the defensive side of the ball.
On defense you can make an impact as an outside linebacker or a man coverage cornerback. In St. Louis they really need a lot of help everywhere. If you can step up and perform against the divisional powerhouse in San Francisco you might be on the right track back to the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Balanced Runningback, Balanced Defensive End, Cover 2 Middle Linebacker
Tampa could use another option outside of LeGarrette Blount and you could step in and show them what they are missing. They got rid of Kellen Winslow and that should also give you hope to be a balanced tight end.
On defense you can step up and become the feared middle linebacker that the Bucs have been missing. They could also use some help on the defensive line at the DE position. Tampa has a tough division to face with great opposing quarterbacks but if you can become a monster that they fear – even better.
Tennessee Titans - Strong Arm Quarterback, Possession Wide Receiver, Run Support DB
The Titans pursued Peyton Manning more than any other team (besides the Broncos – apparently) and they are eager to find their QB of the future. If you want to catch passes from Jake Locker you should be the compliment to Kenny Britt as a possession receiver. If this game had off the field issues for player you might overtake Britt – unfortunately you will play second fiddle to this talented receiver.
On defense the Titans need a lot of help but the secondary needs the most. Come in and be the run support they need at safety or cornerback and you might be the right guy for the job.
Washington Redskins - Balanced Runningback, Prototype Receiver, Prototype Safety and Cornerback
Washington gives you no chance to be a quarterback to replace RG3 – forget about it. However, you can come in and replace Roy Helu with enough work. Outside of runningback you can also try to come in and make an impact at receiver. It is a tough position to crack, but really they need someone to help Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon. Make your receiver at least 6’3″ and you will have a strong possibility to be a starter sooner rather than later.
On defense you will have a good chance at safety or cornerback. The Skins need some help to get respect in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL. If you can make the secondary better you can be a starter for a long long time.